Pretty Pet Tags!comments (21) February 15th, 2009
If you ever did shrink art as a kid, I'm sure you vividly remember the magical moment of peering into the toaster oven, watching your plastic curl and puff up dramatically before shrinking into a tiny, perfect replica of your drawing. Now you can use the same shrink plastic sheets to make a fun, decorative charm to go along with the utilitarian name and address tag on your pet's collar—choose his or her initial, a design or pattern you like, or anything else that comes to mind!
- Shrink plastic sheets
- A round template to trace, larger than your desired size (I traced a round 2.25-inch tin, which shrank down to 1 inch across)
- Scissors or decorative-edged scissors (I used plain for my P, and scalloped for my flowered design)
- Standard hole punch
- Sharpie or other marker
- Toaster oven
- Jump ring or split ring
1. Trace a circle or other shape of your choice lightly onto the shrink plastic sheet. Cut it out using the scissors of your choice.
2. Punch a hole just inside the circle, using a standard-size hole punch. The hole will shrink neatly just like the shape will, leaving it the perfect size for a ring to thread through.
3. Trace or draw your desired design freehand. I hand-drew a simple letter P in an old-fashioned style, but tracing a font you especially like for an initial or word is a nice personal touch. For my flowers, I just drew simple, organic shapes that filled the circle, with some edges showing, but you could trace a favorite vintage fabric or photograph if you like, too. Remember, if you use colored markers, they will shrink down to a much darker and more concentrated shade, so fill in with color lightly instead of thick coats.
4. When you're happy with your design, get a piece of clean aluminum foil and fold one edge up (as advised by my shrink plastic package instructions) for easy grabbing when the pieces are finished. Follow the directions on the package to shrink your pieces in a toaster oven, placing them on the foil sheet at least an inch apart. Remember, they'll curve and puff up before shrinking back down to flat again (which is weird and fun to watch!), and if they finish up warped, you can smooth them down with the back of a spoon before they cool off. You can also reshrink any pieces that aren't quite even.
5. Using pliers, add a split or jump ring through the hole in the charm, then use the ring to connect it to the collar loop.
Note: This plastic is lightweight and the charm is meant to serve as a fun extra decoration, not to replace a professionally made tag with your contact info. You might want to use a split ring to put it on the collar loop, too (I used a plain jump ring in the photos), and do make sure that it's securely on there so your pet can't gnaw on it or break it.
After you make this project, show off your work to other members!
Post your project in the gallery