Items (0)

Technique Thursday – Shrink Plastic Poppies

Morning everyone,

My turn today for the technique Thursday post, so I thought I’d bring you something very easy, and very effective, to do yourself.

First you take some shrink plastic, and stamp your design using either versafine or stayzon.  I used poppy heart dinkie.  Some shrink plastic’s come ready sanded on one side, but if you use the professional stuff, you will need to lightly sand in both directions before you stamp, just on one side, (or both if using white shrink, and you want a two sided design).


Colour in your design, I used Caran D’ache pencils, and only colour in lightly, you will see why in a minute.


I coloured in four dinkie hearts, but you could extend the bracelet all the way round by using about six.  Once coloured in, use a cropodile or a hole punch on one side, to make holes for the bracelet to join.  You need to do this before you shrink the plastic, it’s much easier than trying to drill it afterwards.  Don’t worry that the holes are too big, they won’t be.



Shrink the plastic.  There are two ways of doing this, one is in a conventional oven, which I prefer, as I don’t have to do each one separately.  Just put them on your teflon sheet, or a piece of tin foil, and preheat the oven to hot.  They take less than a couple of minutes, and will go all sorts of funny shapes, before settling down and laying flat again, so don’t panic!

The other way is with a heat gun, and a pair of wooden handled tweezers or similar (so you don’t conduct the heat to yourself).  Just use the tweezers to hold the heart, and heat with your heat gun, until the plastic starts to squirm, which can be quite alarming, but it will come flat again.  Have an acrylic block handy, just to press down on the heart and make sure it is flat when still warm.  Do these one at a time this way.

The plastic shrinks about 40%, here is a picture to show you before and after, aren’t they cute?


You can also see that the colouring is now much darker, this happens in shrinking, so the lighter colours you use to colour the better.  See how the holes have shrunk in relation too, perfect for jump rings.  You can at this point, add some dimension with either glossy accents, Ice Resin, or clear embossing powder and flitterglu, to give shine to your piece.

At this stage, a little bit of jewellery making comes in, but it’s very simple.  All you need are some jump rings, I used 6mm ones, from a well known internet auction site, but any jewellery or hobby shop stocks them.  With two small pairs of pliers, twist the jump ring away from each other (do not pull apart, it weakens them).


Place the jump ring through one of the holes on your heart, and while it’s open, place another unopened one on it before closing.  This makes it easier to make your chain without having to open every ring.


Do this for all four pieces, until you have a continuous chain.


Now you need to keep checking the bracelet against your wrist.  If you used six hearts, you will need less jump rings on the ends of your chain.  Otherwise, as I have, keep adding jump rings until you have enough length on each end to nearly meet around your wrist.  Then you will need a Bolt Ring clasp, again easily purchased.


Attach one piece to a jump ring on one end of your bracelet, and the clasp to the other end.  Ta da!  Your bracelet should now look like this:



You can use any stamp for this, it’s great fun and cheap and easy for you to practice.  Of course at this time of year, it would be nice to put a few quid in the poppy fund, and wear your poppies with pride.

Don’t forget Kay and Alfie are at the NEC with Mags their lovely ‘show girl’ this weekend, pop along and say hi, and see all the fab demo’s Kay has got lined up for you!

See you on Monday, have a good weekend whatever you are up to.

Best Wishes,


Nikki K.










Tags: , , , , , ,
Posted in Mixed Media, Technique Day, Uncategorized
Pin It

1 Comment on Technique Thursday – Shrink Plastic Poppies

  1. Brilliant idea Nikki xxx

    Jenny Marples (Buttons) | November 6, 2014 at 11:55 am () ()