Yesterday, I blogged a post about Bumble, a little crochet fridge magnet and included a picture of the magnetic friends my children made for him out of Shrinky Plastic.
I promised a tutorial of how to work with this amazing plastic, so here it is!
I bought the Shrinky Plastic online. We used Shrinkles, but there are lots of different brands and I can’t say I have noticed a huge amount of difference between them. What is important for this project, is that the plastic is opaque. I used white, but you can get coloured Shrinky Plastic as well. That way the magnet will not show through the plastic.
The girls used a plate to trace a large circle onto the plastic. It will shrink up to 7 times the original size so it important to make sure the picture fills the whole space. Sharpies are perfect for this project, but Fabric Markers and colour pencils also work well. The colour will get darker as the plastic shrinks.
I love projects that give the girls opportunities to discuss their ideas together. It is great for their communication skills and encourages sibling team work.
Approximately half way through the drawing stage, it is important to stop and have a ‘who can pull the funniest face’ competition. (remind me to buy her teacher an extra large bottle of wine this Christmas!)
Once the picture is finished, I cut them out for the girls, and placed them on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Do not put them directly onto the metal. I have heard you can put them directly onto a teflon surface but I haven’t tried this and don’t want to risk ruining your pan, so I recommend parchment paper (or brown paper but not wax paper).
They only need about a min or so in the oven. I used a pre heated oven on about 170C (340F or gas mark 3). Pre heating the oven is really important. The plastic will curl and flip about as it shrinks…DON”T PANIC!…. It will flatten down. Once it is flat it is ready.
Carefully remove the shrunken disc and if needed place a book on the top to flatten the disc completely.
Be careful they are VERY hot when the come out of the oven.
I used a glue gun to attach the Mini Magnets, and voilà 5 imperfectly perfect buddies for Bumble.
Any marks on the paper from chubby little hands covered in pen, which do not look noticeable before shrinking, will look darker once they have been baked. Therefore, when doing this project again, I would ask the children to wash their hands between pictures to avoid the smudging you can see in the pictures above.
If you want to have a go at making a Bumble you can get a copy of the pattern for free here.