We’ve been shrinky-dinking our Christmas tree! It all started with a simple play-date and then I guess the festive mood set in. 😉
If you’re a shrinky dink noob, it’s best to experiment with a few extra pieces in the oven before putting in your real handiwork. (Saves you the heartache from seeing your precious design destroyed by too high a temperature. Recommended temperature is about 150 degree celsius.)
Here are some posts for tips and how-tos:
I got my opaque white shrink plastic paper (A4 size, $1.50 each) from Art Friend. The store also stocks Sharpies permanent markers, which you’ll need for drawing on the paper. I’ve tried using colour pencils and the effect isn’t as great. I’ve also tried the transparent plastic paper that Art Friend also stocks, but found the white ones better, in terms of baking results and look and feel.
When designing your plastic sheet, remember that the piece will shrink to approximately a quarter of the original size, so don’t make your designs too small!
When you’re ready to pop your design in the oven, be prepared to see your plastic paper warp and distort in the heat as it shrinks. Remember the temperature cannot be too high. Toaster ovens work best, but my stove-top convention oven also does the trick (although it tends to over-heat at some points.)
You’ll notice that the plastic piece will twist and turn and look hideous, but stay calm and allow the heat to do its thing. After a couple more seconds, the plastic should unfold and flatten out. (If it doesn’t, use a pair of long chopsticks to ease the plastic apart if it looks like it’s stuck together.)
Once the plastic is flattened, remove it onto a chopping board and quickly use your tongs or another flat surface to flatten it completely. (Like ironing out the kinks.) I keep a mitten nearby in case I need to use my hands to flatten the artwork.
Oh yes, to get the little hole so that you can string the ornament onto the tree, just use your regular hole puncher to punch a hole BEFORE you pop it in the oven. Easy!
We chose to keep the piece in a rectangular shape so that it stands out a bit more on the Christmas tree. You can choose to trim your design according to whatever shape it is, of course.
There. This was a fun and simple project to do, and adds a personal touch to our tree. Which by the way, the little elves thoroughly enjoyed decorating.
Here is a time lapse video of their merry-decorating. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! 🙂