PolyShrink General Instructions
• Sand with 320-400 grit sandpaper in a crosshatch pattern.
• Apply design and background color.
• Cut out your design with regular or decorative scissors. Punch
holes with a paper punch. Holes shrink too!
• Place on medium weight cardboard, or a teflon sheet. Avoid baking
on bare metal. Bake in a regular or toaster oven at 300º
F/ 149º C) for approximately 3 minutes, or heat with
an embossing heat tool.
• After shrinking, most pigments become permanent. Your design
will be about 45% its original size and about 1/16th inch thick.
Expect PolyShrink to curl and move during baking. Occasionally a piece
may stick to itself as it shrinks. To separate, allow the piece to cool
and pull gently. You'll hear a tiny "snap" as the joint comes
apart. You can now reheat the piece and finish shrinking.
Baked PolyShrink is very pliable while it is hot. It can be smoothed
flat using cardboard or shaped over a variety of objects.
- • Stamping Supplies:
- Heat setting & Metallic Inks:
Crafter's, VersaCraft (Fabrico), Brilliance, Inkredible , MicaMagic, PearlEx, Opalites
Permanent (alcohol) Pigment Inks:
& Decorit ™, ZimInk™
Inks & Paints:
Dr. Ph. Martin's®-
Iridescent Calligraphy Inks, Spectralite &
Canvas Transparent Acrylics , Speedball® Water Soluble
Block Printing Ink
Riso® Print Gocco
Silk Screen Inks
Metallic & Permanent Markers:
- Marvy Uchida®, Faber Castell®, Pilot®, Sharpie®,
• Colored Pencils:
- Prismacolor®, Derwent®, Prang®,
Chalk Pastels (non-oil):
- Any brand of artist's pastels in soft, broad sticks
• Highlighting Media (metallic rub-ons):
Treasure Gold®, Rub n' Buff®, Craf-T ®Rub-ons, Pearl
Ex®, Perfect Pearls™, Powdered Pearls™
Sprays such as Krylon® Matte or Gloss, most craft
Tips for Stamping Inks:
· Heat setting Inks:
(Crafter's, VersaCraft (Fabrico), Brilliance, Inkredible , MicaMagic, PearlEx, Opalites)
These colorful, high resolution inks are great for stamping, and
may also be applied directly off the pad or with texturing tools like
sponges or stipple brushes.
These inks are completely set with heat, not by air drying. When using with PolyShrink,
the ink is set during the shrinking process. There is no need for the
ink to be dry before shrinking since the baking process will both dry
and set the ink.
- To use heat setting inks to stamp images that you wish to color
in detail, try these techniques:
- Stamp Aligner Method
· Using a stamp aligner, stamp your image on paper.
· Position PolyShrink into the corner of the aligner, tape
down & color.
· Reposition the stamp aligner to the pre-colored PolyShrink
Free Hand Method
· Stamp your image on paper. Use a fairly simple, graphic design.
· Center a pre-cut PolyShrink shape over the stamped image
and use the image underneath as a rough guide for rubbing
in chalk pastels.
· Stamp onto the colored PolyShrink free hand.
· Embellish the outer edge of the PolyShrink shape with ink
by stippling or sponging , then add dots of metallic or
"Bake First, Color Last" Method
· Stamp your image onto sanded PolyShrink, carefully cut out
· Set aside for 10-15 minutes.
· Color using watercolor, dye based or pigment markers and
a small watercolor brush. Colors can be thinned with water
on a scrap of PolyShrink before applying them to the baked piece.
· The finished piece must be sealed.
· Permanent Inks:
& Decorit , PSX® Home Decor Ink, ZimInk
These pigment rich inks are designed for rapid air drying and durability.
They're available in a nice range of mixable colors, including metallics. They adhere well, even to unsanded PolyShrink.
Try this classic technique:
- Stamp on the Front, Color on the Back:
· Stamp an open design image onto unsanded Clear PolyShrink
and allow to dry. Sand before stamping for a frosted look.
· Turn the sheet over, sand the back , then color with colored
When baked, the color on the back seems to float behind the image.
Stamping On PolyShrink After Shrinking
Sizing To Beads & Other Components
Shrinking before you stamp lets you use your stamps on PolyShrink
without reducing the size of the stamped image. Imagine your images,
at their full size, becoming a pair of earrings, a pin, or a decorative
element for a card. Your image can also be stamped, and then embossed.
You can also make beautiful PolyShrink backdrops to frame your favorite
beads, charms, or any other design element that you want to include
in your finished piece.
Unbaked PolyShrink For "After Shrinking Techniques":
How big should you cut the PolyShrink sheet so that it shrinks down
to be the right size for the stamp or design elements you've chosen?
Follow the instructions below to make a PolyShrink ruler.
- · Cut a 2 inch wide strip from the long side of the
same type of PolyShrink that you'll be using for your project.
Mark the long side of the sheet in inch and half inch increments.
Use a permanent marker, or for Black Polyshrink, a paint or metallic
· Shrink the ruler using a heat tool or oven. Your baked ruler
shows you in inches, the yield that you can expect after shrinking.
· Measure your stamp or design component with the shrunk ruler,
adding a little extra for a small border, if desired. Then use a regular
ruler to measure and cut out your piece from the unbaked PolyShrink
sheet. Using this method, the PolyShrink will bake to the perfect
size to accommodate the stamp or component you want to use.
The Intaglio Technique
This technique involves super heating pre-shrunk PolyShrink, and then
"molding" the softened plastic with a stamp or other object.
No embossing powder is used. The word intaglio means, "a design
produced in relief", and with a little practice you can make beautiful
elements for jewelry, card making, collage, and many other projects.
- · Size a piece of PolyShrink for your stamp, textured object,
or jewelry element as described above.
· The intaglio technique is done after the PolyShrink piece
has been shrunk. You can shrink the piece, let cool and reheat it
later or you can continue heating and complete the process. Getting
the piece hot enough to impress is easiest using a heat gun, but it
can be done using an oven. ·An unfinished block of hardwood
provides a "easy release" surface for your intaglio piece.
The pre-shrunk PolyShrink blank should be on the block of hardwood
when impressing the design.
· If you're using a heat tool, have your blank on the hardwood
and begin/continue heating. When using the cooler models you'll need
to move in as close as an inch away to fully and evenly heat the piece.
· If using an oven, use a slightly higher temperature than
usual, 350º to 375º. To prepare the piece for impressing,
heat the PolyShrink blank thoroughly on the hardwood block in the
oven. Depending on the oven temperature, this can take up to 4 to
5 minutes or more.
Making the Impression:
When you think the plastic is hot enough, quickly make a trial pressing
in the plastic by dimpling the surface of the plastic with a blunt object,
like the corner of a stamp indexing block. As soon as you've made this
small impression, return immediately with your heat gun and continue
heating (or put the piece back in the oven). When the dimple disappears,
the plastic should be hot enough to take a good impression.
Press the stamp or textured object firmly into the surface of the plastic.
Continue to apply pressure for 10 to 15 seconds. If needed, the heating
and impressing process may be repeated. After a brief cooling period,
the PolyShrink will release from the wood block.
Your Intaglio design can be highlighted using a metallic rub on finish,
or heat setting ink. Heat lightly to set the ink.
By fine tuning your choice of art materials and application methods
to the type of PolyShrink you're using, this one basic technique can
expand into hundreds of wonderful possibilities.
- · Use stamps inked or uninked when making the impression.
· Transparent media (like chalk pastels) are subtle on Clear
and Black, but very vibrant on Translucent & Canvas White.
· Background colors will look very different, depending on
how they're applied. Try stamping, stippling, sponging and rubbing
· When working with Clear, color can be applied to the back,
to be seen through the plastic after shrinking. Whether or not the
front (impressed) side was sanded gives another variation. Sanding
the front side, gives a frosted , "beach glass" look. Leaving
the sheet unsanded gives a smooth, glassy look. You can also use this
variation for Translucent, Canvas White and Black PolyShrink.
· Highlighting a design is usually thought of as applying color
to the high spots. By applying color overall, to the low spots as
well as the high spots and then sanding or rubbing the color off of
the high spots, the design is "highlighted" in reverse.
Do not heat PolyShrink above 550º F (287º C).
Conforms to ASTM-D-4236 (LHAMA)
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