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Monday, February 28, 2011

Mondays with Mrs. Sparkles: An Oldie, but a Goodie - Shrink Film (a.k.a. Shrink-a-dinks)

Ok, I have to admit that many of my creative ideas are not unique. Mostly I find that like many artists, my ideas are borrowed or inspired by projects created by someone else. Take last week's article, Bubble Wrap Fun - all you have to do is Google Bubble Wrap and project, and you will find similar projects. The point is to be inspired to make something your own.

Here is the thing - sometimes a great creative process fades, and the next new thing becomes popular and we forget the fun of our previous pursuit. Sometimes, it just takes someone to remind you how much fun you had. Take making friendship bracelets - why is it that braiding threads is fun and interesting when we are a pre-teen but we are less likely to use threads in the same way when we are adults?

Do you remember Shrink-a-dinks? Did you ever get to play around with them when you were a kid? Well, I challenge you to explore them again, or if you have never heard of them, join us in some miniature fun. Don’t to forget to check out what other people are doing with them on the web and at your local hand-made retail store.

Shrink Film – A matte or clear plastic film (and now it comes in colors) that shrinks to 20 – 40% its original size when you place it in a 300-350 degree oven. You can draw on it with permanent markers or colored pencils. You can cut holes in it. There are so many things you can do with it. Here are my suggestions for you and your family.

Create a shrink-a-dink kit. Choose your favorite basic shape and scale it to 3” or bigger. Trace your favorite shape onto the shrink film and cut out 20 or more copies of the shape from the film. Punch one small hole in each piece of film. Fill the pencil box with your favorite permanent markers and your shapes. Throw it in your bag and illustrate your film with images from you daily life. Shrink your shapes at home and add a jump ring. Wear your creations as earrings or charms for necklaces or attach to zippers.

Want to preserve your child’s favorite drawing. Lay a piece of matte or clear shrink film over your child’s drawing and trace as closely as possible. Shrink your film and add to scrapbooks, make them into magnets, etc.

Most importantly, be inspired and have fun!


Party of Five said...

Do you buy the Shrink Film at Hobby Lobby/Michaels? What section is it in?

Anonymous said...

You can buy shrink film at several places around town: I tend to buy it at Joanns and Preston's Art Supply. You can find it in the children's crafts at Joanns. Preston's Art Supply tends to have it near their paper supplies. You can also buy it online in bulk at a cheaper cost. Please share pictures of your art adventures. We would love to see what you come up with. Just email us.

Erica said...

Thanks for the tip. I used clip art to trace some of my kid's favorite things onto the shrink paper. I then let them color the pictures. Now my daughter has a charm necklace with hearts, flowers and birds and my son has a personalized fireman badge.