Saturday, May 16, 2009

Stamped Shrink Plastic / Shrinky Dink Rings

I wanted to answer a few questions before I get to the project today...

Tammy ~ I get my findings from Fire Mountain Gems & Beads (the same place Phinny mentioned). They are very reasonable and have a tiered pricing structure so the more you buy the cheaper things get!

Several people asked if I let the inks dry completely before I shrink them ~ Nope, I just stamp and heat. There are a couple of inks that I have trouble with drying (a couple of the Archival colors) but for the most part everything is dry as a bone after shrinking.

Where can you find shrink film? I buy mine at Hobby Lobby or online but I know it's also ava. at Joann Crafts and Michaels (or it was ~ ours is changing things around so not sure what's going to be there.) and there are many places on-line that carry it ~ Mister Art, Dick Blick, Create for Less, etc...

Shrink Film Rings!

Now, I hope you've all been keeping the scraps from the shrink film charms you've been making...this next project is perfect to use up some of those scraps!

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Since we're going to be making rings you'll need to know what size you should be making your ring. Here is an excellent Ring Size Conversion Chart that converts ring sizes into several different sizes but it also gives you the outside circumference which is what you will need if you don't know what your ring size is.

If you don't know your ring size you can take a piece of string and wrap it around your finger then measure it and compare it to the chart.

Once you have determined the circumference of the size of ring you want to make you need to go in search of to find an object to wrap the shrink film around. This could be anything from a lid, paint brush handle, stipple brush, paint pen, etc...anything round that will hold up under a bit of heat for a short period of time. I found a lid from a cleaning solution that works perfect for me.

It's time to dig out those scraps. You're going to need to trim off long strips of the shrink film. They can be any width you desire just keep in mind it's going to shrink about 45-75% depending on the particular type of shrink film you're using (remember to make a test strip). You can cut them with deco scissors for a cool edge, trim them in a wavy design, or just long strips if you like. You will need to make sure that each strip is long enough for the type of ring you want to make (wrap or regular). This is where the shrinky dink math comes in handy. You can figure out exactly how much material you will need to make the desired sized ring. If you don't want to figure it out that's o.k.... you can always trim off the excess with a sturdy pair of scissors later.

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Once you've cut out your strips you can stamp them with virtually any design you like...

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Next, trim the ends of the strip. This image is an edge I like to use for the "wrap" rings. If you're making a regular ring with a bit of a space or it's edges meet you can just round the corners with a corner rounding punch or your scissors.

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It's time to heat... Shrinking a long strip like this will roll up on it's self when you're heating it. If it sticks together, just pull it apart with a bamboo skewer or carefully with your fingers.

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Once it's done shrinking, quickly roll it around the object you've found to match your ring size. Be careful because it will be quite hot. I like to leave the shrink film on my work surface and roll the object over the shrink film holding onto one end as I go. This way you're handling the shrink film the least amount possible while still getting the job done.

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Now, don't worry if you don't get it quite right on the first try...the beauty of this technique is that you can always re-heat the shrink film and start over!! It doesn't matter if you take 3, 4, 5 tries just re-heat and roll! Remember if you end up with too much shrink material you can always trim the excess off with a sturdy pair of shears while it's still warm. If the shrink film cools too quickly you can always mark the area that needs trimmed, heat, trim then re-shape. It's really a very forgiving technique.

Here are a few examples of what I came up with.... (you'll have to excuse my messy fingers...I was so excited when I was making these that I forgot to wipe the excess ink off my fingers ;) LOL!!!)

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My favorite :)
light blue paisley!!
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Another fun and funky technique to try using shrink plastic!!  Remember tomorrow I'll be drawing a couple winners for the "hero" necklace & bracelet so be sure to tune in.

Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend!!


  1. lol u have a use for everything girl! These are fun! Next week I can be tomorrow we move my daughter back to has been a long 10 days with her home! I didn't get to do anything I wanted lol but now I have even more ideas...and another reason to hit the store! LOL...ty Cher

  2. Seriously Roni...what will you think of next??? I am picturing some spiral drop earrings in my future!!!

  3. Hi Roni!

    A word of warning to all you peeps buying shrink plastic, make sure you check it says "clear" or "transPARENT" on the packaging! I got something that says "transLUCENT" (English not being my mother's tongue), and only after shrinking my first projects did I realise it is not transparent, but shrinks into almost solid white!

  4. these are all so fun and creative. Is it my imagination or did you alter your heat gun? how cool!

  5. Thank you so much for sharing, my daughter will LOVE doing that!!!

  6. I can't wait to try these projects - I just don't know which to do first!

  7. wow!!! Never thought that the shrink plastic can be used for making rings, thanks for sharing such a cool idea!

  8. I am lovin' all these shrinky dink things! Very cool! Reminds me of being a kid, but now there are so many more cool techniques you can do with it!

  9. My friend and I did these for our craft night...the film dries very fast so be sure to get it shaped QUICKLY! I made a super cool bracelet piece and a pendant for St. Patty's day. I highly recommend either using clear nail polish to seal in the ink or to use the permanent ink. Super fun to do!

  10. plastic can be used for making different type of commodities at low cost

  11. where can you find the ring size conversion charts.

  12. I did this and used permanent ink, but the ink still turned my finger purple. What type of ink did you use so that it wouldn't rub off? I used a thin tipped sharpie.

  13. I use Staz-On ink. Alcohol based inks will rub off after a period of time so you'll need to put a clear coat over the ink if you want to use Sharpies. HTH!


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!