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Friday, February 3, 2012

Shrink plastic charms

How are things? I hope they're GREAT!
Have you ever cut shrink plastic with your cricut or other cutting machine? I've tried a few times. Some projects are better than others. This one? I'm happy to say is one of my happier experiences.

Now, I will tell you that every machine is different but this is my experience. Please take note of this
Tip: I've always known it to be the case but pushed it to the back of my mind and didn't prove it until TODAY.  The pressure dial does not work when it comes to working with Gypsy or DesignStudio with your cricut machine. I don't know why it doesn't work. But it doesn't.  How do I know this? Because I've cut various designs using DS and G out of shrink plastic using multi-cut (as many as 8 or 10 times) and I still have to use scissors in spots around the design. When I cut the design straight off a cartridge without a computer or Gypsy involved, three cuts and I'm done. No need for scissors. No need to sand scraggly edges.
 This little flower came from George & Basic Shapes. Because I cut it straight off the cartridge, you will notice the small hole in the middle of the flower (I didn't want the shadow version of the flower...too bulky looking.) As it turns out, the circle in the center didn't pop-out so I left it since I didn't want a hole in the center of the flower anyway.
 I colored my flower using bright yellow in the center, light blue on the petals, darker blue around the edge of the petals.  (My plastic moved on the mat during the first cut which is why you see lines on the petals and a second circle near the center. You may want to consider using a bit of masking tape or painters tape to secure your plastic to your cutting mat so that this doesn't happen to you.)
Here are a couple before baking/after baking pictures showing the color changes. The flower on the right was colored with a bright yellow for the center and light blue on the petals. The one on the left was colored the same way but also has the addition of a darker blue around the outside of the petals.
Here are the same two flowers after baking. See how the colors intensify? Keep that in mind when coloring your plastic. (And note how the mistaken cut lines that were so noticeable are nearly non-existent after the baking process.)
 Please remember to punch the hole BEFORE you bake your plastic. It will be too thick and too hard to do it afterwards.... unless you want to try using a drill. That may work. I haven't tried it but I'd love to hear if it works for you. I used a standard hole punch. It worked perfectly for me.
 To give my charm a bit of shine I put a couple layers of glaze on the flower after it had cooled. This Modpodge dimensional glaze is new to me. It's nice. Hardly any bubbles. But, its consistency is VERY thin - like water. So take note: as soon as you turn the bottle to put it on a project don't squeeze! It will flow all by itself.
Once it was dry to the touch I put a jump ring on it. and I was able to add it to my bracelet. It's really very sweet, don't you think? I may make a handful of different charms to swap out on my bracelet from day to day.... Or put them on their own bracelet.... Or make a couple matching sets and hang them from some hoops as earring accents! Very fun!

It may interest you to know that the original flower was 2" in size and the baked flower was just over 3/4" in size.
Well, time to run. Thanks so much for visiting. Hope you have a wonderful day!


  1. super cute Jen! Reminds me of Elder Uchtdorfs talk :)

  2. These look wonderful and you have reminded me to get my shrink plastic out and use it.


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