HEY THERE. THE FOLLOWING ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON FEBRUARY 15th, 2020 AS A SECOND GUEST POST IN Alex Syberia’s blog. I’VE ADDED A SHORT VIDEO OF PART OF THE PROCESS.
Guest Designer – Enna Adams
Hi. It’s me again.
To continue stepping out of the box, I created charms/tags to use on keychains, purses, and luggage, using Alex’s digi stamps.
For my first project, I wanted an enamel-looking floral key chain ornament, but how can I make one of Alex’s designs sturdy enough to withstand the daily wear and tear of being on a key chain? What I really want is a Glowforge, so that I can laser cut acrylic sheet or so that I can engrave and cut from wood….
Hmmmmm…..how do I do this…..shrink plastic!!!
I started by printing the same single Clematis image that I had previously edited for the card in the last post. I sized it to about 4 times the size that I wanted the ornament to be and printed it on regular printer paper. I also randomly scribbled a sheet of Shrinky Dink in Bright White with various BG Copic markers, as if I were going to “ink smoosh.” (The Bright White Shrinky Dink sheet reminded me of the thick opaque white Yupo that I use, so I thought alcohol inks would work.) Once the sheet was covered with color, I sprayed and splattered 91% isopropyl alcohol. I waited for the sheet to dry, then, using a cheap lightbox that I got on Amazon, I traced the Clematis onto the ink splattered Shrinky Dink sheet using a black Sharpie. I tried making the lines thicker in some areas to replicate the look of a brush marker.
Once the Sharpie dried, I fussy cut the image, leaving a really small border all the way around the flower. I also punched a hole that was somewhere between ¾ and ½ an inch on the petal from which I wanted the charm to dangle. Why so big? Well, the hole will shrink quite a bit with the rest of the image when I heat the shrink plastic. I then baked the cut Shrinky Dink in an oven preheated to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Watching my creation dance and shrink and curl and roll up and spin in the oven proved to be an incredibly nerve-wracking 2 minutes! When the Shrinky Dink finally flattened out, I let it stay in place for another 30 seconds before pulling it out of the oven.
For those of you who haven’t played with shrink plastic, here’s a short video of the shrinking process:
After the flower cooled, I used Glossy Accents to seal in the Copic coloring. I’ve used spray clear coats and Mod Podge in the past, but I couldn’t find either one. Once the sealer dried, I mounted it onto the keychain.
I repeated this same process with different colors and different flowers and concluded that pretty consistent results can be achieved. The Bright White Shrinky Dink I used usually shrunk to about a third of the original size. In the example below, the original width of the design I traced was about 6 inches. The resulting charm was about 2 inches in width. The original hole that I punched in the shrink plastic was ¼ of an inch. The resulting hole was less than 1/8 of an inch and was completely unusable for what I intended. This picture shows the resulting ornament against the original print out that I traced for size comparison purposes.
Just a note – the resulting Shrinky Dink has about the same thickness as a house key as you can see the this picture.
For my second project, I made a purse charm using Shrinky Dink Frosted Ruff n’ Ready.
While the white version that I used for the key chain gave me an enamel look, the Ruff n’ Ready gave me the look of frosted stained glass. That is, it is transparent rather than opaque. It would be great to make poinsettias and snowflakes out the of the Ruff n’ Ready for Christmas tree or window ornaments! For this flower, I traced the Clematis image using a Uni Posca White Paint Pen on the smooth side of the plastic. Once the white dried, I turned the plastic over just used the chisel nib of my Copic marker to cover the entire back of the flower in broad strokes. Yes, the chisel nibs are good for something! And any uneven coloring goes away when the ink shrinks on the plastic.
I proceeded to heat the shrink plastic per the instructions on the package. Once done and cooled, I sealed both sides with Glossy Accents.
Just a note – the Bright White version shrinks more than the Ruff n’ Ready. I believe the packaging for both indicate that the finished image would be about 1/3 the size of the original; however, the original tracing image was about 9 inches wide, but the resulting charm using the Ruff n’ Ready was about 4 inches wide – it shrunk about an inch less than I anticipated given the results that I got from the Bright White Shrinky Dinks.
My final project was a luggage tag, I decided to try to get the same durability out of cardstock.
For the front of the tag, I used my Foil Quill to create a gold Clematis in a circle frame on hot pink cardstock. You can use you usual laser printer/laminator process, if you’d prefer. I just find that I don’t get good foiling results on this particular brand of cardstock, since it is not perfectly smooth.
I then printed the floral image in light gray with a light pink ombre background for the back of the tag, adding in my contact info.
I die cut both the front and back and 6 other layers of Neenah Solar White 110# Cover stock using a circle die. I then punched a ¼” hole in each circle and glued them all together. The edge of the stacked circles were heat embossed with 3 layers of gold embossing powder. Once the powder cooled, I decided to seal the entire tag with clear embossing powder. Um NO! No matter how careful I was, the gold powder on the edges reheated and lost its dimension and shine. The picture below shows how badly the 2 embossing powders looked together.
I hope you enjoyed my “out-of-the-box” projects. Boy, I’m tired! I have no idea how designers crank out blog post after blog post! Respect, Ladies!