Use shrink plastic to make a stunning ring. There are two ways of making rings using shrink plastic. You can form a single piece ring by bending the heated plastic into shape or attach a finished piece of shrink plastic to a ring blank.
Make a Shrink Plastic Band
Note: This technique requires handling shrink plastic when it is hot. This project should not be undertaken by children and if you have any concerns about handling hot shrink plastic then take a look at the ring project on the next page for an alternative.
Shrink plastic shrinks when heated to about one third of its original size (this varies depending on manufacturer, so refer to the manufacturer's instructions for more information). It also thickens substantially, making it ideal for rings. Shrink plastic can be manipulated when it is hot, therefore with a little care a shrink plastic ring band is easy to make. The main consideration when making a shrink plastic band is to determine how much the shrink plastic will shrink by. This will allow you to work out how large a strip of shrink plastic you require to start. The best way to do this is to use a piece of shrink plastic as a sample. Measure the plastic before shrinking, and again after it has been shrunk. For more information about the working out the shrinkage, see this article at the Inkstains with Roni blog.
Forming the Ring
The ring is formed when the strip of shrink plastic is still hot. When it is heated, shrink plastic is malleable and it can be bent into shapes, however it hardens when it is cool. Therefore it is important to work quickly - however should the shrink plastic harden before it is shaped, it can be reheated in order to soften it so it can be shaped further. Before you start, look for a suitable form to shape the ring around. I used a glue-stick tube to make the ring in the photograph.
- Shrink plastic and heat source (refer to manufacturer's instructions)
- Rubber stamps, inks and pens or pencils as required
- Cut a strip of shrink plastic that will shrink to the right size when it has been heated and shrunk. Use a sample to work out the right size depending on the brand of shrink plastic that you are using.
- Stamp and decorate the strip of shrink plastic. I used colored pencils to add color to the stamped image.
- Heat the shrink plastic until it has fully shrunk. While it is still malleable, carefully bend the strip around your chosen form to form a ring shape. If the ring is misshapen after the first forming, simply reheat it and reshape it. Shrink plastic can be reheated several times without any problems.