Part 2: What would happen if..? (The Shrinky Dink Test Lab)

[3 Jul 2008 | By | 19 Comment(s) | 36,887 views ]

Shrinky Dinky Test Lab – Intro
Shrinky Dinky Test Lab – Part 1 – How to make Doodle earrings

The Shrinky Dink Test Lab – Part 2

After I finished making the doodle charms, I sat down to write up the tutorial… but I got distracted thinking about what other things I could try. These are the first of the results. Includes instructions for making charms with a different technique.

Test 1: Coloring on the front and back.
One of the difficulties in coloring the Doodle Charms was that the black sharpie would smear when you touched another color to it. Not a huge deal, but I figured i’d see how it would be to do the black design on the front, and then color it in on the back. For this example, I did a set of wine charms.

Follow the detailed directions from Part 1, but draw your design on the front, and color it on the back.

See Photo above for a step by step.

Results: Very nice! an interesting 3D effect, and easier to color. Try to make sure you color all the back and don’t leave blank spots.
So, this was successful (and easy) but I wanted more!

Test 2: What really happens if you try to seal them with the stuff you have lying around the house?I had read before that you had to be very careful sealing these things, as it could mess them up. There are many threads on the web with the best ways to do this. I couldnt really remember what would happen, so why not try? Now the basement where all the paints and stuff are kept is hubby’s domain, but I found a can of clear, non-yellowing top coat, to give it a try. (Had a read the label and seen acetone as an ingredient, I might have had a clue what would happen)

Results: Well, some good and some bad… The colors faded considerably, almost immediately. It did take out any ‘brush marks’, which was nice, and did leave an interesting mottled appearance (if that worked with the look you were going for). The lighter colors were the most affected (orange in particular – black was hardly impacted at all). I also screwed up and didn’t read a can, and sprayed one of them (the star) with green spray paint! Luckily it was on the back, so you can still see the design from the front.

Test Lab, what happens when you spray them with clear top coat

Test 3: Coloring over the raised plastic #6 symbol & coloring in dark colors to see what kind of cool effects you could get by spraying with top coat.

The 3rd Shrinky Dink experiment
1- Freshly colored, note the triangle around the hole punch. 2-Freshly cooked -triangle is gone. 3-Freshly sprayed 4- A comparison to the original size

This was a dual test (done using the back colored method of test 1). First I wanted to see what would happen if i shrunk the #6 triangle symbol on the plastic. My hypothesis was that it would disappear.
Results: And I was correct. The only issue with this is it is harder to color (and there was some blotchness where i probably put more color in that area trying to color it in). You would be fine filling in with a solid color, but i wouldn’t recommend trying to draw a straight line over it.

I also broke the rule from Part 1 to use light colors. I used dark colors, in the hopes that I would then spray it with the top coat, and lighten it, for an interesting effect.
Results: Note that i kinda screwed up on the coloring. I only colored in the clear spaces on the back, but not the area i could see were black lines. once the plastic thinkened, you can see the blank, uncolored spaces if you’re not looking at it straight on. So then I sprayed it, to see if the colors would lighten up. This worked ok, but the different colors seem to lighten different amounts, and really there was not alot of effect on the dark colors. The orange, however, which shrinks to almost red, tends to go pinkish and blotchy. However, i think it bled the colors together a little bit, and helped my blank spaces problem!

Coming tomorrow: Part 3 – More experiments! See All!
…ok, so i lied. Tomorrow being the 4th of july, here in the states, i probably will be too busy.. but I’ve got my a brunch to plan, the Peachtree Road Race to “watch”, my mimosas to make and Guilder to frame for it; I’m swamped. ;) But I will throw up a quickie bonus feature!

Oh yeah, and you know me, i need validation that I didn’t write all this up for it never to be seen by human eyes… so don’t forget that posting a comment on one of the posts in this series enters you in the drawing to win some of the output of the experiments!

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19 Comment(s) »

  • Polly Nobbs-LaRue [] :

    I love to see experiments posted, thanks for saving the shrinky world from some trial & error!

    Shrinky sheets are a great idea for wine charms. So many I’ve seen are so generic (how many styles of wine-related or food-related or diva-related or red-hat-related charms are there?). This is a great way to make custom ones.

  • Cass [] :

    These are so cute – I might have to try this. Still hoping for tips on sealing these – I could see using them as backpack charms, but wonder how they’d hold up…

    :) cass

  • ValGalArt [] :

    I think they came out very neato!Shrinky dinks makes a coating that looks to be miniscule pieces of plastic that you spread on it when you are ready to seal and it works really well and doesn’t fade the colours. :)

  • Dot [] :

    yeah, but where’s the fun in that!? Thanks for the tip..

  • Creative Origins [] :

    Love your designs, great ideas.
    Thanks for sharing, have wasted tons of shrinky dink plastic doing experiments, myself. It’s nice to know how to do it on the cheap!
    Thanks, again.

  • kpotragic [] :

    I really appreciate you doing all the random “what if” experaments..becuase that’s totaly something I would do. You saved me lots of time and the little bit of sanity I would have lost going crazy for 3 or 4 weeks making these non stop trying to get it just right!

  • Quilter's Friend [] :

    great stuff! I experimented with this years ago and had forgotten. Now I am going to have to go out to eat!


  • mama k [] :

    Found you via whip up and linked to you myself ( I’ve been reading through all the shrinky posts this morning. Love it!!!

  • Dvlish [] :

    Just fabulous! I found your blog via a link in….I am trying the wine charms for sure!

  • Dot [] :

    cool! in an evite?
    thanks for all the nice words everyone..


  • lorrwill [] :

    Sharing your wonderful experiments IS a win for me.

    These are great. Thanks so much for posting this information.

  • Tami (Pixeltrash) [] :

    I’ve had this up on my computer for a few days and finally got a chance to read it. I can’t wait to give it a try! I don’t have any to go containers and everyone around here seems to use styrofoam, so I don’t know where I will get one. OH…wait… I might have one that ribbon came in from the dollar store! Hmmmm….. Off to see!

  • [] :

    I'm so glad I found your great shrink ideas. I have thrown away too many of the containers food stuff come in. Now I will watch for the #6 ones. I have wanted to make some shrink things to use as dangles on some memory wire bracelets I'm making. Now I know what to use and I don't have to go and find (and buy) shrink art sheets.

    Thanks so MUCH……Peg (Writer 347) I suppose I should change now to Artist347)

  • Tisha [] :

    Well it is nice to know i am not the only one who spends hours and hours playing with shrinks. re sealing the colors-I have had good success with clear fingernail polish ie sealer. Also the clear 36 shrinks with the art on the rough side don’t need to be sealed-the color is permanent as can be. I see from you instruction on the earrings that you do no sand one side-if you did – and if you draw with pencils and perm ink the color will be permanent.

  • TLACAELEL [] :

    Muchas gracias, de verdad se me hacen maravillosos sus trabajos!!! Ya quiero hacer mis propias piezas de arte!!!
    Thank you very much!!!!

  • baila [] :

    hey, ive been looking around the house for plastics that say #6 on them without success. do you know if transparansies are made of this kind of plastic?

    also, as far as a sealant is concerned, go to any craft/hardware store and buy a can of acrylic sealer ( you can get matte or glossy). it works well – the only time teh color came off was when i got foamy hand sanitizer from the hospital on it so im guessing alcohal takes it off.

  • Anna [] :

    I can’t wait to go our to eat so I can get a to-go container so I can make some wine charms!!! love the blog – so jealous, wish i had time to do all this fun stuff! Keep up the good work! I’m definitely doing the wine charms!

  • Magdalena [] :

    Absolutely love all the posts on working with shrink plastics! Where were you when i started experimenting with this stuff?? wish i could have seen this site before that. I absolutely love working with the white glossy sheets, i do freehand sketches that eventually turn into components for my jewelry pieces, and it was trial and error for a while as my main concern was sealing the artwork!!~ Spray sealants did not work for me at all, it literally ate all the artwork, no matter how far away i was from the piece. Tried with Mod Podge which worked great! but then it yellowed, not so pretty…decided to leave it alone and try to protect from dust, cleaning with alcohol carefully around the artwork does wonders, just don’t seal after that, again artwork will “bleed”. Still experimenting and trying to find the perfect sealer as i use Sharpies. Thanks for all the great tips.

  • cathryn [] :

    now i’m wondering if i could use my printer with the sheets, and what it would be like to shrink them. would the ink stick? would the plastic feed through? would it smear when you cut it, or dry thoroughly? stay tuned for our next episode… (seriously, my printer is broken- can’t wait to see if this is possible)