Sunday, 22 February 2009

Shrink plastic discovery

I was making some shrink plastic embellishments for an ATC swap, and I wanted them to co-ordinate with the background paper I'd made.

So, I used 3 colours of ink from a Colorbox queue to stamp my image, overlapping and offsetting it as I went along. Then I shrank the plastic, as per usual, and texturised each piece by stamping into it using the same stamp (uninked) before it cooled.

When I touched the pieces, the ink felt a little tacky, which struck me as odd, as I've used Colorbox inks on shrink plastic before and they had always heat set perfectly. When I looked at the packaging I realised the queue was 'classic pigment ink', rather than the chalk ink I thought I'd been using. Perhaps it doesn't work in the same way.

I left the pieces overnight, and when I touched them they still felt tacky, so I decided to seal them. I painted one with Diamond Glaze, and watched, horrified, as the ink dissolved before my eyes. I quickly wiped the diamond glaze off, thinking that I may be able to salvage the shrink plastic for another project if it wasn't shiny. I tried other products on the remaining pieces,and the ink dissolved on all of them. I had no more shrink plastic in my stash, so made alternative embellishments for the ATCs.

Then I decided to look at the shrink plastic pieces I'd made, to see if they could be turned into something useful.

The one on the left is how they all looked after the ink dissolved
(remember to click on the image to enlarge it)

I rubbed Sapphire Treasure Gold over the shrink plastic, and it brought the texture out beautifully (2nd from left).

I rubbed the Treasure Gold off with a baby wipe for a more subtle effect (3rd from left).

The final piece (far right) hadn't texturised very well in the original process, so I decided to try re-heating it and stamping into it.

Nothing seemed to happen, it didn't seem to soften with heat, and although I stamped into it again, I couldn't see any texture. And then I added the Treasure Gold, and realised the second stamping had given a rough sandpapery effect where the stamp touched the plastic. Cool....

I will play with this again, on purpose, next time!!!


  1. Whoa! Isn't it cool when our boo-boos turn into wonders!? I love these bitty pieces, and enjoyed reading your process. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love your scientific methodology! Great results and look forward to seeing where you go from there.

  3. Happy accidents turn into the best pieces I think!




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