Shrink Plastic – Product Write Up

  Shrink Plastic 

 Product Write Up

Below are some photo`s of Shrink packets as well as the sanding blocks that are often used on the product too – click here for the product




I have added this frosted one too as i have used it for the

Lyra Aquacolour`s – and it works a dream

& at the time of starting this write up it was the only shrink I could find as I brought it at the NEC – still haven`t  found my other packs so have brought some more – any excuse !!!!


What is shrink plastic?

Shrink plastic is plastic stock that is heated and stretched in two directions until a thin sheet is formed. When heated again, the plastic returns to its original dimension and overall thickness.
For creative uses, the plastic sheet is usually sanded and design is applied using a wide variety of art supplies. Scissors are used to trim and shape. Holes can be punched using an ordinary paper punch.
When finished designs are baked, the plastic shrinks to approximately 45% its original size and returns to its original 1/16 inch thickness. During the shrinking process most art materials are permanently bonded to the surface.



Why is it good for creative projects?

The shrinking process has a wonderful effect on the design and color that’s applied before baking. Simple designs become crisper, elaborate designs look amazingly detailed, and colors look rich and vibrant.
No special tools are needed. Before baking, the plastic is thin and can be cut with scissors. Complex cut outs that couldn’t be made using scissors at the baked thickness are easy to make before shrinking.
How is PolyShrink™ different ?

Poly Shrink is made to our specifications, and is tested for even, reliable shrinkage. PolyShrink also gives you the creative versatility of 4 different types. Each type has its own special visual quality, so you can choose just the look you want for any project.

· Clear
Great for see-through techniques where color is applied to the back to be viewed through the front of the finished piece. Color seen through the plastic is extremely vibrant and gives a feeling of depth. Also use Clear PolyShrink when you want a glass-like effect or look.
· Translucent
There’s an appealing soft look to Translucent that suits certain images and themes. It’s also the type that many people prefer for simple designs with large areas left as is, without any background color.
· Canvas White
For designs where you want crisp color and high contrast, choose Canvas White PolyShrink. Even extremely detailed drawings or stamped images read well and keep their visual impact.
· Black
Black PolyShrink provides a dramatic backdrop for many of your favorite art and stamping supplies. Use colored pencils, stamping inks, metallic markers and rub-ons for beautiful, rich effects.


Stamping Supplies:

 here are some of the different colouring products that can be used for on Shrink

 Heat setting & Metallic Inks: Brilliance ink pads ,                      Permanent (alcohol) Pigment Inks    

  Other Inks & Paints: 
Iridescent Calligraphy Inks,  Canvas Transparent Acrylics , 
Silk Screen Inks 

    Paint, Metallic & Permanent Markers:

  • Chalk Pastels (non-oil) & Colored Pencils:


   • Highlighting Media (metallic rub-ons):• Sealers:
   Sprays such as Krylon® Matte or Gloss, most craft sprays


What baking method is best?
You’ll get good results using a conventional or toaster oven. The even heat that an oven provides is a plus, especially when baking complicated shapes or pieces with interior cut outs, such as frames.
You can also heat PolyShrink with an embossing heat tool. The maximum temperature of different models varies up to 300º F. If you’re having the feeling that the shrinking process is out of control and happening too fast, move the gun 4 or 5 inches back to slow things down. Keep the heat tool moving to heat the PolyShrink as evenly as you can. Being directly involved in the shrinking process is fun, and it’s easy to see how the shrinking process is going. You can even flip your piece over to help it heat evenly.

Heating PolyShrink with an embossing tool is the method of choice for the Intaglio technique. Please see the PolyShrink General Instructions for details.

Expect PolyShrink to curl and move during baking. Occasionally a piece may stick to itself as it shrinks. To separate, allow the piece to cool and pull gently. You’ll hear a tiny “snap” as the joint comes apart. You can now reheat the piece and finish shrinking.
Baked PolyShrink is very pliable while it is hot. It can be smoothed flat using cardboard or shaped over a variety of objects


What is the best way to cut out complicated shapes?
Small scissors with narrow blades are easier to maneuver than larger scissors. To make cutting sharp inside corners easier, cut to the corner coming from one direction, then turn the PolyShrink around and finish the cut from the opposite direction.

For pieces with interior cuts, like picture frame style designs, make an opening for your scissors by punching several overlapping holes with a paper punch, or cut an X using a single edge razor blade or exacto knife.


 You’ll find lots of great tips in the PolyShrink General Instructions. There’s information on baking, art materials, stamping ink techniques, the Intaglio technique and lots more.

To get yours ,
Click Here.
Also visit the Q & A  page for lots more information.
All the above information was written from the Lucky Squirrel sitewhich are produces of Poly Shrink – but I felt it was best to have the information from the product itself and it has produced lots of useful information on the product too


This is a vast subject and I have tried to add as much information as I can – with the pieces I have found from the site itself – but this write up is only my view as a guidance – but all the fan pieces I have done to ensure the different mediums work – with some interesting results too

1. So after reading Craig ( Sakura ) on the forum talk about Shrink Plastic & it was said about making a Shrink ruler as different colour shrinks and makes all shrink differently – so here`s how to make one

Take a strip of Shrink and add your measurements to the rectangle piece – I have used cm`s as you need the writing big enough to be able to read it once shrunk and I have done it to 20cm`s

1. 120

2. Then shrink it down and you`ll have a handy reference to what size the shrink will be when finished – If you want why not add a large hole ( as that will shrink too ) and then have a key fob for all the different shrinks , whether clear , black etc

2. 215

3. This shrink is the frosted one listed above – I have used the Lyra Aquacolours with a koi waterbrush to add the colour – as remember the colour always darkens when it shrinks – so the Lyra`as were excellent for this technique – the frosted shrink had a rough surface bit like a fine layer on tissue paper and was an ideal surface for the colour to be added

3. 36

4. The finished piece with more intense colour to it

4. 49

5. I then tried Sakura Stardust pens and again watered down some to give a wash – this has been done on the polyshrink white

So in trying this I coloured all the flower buds with the stardust then water coloured the big area and then the  flower buds were washed away – didn`t think and i`m only saying so you don`t do the same – it`s best to do a fine colourwash all over first and then add the detail with the neat pen and the edges too

5. 56

6. And here is the result – lovely and sparkly and with the lyra`s my favourite one

6. 67

7. Now this one was fun to try – i added colour using the stardust pens to the flowers again and then took a brilliance pad – pearlescent Jade and wiped it over the whole design a quick technique with great results  

7. 75

8. The first one I messed up but shows the flower buds coloured in and is the fan behind the one that is just brilliance ink and with a gold rim of permapaque pen – with is another fantastic way to add colour to shrink

8. 86

9. Below is the charm made on frosted shrink with again permapaque pen to colour it in

9. perm-this-one3

 This write up wouldn`t be complete without adding printable shrink plastic to it so I have added the link for the workshop I did on the printable shrink and with this it shows how to shrink the plastic which in turn works with all the different uses I have used on here too

I love the printable one as it works well with all the cd`s I have in my collection and it just adds something to your work when you need an embellishment just to fill in a spare space without doing to much to the card

Printable Shrink Workshop – click here


Another link for the Earring Box Set I used printable shrink with

Click here


There also is this link for a U-Tube video one how shrink is done – it`s sometimes nice to see the technique as it happens so have added it to this page – I have nothing to do with the video just added it for reference

Click here

Well I hope this has given you a bit more information about Shrink Plastic – I had fun whilst making the fan`s up and as with the video it is a product that can be hit and miss but with stunning results so it`s worth a play experimenting with – I haven`t covered all the different mediums as there to many to try but i`m sure many have been covered

Thanks for looking in and sorry for the break at Christmas time – thankfully I have my crafting head back on as it was hard to try and prepare for Christmas and do this

Wishing everyone one a Happy New Year and hope it provides all you wish for



4 thoughts on “Shrink Plastic – Product Write Up

  1. I haven’t used my SP for aaages.
    Thanks for this, Suzanne, it’s given me a kick up the *** to use it again.
    Your tut is excellent
    Happy New Year to you and yours, Suzanne!
    and looking forward to more of your fantastic workshops in 2009

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