Make a Shrink-Plastic Ringcomments (19) September 15th, 2008
I love big, bold rings, so I got to thinking that maybe I could make something out of shrink plastic. The results are great, but they are a bit brittle. Try not to slam your palms down on the bar when you are laughing hysterically. They might break.
I like using the classic Shrinky Dinks “Frosted Ruff n’ Ready” plastic. It gives you a nice translucent white quality to your pieces. There are others on the market that will give you a thicker result, but since we are layering pieces, the thinner original stuff works great.
- 1 sheet Shrinky Dinks “Frosted Ruff n’ Ready”
- large rubber stamp of your choice
- StazOn solvent ink pad
- sharp scissors
- small sheet of parchment paper
- small sheet of thick cardboard
- toaster oven or oven
- mandrel (can be a lip balm, marker, paintbrush handle, anything that will give you the circumference of your ring)
Step 1: Preheat your oven or toaster oven to 325°F. Sketch out your pieces. Shrink plastic will shrink to 1/3 or 1/2 of the original size, so you might not be able to accurately gauge the reduction at first but that’s part of the fun. For me, I used the original Shrinky Dinks “Frosted Ruff n’ Ready.” I measured one of my favorite rings, and it had a 2-1/4-inch circumference so I doubled the length for the preshrunk plastic. So I marked off a 4-1/2-inch x 1-inch band to end up with a ring that fits and is 1/2 inch wide. Make sense?
Step 2: You’ll need to find a mandrel around the house that will give you the desired circumference for your ring. There will be a bit of a gap between the ends of your ring, but you want to get it as close as possible. I took a favorite ring and tried to snugly slip it on various tubes I had around the house. One of my lip balms was the perfect size, but a marker or handle of a wooden spoon could also work. Once you find it, set it near the oven; you’ll need it in Step 6.
Step 3: Before cutting out your strips, stamp the shrink plastic. I use StazOn ink pads because the ink is permanent and won’t wash off after the shrinking process. With the “rough” size of the plastic facing up, stamp a pattern on your plastic with a large rubber stamp. Allow to dry thoroughly.
Step 4: Cut out your strips with a pair of scissors, rounding the ends. You’ll end up with a strip that has a Band-Aid shape.
Step 5: Now you’re ready to shrink. Place a piece of small parchment paper over your cardboard. Slip your cardboard tray into the oven and keep an eye on it. After about 20 seconds, your strip will start curling; this indicates that the shrinking has begun. It will writhe and curl and eventually flatten back out (if it doesn’t, feel free to pull the ends apart and pop it back in the oven). Wait until it has completely settled down, then remove the cardboard with tongs (it will be hot).
Step 6: Your strip will be hot, so wait about 5 to 10 seconds before handling. Starting on one end, wrap the plastic around your mandrel as if you are rolling up a pig in a blanket. The ends should not touch. Allow to cool. Slip off the mandrel and slip on your finger.
Note: For an added flourish, rim the edges of your ring with a metallic paint pen.
After you make this project, show off your work to other members!
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