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Topic: Recycled Plastic Shrink Charms - with Tutorial  (Read 8322 times)
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Paper Tart
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« on: November 15, 2008 12:29:58 PM »

I've been inspired by Craftster for a long time and thought I should really contribute something - let me know what you think!

These are made with panels from #6 plastic containers - these are the containers that things like berries or deli items come in. There will be a little 6 in the Recycle triangle thingy - so you know you got the right type. Take it from me #1 doesn't work.
To start, you take your container and cut out the top and bottom. I tried using the sides and they warped really unpredictably - so I don't recommend using them. Clean the pieces of plastic and remove any labels - use rubbing alcohol and a soft cloth to get the sticky residue off.

Using a permanent fine point marker like a sharpie draw your design onto the the plastic. I just traced an image out of a clipart book. Remember to keep your design fairly simple so that you can still tell what it is when it's tiny!

Sand the back of the image with a fine grit sandpaper. Make your sanding scratches in all different directions so it is nice and even and frosty looking. Then use colored pencils to color your image. Next, trim out your design to whatever shape and punch holes if you are going to use is as a charm. I used a 3/16" punch and it made a hole just big enough for an embroidery needle or jump ring to go through.

Shrink it! I used my embossing gun to shrink these (but you can also use an oven). Make sure the surface you are working on won't get damaged by the heat gun. Delicately hold your piece with a wooden skewer or some other long handled non-meltable implement so it doesn't blow away while you're shrinking. Keep the heat gun moving around and try to heat the entire piece evenly.  Once it stops shrinking, let it cool and seal it. I used a gloss varnish for oil paintings - but you can use whatever you like. Just make sure it doesn't dissolve or smudge the pencils and marker before you apply it!

I also posted a tutorial on my blog with more photos http://papertart.blogspot.com/2008/11/how-to-make-plastic-shrink-charms-from.html

Now go dig through your trash (or recycle bin) and make stuff.  Smiley

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« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2008 01:17:56 PM »

That's a sweet tutorial.  I'm bookmarking this until I buy berries next!
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2008 03:32:47 AM »

I appreciate the opportunity to learn so much more than the opportunity to admire!  Thanks for the tute!  (Loooove squirrels  Kiss)
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2008 10:20:48 AM »

YAY!! Thank You!! I have been looking for something like this, thank you so much for the tutorial
Paper Tart
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« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2008 07:43:10 PM »

So glad to hear you like it!

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« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2008 07:13:14 AM »

Love the repurposing...I've got to try this! Grazie!

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« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2009 12:10:00 PM »

I cannot find #6 plastic on any kind of food container in my area. They are all #1 or #2. I did see on chemical and plastics professional society websites that #6 (polystyrene) is commonly used for CD cases (as well as video tapes), plastic models, smoke detector housings, disposable cutlery. It is a rigid plastic. Has anyone tried using any of these items for shrink art? I have a lot of access to old jewel cases, and we can't recycle them where we are. It would be great to reuse them, but I thought I'd check first to see if anyone has tried it, or knows of some hazard involved. Thanks!
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But can I make it out of clay?

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« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2009 12:49:55 AM »

that would be so convenient if they used #6 for cd cases. I have dozens of CDs that I want to reorganize and file

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« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2011 07:51:32 PM »

This is really cool and I want to try it, but I'd have to use an oven, is there like a temp you would suggest trying it at that wouldn't melt it to a puddle of melted plastic? lol

Paper Tart
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« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2011 09:29:24 PM »

I've baked them at 325F and that seemed to work really well. Be sure you have some wooden skewers or chopsticks on hand in case they stick to themselves.

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