shrink plastic tags

I’ve been working on cleaning up the studio. One of my clean-up techniques involves finishing projects that I uncover- not recommended to get the clean-up done quickly!

So, I found a pile of shrink plastic that was cut into strips and I had used to make one batch of tags from. Before I finished or put my mess away, I’d gone on to something else. I finished up the tags- that is how I put my signature on my dolls, in case you were wondering- and was left with a pile of pieces, too small for tags but so obviously useful for something.

I had a mix of clear and translucent plastic. I drew a rough drawing of a girl on a piece of paper and used it as a guide. I laid each piece of plastic over the sketch and drew with a thin sharpie marker.

Time to cook them up. This is where things tend to go wrong for me. I have tried a heat gun and the oven- neither has worked very well. I preheated the oven, popped them in and watched. As usual, I was getting  ones that shrink more in one direction then another, ones that curl and won’t go flat again, ones that started turning brown before they were finished shrinking. I decided it was time to do some experimenting. I tried different places in the oven since right in the middle was not so good. First- the rack in the topmost position. Nope. Then all the way to the bottom- where we have our pizza stone. >Play Trumpets Here< It worked- perfectly! All the curled ones flattened! All the ones that shrunk horizontally more then vertically, evened out! Unfortunately the ones that had overcooked did not un-brown.

Here they are on my fingers for scale. Now I have a gaggle of girls and I really like them. But, I am not sure what to do with them. Any ideas?

30 thoughts on “shrink plastic tags

  1. Keychains maybe? That’s the first thing I thought of but I like the necklace idea too. Or little ornaments!

  2. Those are the cutest tags ever…What a great idea! I have never had good luck with shrink plastic either, so maybe I will try your new found revelation!

  3. I’m all about the mobile! You could hang them from a little stick from your garden, maybe with little strips of paper that they have written notes to each other on in class.

    They really are so cool!

  4. I second the suggestions about necklaces for either your dolls or for us “big people”, or earrings. I know that as an artist I am always happy when I find something that can be sold at a lower price point, because then more folks can afford to take home a bit of my artwork.

    I do not suggest using shrinkydinks for keychains; I tried that and my little key tags cracked within a month or two, where the hole went through the plastic. Doll and human jewelry gets far less stress put on it than key rings do.

  5. Just to be clear- these are very small- less then 1 inch high x 1/2 inch across… seems small for a keychain or mobile?

  6. How about charms ie add a small clip they can then be hung on your handbag or mobile phone strap, they seem about the right size for that and they take less punishment than a keyring.. well on a bag does, a phone one depends on where you carry the phone.

  7. I have a little tag like that made into a cellphone charm. It is very handy to use when sliding my phone from it’s handmade cozy. I love it…and would like to dream up some other uses for them.
    Oh… I also have one at the end of a beaded clip-on charm for my camera case.
    I know you will figure something out that is wonderfully clever and we will all be so inspired!
    Your girlies are just so sweet!

  8. what a charming charm bracelet they would make!

    you’ve inspired me to dig out my shrink plastic…my experience with it has been a lot like yours.

    (your studio is looking great!)

  9. Hey Mimi – these are great! With the hole placement I see pendants or earrings – I would also love a bookmark with the charm at the end dangling out of the top of the book. I’m not sure what the body of the bookmark could be – stiffened fabric or something with “Mimi’s Words of Wisdom” on it. :)

  10. Oh! I know what you can do with them…give them to me!!! Just kidding ( although I wouldn ‘t mind). You should hang them on pins in a specimen case…for scientific purposes of course. :)

  11. Mimi. I first thought of key rings, but if they are that small maybe put a pretty ribbon through them and place them in a basket and sell them for whatever the buyer wants to do with them ! the bookmark idea was a good one . Zipper pull? Maybe? Let me sleep on it for a while. Thanks for the tip I had the problem of them curling on me and wouldn’t go flat. Will try your new method next time.

  12. Hey Mimi,

    Whatever you decide to do with them will be great because they are so cute! I love the idea of earrings. I was thinking they could be necklaces for the dolls or even brooches for the dolls, that would be cute.

    You’re very creative, I think you’ll come up with something great!!

  13. Sell them in sets of 4 or 6 as wine glass charms, strung on an open wire circle to fit a wine glass stem :D

  14. I haven’t read any other comments yet, but my first reaction is a necklace pendant, second one is charms for a charm bracelet. OK, now I’ve read some other comments and see how unoriginal I am!!!

  15. I absolutely love the idea of the bookmark/charm thing. Just think! Another way to use up those tiny scraps you can’t quite bear to toss :).

  16. hello!~
    I’ve found you through the Purl site and am really excited about making one of your dolls!! They are beautiful, thank you for sharing!
    Wondering what type of pens you use for the shrinky dinks? We’re just setting out into s/d land and would love any advice! We’ve got ours on the bottom oven rack now, hoping for similar success :)

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