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Topic: Brooch the subject of potato chips and you'll get burned!  (Read 1109 times)
Tags for this thread: brooch , shrinky_dink , shrinky_jewelry , potato_chips  Add new tag
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« on: June 22, 2017 12:05:10 PM »

At the tail end of May, I bought a stack of 27 books, including Sally Norton's The Girls' Book of Excellence! Leafing through that volume, I saw a project for making potato chip bag brooches which looked pretty cool, so, I decided to give that a try.

The idea was that you'd stick empty mini chip bags into your oven for 10 minutes, and, much like Shrinky Dinks, they'd magically reduce in size, become thicker, and you could then attach safety pins onto the backs of the bags and wear them as brooches. Who doesn't want to sport tiny bags of chips on their chest? All the cool kids are doing it; don't you want to be cool?

Spoiler alert: that didn't happen.

I happened to have some little bags of Lay's kettle-cooked potato chips and Pampa honey/chocolate chip mini teddy bear graham crackers lying around the house, so, those are what I consumed and used (a noble sacrifice on my part, solely in the interest of art).

We have a natural gas range, and the book said to put your oven on the highest setting, which is 500 degrees Fahrenheit on ours, thusly, that's what I did, although I did have some misgivings about that, and would have much preferred that the instructions gave a specific temperature number instead.

The baking kettle chip bag seemed promising at first. It curled and shrank a bit, much like Shrinky Dinks are supposed to do, but then things went horribly wrong, as the bag collapsed in upon itself and became a mishappen lump. More than anything, it resembles a human heart to me (maybe I'll give it a red/pink paint job one of these days if I'm bored):

Meanwhile, the teddy graham bags weren't doing anything, but, I patiently waited, and they eventually began to shrink too, but only by about 25% (the book indicated that the bags should shrink by about two-thirds and become around 2 inches wide). They also remained relatively flat, like they were supposed to, unlike the kettle chip bag. I waited and waited, but the bags were starting to get noticeably darker, which I was afraid meant burning was imminent, so I gave up and stopped.

Now, my kettle chip lump popped right off of the cooking sheet with no problems and had a nice, smooth bottom where it had been in contact with the metal. The teddy grahams, on the other hand, melted to and adhered to the metal and were nearly impossible to remove. I scraped and I prodded, but could do very little with just my hands and nails. I then broke out the steel wool scouring pads, which helped some, but those still weren't removing much either, so, I had to ratchet things up still another notch and grabbed some large-grit sandpaper. Yes, I seriously sanded a cookie sheet. It took around half an hour to accomplish, a lot of elbow grease, and scratched the sheet's surface up horribly, but I eventually got all of that melted plastic off. Even so, given the possibility of chemical residue, it probably wouldn't be too smart for me to eat anything cooked directly on that surface ever again. Oh, how I wish I had put the chip and graham bags on a sheet of aluminum foil instead, which was my first inclination, as I could have just simply wadded the whole botched mess up into a ball and thrown it away!

Those teddy grahams were a cheap brand from Dollar Tree (they were delicious though), manufactured in India, so, I would guess that those bags may have been made from a lower grade of plastic than the Lay's kettle chips (also yummy), which I would further speculate accounts for the vast difference in how they reacted to the heat. I'm really not sure what I did wrong though, as I followed the book's instructions to the letter . . .

« Last Edit: June 26, 2017 08:12:05 AM by Patraw - Reason: added another photo because you can never have too many of those! » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2017 01:31:11 PM »

I find that those older books of cool things to do with chip bags and household items often are sadly behind the times. Materials change, items disappear, and maybe, just maybe are written to drive parents crazy scrapping offsprings experiments off cookie sheets. You were very, very brave.

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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2017 03:41:58 AM »

The caption in the photo by the rainbow haired girl (I am sadly ignorant to what her name night be, if she does have a name).  - I heard in my head as voiced by Mr. T.

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« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2017 11:34:56 AM »

Yeah, that sounds likely.  I imagine company scientists are always changing their plastic formulas to optimize various properties.

The girl doll in the photo is Rainbow Dash too, just like the pegasus.  In the My Little Pony: Equestria Girls animated films, all of the MLP horses have humanoid counterparts in another dimension (which is really just a flimsy excuse for Hasbro to manufacture and sell My Little Pony dolls in addition to the traditional toy horses).

And Rainbow Dash wants you to know that she could totally take out Mr. T any day of the week, just name the time and the place.
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« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2017 12:01:50 PM »

Aw...miniature chip bag brooches would be fab! 
So bummed to hear it didn't go as planned.
I wonder if using an embossing heat tool would give different results?
I've used it with shrinky dink sheets with success  Smiley


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« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2017 05:27:08 AM »

Well thank you for the useful warning. I'm sorry you had to deal with all that melted plastic on your baking sheet. If you got it all off I'm sure it would still be safe to use as the original bag was used for food items so it can't be toxic.
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« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2017 07:30:44 AM »

I can totally see a human heart in your first attempt, so although it bombed as a mini chip bag brooch, it is a pretty successful heart shaped...thingie.

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« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2017 08:20:56 AM »

@loves2experiment:  I don't own an embossing heat tool, but, it's possible that might work.  All I have is a woodburner, and from past experience, I know that touching plastic with that generally causes unpleasant things to happen (although, if you're very careful, you can "cook" plastic by holding it close to, but not touching, the wood burner's surface).

@elderflower:  Before I cooked them, I would agree that the bags were safe to eat off of, however, once you apply heat, all bets are off, because that can significantly change a substance's chemical makeup.  The cooking sheet is probably safe, now that's it's clean, but, I'd rather not chance it, so, if I ever cook on it again, I'll put aluminum foil down first.

@pottermouth:  That molten "heart" is still sitting on my computer keyboard, contemplating its future lot in life.  I probably should slap some paint on it to see how it looks, as a human heart brooch would probably be pretty neat too.
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