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How to Use Shrink Plastic

Use these easy shrink plastic instructions to turn images or patterns into unique embellishments. Shrink plastic is a great way to turn an icon or drawing into a piece of jewelry or charm. For a photo tutorial for shrinking plastic in the oven, check out this article.


  • Shrink Plastic: A variety of colors are available plus clear and opaque.
  • Sharp Scissors
  • Fine Sanding Paper
  • Toaster Oven or Oven or Heat Tool
  • Cooking sheet for toaster oven or oven
  • Hole paper punch
  • Permanent inks, oil coloring pencils
  • Optional: Computer printer to print images

Step By Step

  1. This product will shrink over 50% of the original size when heated.
  2. Be aware that shrink plastic does have a grain.
  3. Lightly sand the shrink plastic before applying ink or oil based colored pencils.
  4. Stamp or draw an image. Color. Cut out if desired.
  5. It is best to color the plastic before heating.
  6. If creating a charm, you must hold punch the shrink plastic BEFORE heating or baking.
  7. Following manufacturer’s instructions, “bake” shrink plastic in toaster oven or oven. Do not leave unattended. Watch the shrink plastic. It will take a few minutes, but the shrink plastic will begin to shrink. Average baking time is approximately 3-5 minutes. It is done when the plastic remains flat and not moving. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before touching.
  8. Another heating option is to use your heat tool. Place the shrink plastic in a box and begin to apply heat to it with heat tool or heat gun. It will move about, but keep heating until shrinking is complete.


  • Avoid trying to heat shrink plastic too quickly because it can curl and if not careful it will curl on itself. You can flatten with a metal or wood spoon.
  • Smaller items will curl quickly and flatten faster than larger pieces.
  • Make your own custom buttons.
  • When inking your project be sure to use a heat setting ink such pigment inks for best results or use permanent ink.
  • If using chalks be certain to use non-oil chalk pastels.
  • Trace a child or baby’s foot or hand to make a unique embellishment or charm
  • Use punches and make your own confetti
  • Cut out tag shapes
  • You can use rubberstamp images, hand drawn images, trace die cuts, letters, or template shapes. Just keep in mind that the image will be very small.
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You do not have to put a hole in the shrink plastic before you shrink it. If you forget, you can use a pointed tip on a wood burning tool to melt a hole in the plastic. You can also use a rotary tool to drill a small hole through the plastic.


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