30 Jan 2013

Shrink plastic brooch tutorial

I have been playing with shrink plastic since my smallest received a space themed pack last Christmas, at first I though it was a bit tacky and strange, but the excitement we all felt watching the first little planet we had drawn shrink in the over has not left me yet! After a bit of research I found that lots of artists were using them in creative and original ways, so I had a go at making my own little hand drawn wearable pieces of art. I wanted to share with you a "How to" guide so you can have a go

Materials needed
Shrink plastic white A4ish sheet
Artwork (3 times the size of finished brooch) Butterfly template below
Brooch pin
Super glue
Coloured pencils
Oven preheated to 180 deg
Baking tray
Here is a simple and fun way to make beautiful wearable art! Using your own drawings and shrink plastic
Shrink plastic is available online or in most arts and craft shops, its available in many different forms but we need plain white A4(ish) sized sheets.
Your artwork needs to be about 3 times the size of the finished brooch. For example my butterfly drawing is 12cm wide and the finished brooch is 4.5cm wide. Print out your drawing to the desired size onto plain paper.
1. Place your shrink plastic sheet rough side up over the drawing and lightly trace the outline and detail. You can of course draw this freehand if your feeling confident.
2. Next you need to colour in the details with your coloured pencils- the colours get more intense when they shrink so even light shading will appear darker on the finished brooch.
3. Next we can cut out the shape leaving a 1mm gap all around the edge. Preheat your oven to 180deg
4. Place your cut out artwork on a clean baking tray in the centre of the oven and watch while it curls and wriggles and shrinks! if all is well it will wriggle for about 60seconds then lie flat again- this is the time to remove it from the hot oven ( BE CARFUL)
If it gets in trouble and sticks to itself CARFULLY reach in and prise apart while still hot, close oven and heat for a further 30seconds it should lie flat.
Remove from oven and place a heavy flat chopping board or book on top while it cools for another 60 seconds.
Run under a tap to remove the pencil dust and pat dry (after a few hours the pencil will be set and not come off anymore)
5. Using superglue, attach a brooch pin to the back and allow it to dry.
There you have it a beautiful wearable piece of art!
Such fun to do and great results every time, a great project to get your kids involved- think how lovely children’s drawing would be as brooches or pendants- just get them to draw big (3 times as big as the finished piece!) You can get inkjet shrink plastic – so you could do all you art work in the computer and print out onto the sheet, imagine the possibilities.
My Butterfly brooches are available in my etsy shop and on my website.
Butterfly template


  1. OMG I love shrinkles! I didn't know you could still get them! I am off right now to find some. The butterflies are beautiful, by the way.

  2. comment faire pour le lire en fran├žais

  3. I'm confused. If you lay the white sheet of shrink plastic on top of the drawing, how can you see the drawing in order to trace it?

  4. Awesome love the jewelry. wonder craft


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