2016 Topic 16: Beads,Charms and Dangles
Hi everyone!! It's Wanda Hentges (artbywanda.blogspot.com) here. Tonight I'd like to share with you a post about creating jewelry/charms/dangles with shrink plastic.
I enjoy making jewelry and charms, even beads, with shrink plastic and this topic was a good motivator to get some done. Years ago I did some pieces with this same basic design!! It was great revisiting this and it will be fun to wear these or I might add the charm to a book or card. I have a scarf I want to wear the pin with. Since these are really light weight, the pin shouldn't "pull" the scarf when I have it on.
I'm using white shrink plastic and 2 oval punches. I prepped the shrink plastic by sanding it well with a sanding block. I sanded in four directions - horizontal, vertical, and both diagonal directions. Sanding in multiple directions gives tooth to the plastic and the surface doesn't show any of the sanding lines, it's smooth but not shiny smooth.
Before shrinking, the larger oval I used is about 3" x 3 7/8". The smaller oval is about 2 7/16" x 3 5/16". After shrinking, the large oval is about 1 1/4" x 1 5/8". You could also use dies to cut the shrink plastic and they could be any shape - oval, circle, triangle, square, etc. - or go free form and cut whatever you want.
If you are using 2 shapes the same but different sizes and you want to place them together with even edges then it's important to cut both pieces of your plastic from the sheet in the same direction. The reason is the plastic doesn't shrink exactly the same amount in all directions.
I used the larger oval to create the bottom piece of each project. I put texture in the piece by stamping the hot plastic with a rubber stamp inked with clear ink. I used the largest floral image on EEB08 and VersaMark ink.
I placed the piece of plastic on a thin cardboard covered with parchment paper, and put it in my oven at about 325 degrees. While it was shrinking I inked up the stamp. You have to work fast as the plastic cools very quickly. When it's done shrinking (you can tell this because as the piece shrinks it contorts and then will go back to laying flat when it is done), you take it from the oven, immediately place the stamp over the piece and press hard. You can even just set the cardboard directly on the floor, place the stamp on top, and step on it. You hold this for a few seconds and then take the stamp off.
You are left with a textured piece, that texture determined by your stamp. *I thought I'd taken a picture of the piece with just the texture in it (not finished) but I don't seem to have one*
Below is the first project I did and I turned it into a pin. The bottom piece of plastic was done exactly as explained and then I used Treasure Gold in both White Fire and Brass to bring out the texture. I also put the Treasure Gold on the outside edge. After buffing, I sealed the piece with Treasure Sealer.
For the top piece of plastic I stamped the flourish from EEB08 with Fresco Finish Paint Gold and let it dry, I then painted in the image with Hey Pesto and Glass Blue thinning the paint a bit with water to keep it very light. Any colouring done on shrink plastic before shrinking comes out darker after shrinking. To add colour around the edge of the piece I used Glass Blue and a fan brush to lightly make wispy lines.
The picture below shows my cardboard covered with parchment paper, a pot holder, a large kitchen spoon, the plastic ready to shrink and an extra small piece of parchment to lay over the plastic when I press it. Again I used my oven to shrink the piece. You can use a heat tool but I like using the oven for these because the whole piece is evenly hot for either pressing into or shaping.
Here is the piece after shrinking and using the spoon to make it domed. Once shrunk I took it out of the oven, quickly (but carefully) picked it up, put it on the spoon, placed a piece of parchment paper over it and pressed over it with the oven mitt.
I actually found this to be a bit difficult as the plastic wanted to slide and you can't see through the mitt. I even had an edge that I did not like how it laid so I put the piece back in the oven to get hot again and then reshaped it without using the mitt. Yep, it was hot and I kept changing fingers but it was easier to control. After the fact I thought perhaps band-aids on my thumbs would have helped - protection against heat but I'd still be able to see what I was doing.
A side view. This picture was taken after the first time I shrunk it and my long sides just didn't shape as well as I would have liked. See how it sticks up in the centre area... and the other side even did it a bit more.
I sealed the stamped piece with Krylon Crystal Clear. If this was going on a card or book, I might not have bothered to seal the pieces but if it's something I'm going to wear, I prefer it to be sealed. Once both pieces were dry, I glued them together and added the pin back. You can see in this picture how much nicer the front piece is shaped after being heated and shaped a second time.
Here is my second piece. Before heating and pressing the bottom piece of plastic I punched a 1/8" hole in the plastic. When shrunk this leaves a place to add a jump ring or to just tie it onto something with string or ribbon. If you know you are going to use a thicker string or ribbon then start with a 1/4" hole before shrinking.
I painted the plastic with London Bus before shrinking. I just used my finger to paint it on very thin around the edges. No need to bother with the centre since it gets covered. The heating and stamping was done the same as with the first one but it wasn't stamped with the same area of that large flower image - notice how the pattern looks different then the first project. Once cooled I used Treasure Gold White Fire to enhance the texture including putting it on the edge. I then buffed it and again sealed with Treasure Sealer being sure my hole was open and not filled with sealer.
For the front piece of plastic I stamped the small flower from EEB07 with Slate paint and let it dry.
Then I decided to paint it in with Neocolor II again keeping the colour light so that it wouldn't be too dark after shrinking. I also used the fan brush to add streaks of colour around the edge.
When I made the first piece it was hard to keep the shrunk piece in place on the metal spoon. I wondered if using a wooden spoon would make it a bit easier so I used one instead of the metal and it did work better.
I also tried the whole band-aids on the thumbs idea :-) It worked really well. So I shrank the piece, pulled it from the oven, immediately put it on the spoon, covered it with the small piece of parchment and used my thumbs to do the pressing giving it a nice dome shape although not quite as high as with the other spoon. I sealed this piece with Krylon Crystal Clear and attached it to the back piece.
I had a lot of fun making these and am itching to do more. I had actually not thought of doing a free form piece until I was writing up this post. I think that would be way cool maybe even adding a flip or curl here and there. I am looking forward to seeing what you come up with. Please be sure to link up your projects on the challenge post.
Thanks for following along!!!!
Ohh the brooch is so pretty Wanda, and a bonus of being lightweight. Great colouring details and brilliant shaping tips. I love how you achieved the background texture, just genius. ~Darcy
We would love to see how you interpret this Beads,Charms and Dangles topic by linking what you make to our 2016 Challenge #16: Beads,Charms and Dangles, on this page HERE. All of our bloggers love to see your twist on their ideas, particularly if you were inspired directly by their post.
All links go in the draw to win a £50 voucher to spend on products of your choice from the PaperArtsy online store. The Beads,Charms and Dangles link will close 17:00 (London Time) Sunday, Sept 4th 2016. The winner will be announced 2 hours later at 19:00.