Shrink plastic is plastic stock that
is heated and stretched in two directions until a thin sheet is formed.
When heated again, the plastic returns to its original dimension and
For creative uses, the plastic sheet is usually sanded and design is
applied using a wide variety of art supplies. Scissors are used to trim
and shape. Holes can be punched using an ordinary paper punch.
When finished designs are baked, the plastic shrinks to approximately
45% its original size and returns to its original 1/16 inch thickness.
During the shrinking process most art materials are permanently bonded
to the surface.
Why is it good for creative projects?
The shrinking process has a wonderful effect on the design and color
that's applied before baking. Simple designs become crisper, elaborate
designs look amazingly detailed, and colors look rich and vibrant.
No special tools are needed. Before baking, the plastic is thin and
can be cut with scissors. Complex cut outs that couldn't be made using
scissors at the baked thickness are easy to make before shrinking.
How is PolyShrink different ?
PolyShrink is made to our specifications, and is tested for even, reliable
shrinkage. PolyShrink also gives you the creative versatility of 4 different
types. Each type has its own special visual quality, so you can choose
just the look you want for any project.
Great for see-through techniques where color is applied to the back
to be viewed through the front of the finished piece. Color seen through
the plastic is extremely vibrant and gives a feeling of depth. Also
use Clear PolyShrink when you want a glass-like effect or look.
There's an appealing soft look to Translucent that suits certain images
and themes. It's also the type that many people prefer for simple
designs with large areas left as is, without any background color.
· Canvas White
For designs where you want crisp color and high contrast, choose Canvas
White PolyShrink. Even extremely detailed drawings or stamped images
read well and keep their visual impact.
Black PolyShrink provides a dramatic backdrop for many of your favorite
art and stamping supplies. Use colored pencils, stamping inks, metallic
markers and rub-ons for beautiful, rich effects.
What baking method is best?
You'll get good results using a conventional or toaster oven.
The even heat that an oven provides is a plus, especially when baking
complicated shapes or pieces with interior cut outs, such as frames.
You can also heat PolyShrink with an embossing heat tool. The maximum
temperature of different models varies up to 300º F. If you're
having the feeling that the shrinking process is out of control and
happening too fast, move the gun 4 or 5 inches back to slow things down.
Keep the heat tool moving to heat the PolyShrink as evenly as you can.
Being directly involved in the shrinking process is fun, and it's easy
to see how the shrinking process is going. You can even flip your piece
over to help it heat evenly.
Heating PolyShrink with an embossing tool is the method of choice for
the Intaglio technique. Please see the PolyShrink General Instructions
Should I use a separate oven
from one I prepare food in?
The Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for PolyShrink describes it as
non toxic, even when heated to hundreds of degrees beyond normal baking
temperature. Heating PolyShrink itself is safe. But since we can't verify
the safety of the enormous number of art materials that might be used
with PolyShrink, we recommend using a separate oven for baking.
Follow any directions your art supplies have concerning adequate ventilation.
When baking, some artists opt for the ultimate in ventilation by placing
their toaster oven on an outside porch or patio.
What is the best way to cut out
Small scissors with narrow blades are easier to maneuver than larger
scissors. To make cutting sharp inside corners easier, cut to the corner
coming from one direction, then turn the PolyShrink around and finish
the cut from the opposite direction.
For pieces with interior cuts, like picture frame style designs, make
an opening for your scissors by punching several overlapping holes with
a paper punch, or cut an X using a single edge razor blade or exacto
If a question you have isn't
You'll find lots of great tips in the PolyShrink General
Instructions. There's information on baking, art materials, stamping
ink techniques, the Intaglio technique and lots more.
To get yours free, Click Here.
Also visit the Q & A page
for lots more information.
Or contact us with any questions you may have about PolyShrink-