If you were born in the 1970's then you know about Shrinky Dinks. Shrinky Dinks are the proprietary name for polystyrene sheets of plastic, the same plastic that is used in some deli takeout containers.
You can buy it in clear, matte, black, white and bright primary colors. Usually it is sold in kids' craft kits, but you can also buy it in 8 1/2 by 11 inch sheets. There's even shrink plastic that you can run through inkjet printers.
I am using Shrinky Dinks plastic purchased in a Curiosity Kids kit. It comes pre-sanded so you just start coloring on the rough side.
This is the Golden Rule of Shrink Plastic: Anything that you draw will shrink to 1/2 size approximately.
Let's draw a butterfly. Pretty clip art butterfly!
Trace it if you want to, you'll still be able to see faint outlines under the sanded plastic.
I like to use creamy textured premium Prismacolor colored pencils. Cheap pencils aren't going to work well, they don't cling to the tooth or tiny scratches in the sanded shrink plastic. My butterfly is about 3 inches wide.
Fill in all the spaces on the plastic, coat it with color. I like to color on a sheet of white paper so I can see the gaps. Try to add a little interest to the flat color by blending with a clear blender or a white pencil.
Cut out your creation with very, very sharp scissors and be careful about your corners as this plastic tears very easily and you don't want to have damage in your delicate work. I use a 1/8 inch hole punch for jewelry work.
Preheat your oven to 315 to 350 degrees. The colder the oven, the longer it takes to shrink a piece.
It is good to take your time with large pieces as the plastic curls up and then sometimes sticks to itself. Experiment with shrinking times. I am using a rectangle of parchment baking paper folded in half on an old pie pan to shrink the piece. The slight weight of the non-stick paper on top helps to prevent the curling and sticking.
Watch your piece and take it out as soon as it stops shrinking. You don't want to scorch the plastic, it's not healthy to breathe the fumes.
You can mash gently on the top of the paper with an oven mitt to flatten the piece if it isn't totally flat. Don't burn your fingers.
Let it cool. Don't burn your fingers.
If you like the matte finish of the piece then leave it there or you can spray it with a acrylic finish for more durability.
You are a shrink plastic wizard, Harry!
Cherno Alpha Earrings
Originally published on my blog that no one reads.