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Shrink plastic

Hi all

I work at a school with very financially disadvantaged students in
rural Australia. Most are Aborigines.

They make very high quality art work, mostly paintings.

I have done a trial run with “shrink plastic” the images transfer in
high detail and quality.

We are aiming at the overseas tourist market, art galleries and

Each of piece of jewellery will be signed by the artist and come
with a story of the meaning. They can be deeply spiritual people
with strong connection to country (the land).

The pieces I have made seem to survive well.

So any tips or tricks in using this high tech medium? Before I do a
production run.

Can it be bezel set in fine silver? I think it can. Will it survive
in a ring? I have my doubts. Or should it be for brooches and

Any ideas would be very helpful as these kids need all the help they
can get.


Hi Richard,

We deal with a lot of Aboriginal artists, lots of dot paintings, but
a few paint in different styles.

That aside…

Can you snap the shrink plastic (is this shrinkie dink plastic)?

How easily can you snap it.

If it can be snapped easily then it may not stand up to the stress
of a normal bezel setting, gallery wire could be an option.

Regards Charles A.

Can it be bezel set in fine silver? I think it can. Will it
survive in a ring? I have my doubts. Or should it be for brooches
and earrings? 

Tons of shrinky plastic jewelry on Etsy, check it out.

In a ring, maybe embed it in resin.


Hello Richard,

What a cool idea and even better if the proceeds help these young

I made ‘shrinky dinks’ with my kids, and the resulting bits are
pretty tough. Certainly the plastic shapes could be bezel set with
silver, and I agree with you that the medium is best suited for
jewelry like earrings, broaches, pendants, where wear is minimal.

Considering the cost of silver, have you considered using copper
(maybe brass too) for your settings? Copper has an ethnic vibe and
might be even more attractive than silver. You don’t mention what
kind of tools you have available, or if you have a torch for
soldering the silver bezel. If your tools are minimal, you should
consider wire wrapping the shapes. Certainly skill is involved, but
again, copper wire is cheap for practicing the process.

I wish you success, Judy in Kansas, where the birds really enjoy the
heated water bowl. The robins are the most enthusiastic bathers.

I remember playing with shrink plastic in the 90’s - and I had a
kids book with examples of zipper pulls, etc - so I’d imagine it
would hold up fairly well. At the time I think I used coloured
pencils on the shrink plastic - are you transferring colour toner, or
colouring them by hand? If you have access to a tumbler, you could
test out a piece with various media to see how well the colours
stayed - I’d imagine it’d be similar to extreme “wear and tear” on a
ring… if the colour stays, then you should be good to go!

Just an aside if you look at the recycle symbol on a plastic item,
and if it’s a 6 in a triangle. it will shrink :wink: CIA

Wendy Newman has added the technique to her line. Example:

I’ve seen it in person and it is even better than the picture.

Judy Hoch


Thank you all who have replied to my shrink plastic post.

I will have pieces to show within the month.

Teaching them to do this will be easy compared to teaching them the
book keeping side.

Thank you so much.

Some will soon be joining Orchid.

Thanx again.

In a ring, maybe embed it in resin. 

Resin would be a great way to reinforce the plastic for rings and
bezel settings. Particularly resins like Doming Resin or Raindrop.

Mark Nelson
Rio Grande Technical Support

I had a friend who loved birds and developed a jewelry line
featuring crows, ravens and starlings. She would draw the birds in
marker on the shrink plastic, and once it was cooked and had shrunk
she would hang a bird in a gold or silver hoop earring (the kind with
a closed circle and a French hook or post/dangle earring). If you
wanted some up-scale items, you could use the silver coins mounts,
like the spectacle setting in the current thread., for use as
pendants. Donna in VA

Sorry about the reference - I didn’t realize that the link wasn’t
direct to the shrink plastic necklace. The one to which I referred is
the third one on the page as of now. Her work sells quickly so that
will likely change.

And the stock number of the necklace with the shrink plastic
elements is 12JL025.

Direct image link: