Make a Shrink-Plastic Ring

comments (19) September 15th, 2008     

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Jen_W Jennifer Worick, contributor
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You can make a gorgeous ring with shrink plastic and rubber stamps.
Anything thats small and tubular can be used as a mandrel.
To find a mandrel, simply slip a favorite ring on. If its snug, youve found a mandrel.
Your strips will look like large Band-Aids before you shrink them.
Wrap your shrink plastic around your mandrel and let it cool.
You can make a gorgeous ring with shrink plastic and rubber stamps.

You can make a gorgeous ring with shrink plastic and rubber stamps.

Photo: Jennifer Worick

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.

You'll need:

  • 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
  • tongs
  • 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?

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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.

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posted in: Jewelry, wearable, ring, shrink plastic

Comments (19)

ShannonThompson writes: I hope someone sees this since this thread is a couple years old =o)

I'm using Shrinky Dink Frosted Ruff n' Ready and StazOn Solvent Ink Pad

Each time I stamp (on the rough side) the ink runs. I've tried less ink, blotting the stamp before stamping on the SD, but it keep running into the roughed up lines.

I've used both clear mountable stamps and rubber wood mounted.

I've let the ink dry on its own as well as gently blowing across it and it still runs.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Hints or tips? Thanks!!
Posted: 3:51 pm on June 22nd
PetrinaCase writes: Please let us know where the layering is used where you said:

"but since we are layering pieces, the thinner original stuff works great.

This will be great to try and thank you for sharing. Wow, you got a nice comment from the famous Jeff Rudell. Congrats!

Happy thoughts,
Posted: 1:38 pm on May 27th
samsstuff writes: Cute! Thanks for posting this fun tutorial!
Posted: 9:35 pm on May 26th
livelifelaughing writes: These are so cute! :) Are there any guidelines for what kind of ink I should use if I want to draw on these instead of stamp? Thanks for sharing the idea!
Posted: 8:28 pm on May 26th
KittyBallistic writes: I have just 'discovered' shrink plastic, and I intend to have a go at this project. I've blogged about it here:
Posted: 3:13 am on April 14th
KittyBallistic writes: I've just got into making things with shrink plastic, and I am going to try making a ring soon. I've blogged about this tutorial here:
Posted: 3:12 am on April 14th
Jen_W writes: You can actually get the shrinky dinks frosted ruff n ready stuff at Michaels or you can look online at the shrinky dinks site. Good luck!
Posted: 2:15 pm on March 4th
DawnDotSaucyMinx writes: This is going to sound stupid.. I know.. But I have never been exposed to shrink plastic.
I was a girl scout, I dont know how this could have happened.
Where the heck can I find it? How much does it generally run? Im uber excited to play with this.. And any excuse for stamps is a good one!
Please help!!
Posted: 9:40 pm on March 3rd
shrtcke writes: love shrink plastic now I have another way to use it. thanks. Great idea.
Posted: 12:56 pm on January 23rd
CalPatch writes: those are great! i haven't Shrinky-Dinked since i was a kid, but have been meaning to for ages. thanks for the inspiration!
Posted: 1:31 am on October 3rd
Akiyo_Kano writes: Hi, thank you so much for your tutorial, it was so easy to follow and inspiring, I had a go at it myself. I have linked your tutorial on my blog so that others can have a read.
Posted: 6:15 pm on September 20th
VictoriaNorth writes: I really want to try these. You make it sound so easy. Now it is just a matter of finding the time.
Posted: 4:10 pm on September 16th
Jen_W writes: Thanks for all of your comments! I'll keep trying to bring on the tutorials, bring on da funk.
Posted: 3:24 pm on September 16th
Rebekah_Lynne writes: I'm always looking for something new to do. I can't wait to try this one.
Posted: 10:01 am on September 16th
JennlovesSteve writes: This is great! I am going to go buy the supplies tomorrow! Thanks!
Posted: 9:48 pm on September 15th
MichaelaMurphy writes: Nice post Jen, I love how you just whipped these up! So pretty!
Posted: 8:20 pm on September 15th
dany4bec writes: I LOOOve shrink plastic and all its possibilities. Your tutorial is great, thanks! BTW There is a great Klutz book "Klutz Shrink Art Jewelry Book" Written by Karen Phillips, it has great ring templates and a cool little sizer. I'm gonna make some rings today!
Posted: 3:45 pm on September 15th
soobahkdomom writes: YES! I just got a stamp with a longhorn on it, my daughter's school mascot. I've been wanting to make both of us something we can use everyday and around town to support our school! I'm going out this week to get some shrink plastic!
Posted: 2:54 pm on September 15th
Jeff_Rudell writes: These directions are great (I alway run things by my 10-year-old niece as a sort of field test and she agrees that they are clear and easy to follow.) I'm going out to pick up supplies so then next time we're all stuck inside on a rainy day, the nieces and I (there are five of them!) can have an afternoon of jewelry making. As one of them said, "This could make me very popular with my friends." Ah, the social benefits of bling! LOL.

Posted: 12:49 pm on September 15th
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