Make Your Own Embellishments with Shrink Film!

Make Your Own Embellishments with Shrink Film!
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Welcome to another edition of our Close to My Heart Technique Blog Hop! Six of us Close to My Heart Independent Consultants are blogging about this month’s challenge: “stamping on anything but paper” with Close to My Heart products. This blog hop is like a big circle – you may start wherever you are and then simply follow the link at the end to the next blog post to see all of the artwork using this technique. If you are coming from Tabbi’s blog post, you are on the right track!


Do you remember how fun it was to make cute little useless plastic images shrink into tiny charms or ornaments? I vaguely recall coloring Scooby Doo characters on Shrinky Dink paper and making them smaller in the oven. It was fun to see something get smaller, but then what do you do with the tiny figure?

If you’re a paper-crafter, there is a LOT you can do with shrink film and you can use your embossing heat tool instead of the oven! I use it to make my own embellishments for cards. You can use permanent, colorful Sharpie markers to draw your design before shrinking, or you can stamp on it and color the image with permanent markers or alcohol markers.

Make sure you cut the image out before shrinking it, and follow tips from the experts: pierce the image with a paper piercer before shrinking so that the curled edges won’t stay as curly once the shrinking is complete. Use 300-400 grit sand paper to lightly sand shrink film surface in a cross-hatch pattern to give the shrink film “tooth” to grab the image.

If you want to make your own buttons for clothing, knit purses or for embellishments on cards or scrapbook layouts, use a hole punch or a Crop-o-Dile to make large enough holes for threading before you shrink the image.

This is the finished product:


Here are the steps I took to make the shrunken embellishments. I started with Shrink Film, StazOn solvent ink, 400 grit sandpaper, the Girls Rock Close to My Heart stamp set, a 3″ X 3″ My Acrylix® Block, and some Copic markers. I sanded my shrink film and stamped it carefully with my image.


Then, I filled in the blank are with some color and filled in parts where the black ink didn’t spread evenly.


Next, I cut out each shape carefully with Micro-Tip Scissors.


The manufacturer suggests poking tiny holes in the image to keep the edges from curling, so I used a Piercing Tool Kit.


Then, I used my heat tool to heat the image and held the stamped image in place with my piercing tool. When I felt it was sufficiently shrunk, I quickly pressed my acrylic stamp block onto it so it would cool flat. I learned that hot ink sticks to wood! With the next shrinked items, I spread a teflon mat over the wood and when I heated and pressed the image, it did not stick or leave a mark.


I decided to use my Laughing Lola Paper Packet, so I used some Copic markers to color the images in coordinating colors. This shows the size the flower shrunk to compared to how it started.


Here’s another example of size proportions.

20130812-125209.jpgAren’t these cute? They’re all shrunk and ready to use!


I used just two of the shrunk stamped images on my bright card. Here’s where one of them fit.


The other one went here at the top. The background paper is a bright pear green, but in this picture is looks yellow.



The stamped sentiment is from one of the new Hostess Rewards stamp collections. I love the chalkboard look, which is so popular right now!


Thank you for stopping by to read my blog post! Please continue on to Joy’s blog where you will find some additional artwork highlighting the use of stamping on ANYTHING but paper. Be sure to leave a comment and let me know what you thought of my variation and… “happy hopping!”

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About Stephanie Chumbley

Growing up in the shadow of the Space Needle, I loved drawing portraits with a #2 pencil and sometimes a ballpoint pen because I liked the challenge. I collected pens and pencils and enjoyed looking at fonts and logos and replicating them by hand. I was in AP art classes in high school and took some graphic design classes at Seattle Central. While in college, I had a part-time job making signs for Drug Emporium / Longs Drugs with my "Steph Font." In my 20s, I made a lot of invitations for dinner parties and later, when I bought my Cricut Expression electronic cutter in 2008, I started making cards for all occasions. In 2009, I discovered Close to My Heart and enjoyed being my Consultant's best customer... but in May 2011, I finally gave in and became and Independent Consultant. It was a very good decision! :-) Nearly everything I make is given away or sold so others can enjoy some handmade art. I've made over 1,000 cards and projects and this blog serves as a way to share and hopefully inspire others to create projects of their own. Someday I hope to catch up and blog about all the cards I've made.

13 Responses »

  1. Pingback: Technique Blog Hop- Stamping on different mediums | My Scrapbooking Blog

    • Thank you, Jayma! By the way, I was skeptical about sanding the shrink film and piercing it, but it didn’t ruin the finished product at all. When I tested a stamp on the non-sanded surface it just bubbled and never seemed to dry. I threw that away and worked only with the pieces stamped on sanded shrink film.

  2. Stephanie, Did you know that you can make shrink embellishments from # 6 clear plastic?….and it’s FREE! It’s the type of plastic in which cookies or donuts are packaged. Use Sharpie permanent marker to color them. I’ve been doing it for years. I have not tried stamping with ink, though…I’ll have to try it and see if it works.

    • Thanks for the tip, Lori! I found out about being able to emboss as well as shrink that plastic years after buying this shrink film. 😉 I still have this whole pack of shrink film I bought in ’09 that I need to use up. This was the first time I’ve stamped on it and in the past I’ve only used Sharpie markers to doodle my own charm – just like you. Thanks for reading my blog and sharing your tip!

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