Friday, January 20, 2012

Ever Get that Shrinking Feeling?

It's back to the production line again today to finish off the last and most important item of my giveaways: my contact details!

I ordered some clear Grafix Inkjet Shrink Plastic from Over the Rainbow to use as tags on my jewellery giveaways because it's strong and durable. Plus, it looks like a little charm dangling from the chain so it does double duty as being both practical and aesthetically pleasing. The beauty of this product is that you can run it through your inkjet printer and there is NO sanding is required!

So let's take a look at the process.

According to the package instructions, it will shrink to between half and one third its original size and suggests that you make your items 50% bigger than the finished size.  Armed with this information, I used a size 12 font to create my label and then printed it onto plain paper so that I could measure it against my template. It was exactly 50% bigger so I went ahead and printed it onto the shrink film. (More on this at the end of the post.)
And it printed beautifully; no smudging, no wet ink; just really clear, crisp type! I have to say that I am truly impressed with the printing.

So the next step is to trim. I've used deckled edged scissors so that I didn't have to be too precise with my cutting. I like the look it gives when the plastic has shrunk.

Before baking, it's important to punch any holes. You have to remember that the holes shrink too! I used a 3mm (1/16") hole punch.

And then it's into the oven.
In case you can't read it, the oven should be 170°C (approximately 350°F) and it will take about 3 minutes to shrink the plastic. Here's a really great tip I picked up from the Grafix website: put a piece of silicone baking paper over the top to help prevent the shrink plastic from curling up and sticking to itself. I know this takes all the fun out of watching it curl and shrink, but it really does work.

After about 3 minutes, you can remove them from the oven and run a rolling pin over the top layer of the silicone paper whilst the shrink plastic is still warm - this will flatten them out completely so they're ready to use in your project.

Along the way, I had a few little hitches to deal with.
  1. The first was that my printer wouldn't accept the plastic because it was too thick to feed through. Luckily I was able to use a friend's inkjet printer.
  2. The size 12 font I used on my practice run was too small and it was unreadable when it was shrunk. Take my advice and only print one label first; not a whole sheet!
  3. The font I used on my second practice run was also too small. I should have taken my own advice........ I wasted another whole sheet! In the end, a size 16 font was the best size for my charms.
So now I have all my "charms" attached to my jewellery and I'm feeling a little bit better prepared. But I can't rest yet; there's still lots to do. And I can always sleep on the plane!

'Til next time.....

If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration, click here to find my books and printable pdfs

Would you like to comment?

  1. This blog is very nice and informative!
    Keep Update..
    Thanks for the Great post.
    Soy Ink Printing Services

    1. Glad you enjoyed my blog Peter. Thanks for stopping by!


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