Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"Shrink Plastic Gears"

This weeks TT is the last of the Steam Punk theme. So I thought I'd show you what I'm working on for the current swap I'm hosting. At the last sizzix whse sale, I picked up some black shrink plastic and some Tim Holtz dies! Perfect for this project! The less detail on the die, the less your shrink plastic will curl up and get stuck.
To get started you will need:
  1. a gold leafing pen
  2. paper towel
  3. nail file
  4. bamboo skewer
  5. patterned embossing folders
  6. die cutting machine
  7. dark colored shrink plastic
  8. old baking sheet
  9. parchment paper or slip mat
  10. hand held heat gun
  11. I used Gadget Gears and the key hole from Hardware Findings.
Begin by running the shrink plastic through your machine using the die of choice. DO NOT double up on the shrink plastic as you would paper as it will not separate. It ends up being a waste of your shrink plastic. Trust me.
If you are using shapes that have cut outs like the gears, it's best to shrink the plastic by hand with a heat tool. The oven technique (on back of package) is only good for solid shapes. You can do your project on a heat safe area in the kitchen or if you like to sit (like me), protect your table with heat pads or a folded beach towel. Use a cookie sheet that you keep on hand just for crafts.
Run your shapes through your machine in emboss folders.
If you plan to use the gold leafing pen on the finished piece, you'll want to sand the shapes before shrinking. This goes for embossed shapes or unembossed.
By using parchment paper or a slip mat on your baking sheet, your pieces will not stick as they shrink. Using the skewer helps keep the shape from skittering all over the place while shrinking. Use a slow motion when holding the heat gun over the piece. A fast motion encourages "fly aways". Always start at the top and work your way down. Don't panic. Just when you think your piece will not uncurl, it does.
I experimented with bird cages and key shapes. But the detail was so precise that the shapes kept sticking to each other or curling up and not uncurling like a more solid shape might.
Here you can see the before and after of the gears.
And the key holes.
To achieve the aged gold effect, I dabbed the shrunk shapes with a bit of the gold leafing pen and quickly rubbed off the gold color with the paper towel. The color is accented by the emboss folder I used before shrinking.
So there you have it. I hope you have enjoyed this months TT! Please visit all the previous Steam Punk themed posts for this month, found on the right side bar. ---------> The more comments you leave, the more chances you have to win ALL of the projects I made from this month's Tuesday Tutorials! These included. :)
Thanks!
( Please leave your e-mail address in comments or make sure your blog sign in is not private, If I can't reach you easily...you can't win)
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