How to Make Your Own Shrink-Art Buttonscomments (19) March 1st, 2009
3. Trace or draw any desired design freehand, or color in your button completely if you want to. 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. You could also try stripes, polka dots, or any other repeating pattern to decorate your buttons. And you can make the opposite sides of the buttons different colors if you like, too.
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. However, a bit of a handmade look can be nice—shrink plastic doesn't always retain its symmetry as it shrinks and reshapes.
5. Let them cool completely before using them in your next craft project.
Next week I'll have a tutorial up for a project to make with your shrink-art buttons—stay tuned!
After you make this project, show off your work to other members!
Post your project in the gallery