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Sunday, August 31

Shrink Plastic Ruler Tutorial

So, I bought some shrink plastic and decided to play. The ultimate goal is to make charms for a few jewelery projects I have in mind. Since I wanted fairly specific sizes of finished charms I knew I needed to make a shrinking ruler. I thought maybe someone would enjoy knowing how to make on for themselves.

Supplies: Shrink Plastic of your choice, Sharpie Marker, Ruler, 1/8" paper punch, corner rounder, parchment paper.

Cut one piece of shrink plastic 2 inches wide by the length of your sheet. Lay it on top of your ruler and mark off the measurements. I did mine in a/4 inch increments, but you can use as few or as many as you think you might want.

Place ruler on parchment paper, then onto baking sheets. Shrink according to manufacturer's directions. I baked mine at 300 degrees for 2-3 minutes. Remove from oven, cover with parchment paper and flatten while still warm with a potholder. Allow to cool.
Now you know how large to cut your shrink plastic to achieve your desired finished size. Lay your shrunken ruler on your real ruler. Find the desired finished size of the real ruler. For example I wanted 1 inch squares. Look on the shrink ruler and read the measurement. Mine was 2 1/2. This step tells you to cut your shrink plastic 2 1/2 inches square and the finished shrunken square will be 1 inch square. Easy Peasy.

Here are the before and after shots of my square charms. Before I baked them I used my corner rounder to soften the edges and my 1/8 inch punch to make a hole to add a jump ring.

Note: Shrink Plastic is NOT an exact science. Expect some discrepancies. Remember...it's ART. Also, if you have more than one type or brand of shrink plastic. Make and label a ruler for EACH one. All shrink plastic does not shrink the same!!
I will share the finished tiles when I get them embellished. Shelly

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