Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Shrink plastic playtime

Do you remember the urban legend at school that you could put a crisp packet in the oven and it would shrink? I remember some girls wearing these miniature Skips and Space Raiders packets as badges, never sure whether to believe the production method, and always a little afraid it'd set something alight, I never had a go. Do you remember these? Were you one of those girls with a trendy mini crisps badge?

As those of you who follow me on Facebook will know, I've been playing with shrink plastic recently, I wanted to share my initial samples and what I've learnt so far with you.

The instructions on the packet stated that the plastic would shrink to 1/7 of its original size, just make the desired shape, colour if required and put on tin foil lined baking tray into 175degree oven for a couple of minutes. Well it really couldn't appear to be easier.. Why didn't I try that crisp packet trick all those years ago?
I started to play with my shape cutters, colouring pencils and hole punches to see what really does happen.

Here are my first experiments - this first block is really just a sampler. This started 2"x2" and I hoped it would shrink to 2cmx2cm. I coloured with pen (corner stripes) and pencil (tree and tent)

Secondly I used my butterfly punch to create 2 shapes. I coloured one with pencil and left the other plain.
Note how pale the colours are at this stage.

Off into the oven, this was a little scary as the shapes twist and curl they shrink
Here are the cooked and cooled items.

This is what I learnt -
1. The square did shrink to 2cmx2cm
2. The colours are so much more vivid - look at the butterfly and tent colours
I even tried the crisp packet but it didn't go too well!!!
Oh well, I'm looking forward to playing with this material more, think there are some really cool things which could be this space


  1. Great experiment, thank you for sharing on your lovely creative blog. Lizzie

    1. Hi,

      thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment

  2. I do remember those brooches!!!! How funny, must be ladies of a certain age...ahem. I never got to have a go but my slightly older best friend did, I think she may have made me a Golden Wonder one!
    There must have been something in the plastic back then...highly toxic no doubt! Love your experiment the butterflies are ace. x

    1. Golden Wonder....I'd forgotten all about those. You are probably right on the toxic point though x

  3. How cool! Love the intensity of the colors in the butterfly piece. Must have been really fun experiment.


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