Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Craft book review - Shrink, Shrank, Shrunk!

The lovely folk at GMC sent me another book to review.  This time it was a book that's been on my wish list for a while Shrink! Shrank! Shrunk!

Before we go any further, the disclaimers.  I was sent the book for free to review but I was not told what to say and all opinions are 100% my own.  I didn't receive any monetary compensation.  Links in this post, as with all my book posts, are affiliated.  If you click over and buy something, I get a few pence towards an Amazon voucher.  

I have used shrink plastic before (I believe it's called "Shrinky Dinks" in the US), as a child, and more recently at a mixed media class.  I wanted to try it out a bit more and this book gave me the perfect opportunity.

The book starts with a few pages of basics.  The different kinds of shrink plastic available and some tips on using it.  Then it moves straight on to the projects.

There are 31 projects in the book.  All the templates are printed full size at the end of the book - bonus points, I much prefer full sized templates to having to enlarge them.  All the projects are jewellery items, though papercrafters could find a use for them on their cards and scrapbook layouts.

There are bracelets, rings, necklaces, earrings and brooches.  I love the bracelet above, I will have to find a simple bunny silhouette and make my own version.

I decided to try Not-Your-Grandmother's Cameos and, for once, didn't use a bunny image!  I was taken by the teapot so that was my choice.

You can use large punches or die cuts if you have them, I didn't have any large enough so traced the templates from the back of the book and cut them out.  Be careful cutting as the plastic is quite brittle and can shatter.  

In the book marker pens are used to get the deep almost enamel-like colour on the circle.  I didn't have any to hand so used pencil crayons.  Colours intensify when shrunk which is why you can barely see the colour on the top picture.  I think I'd prefer this done in marker pen, I may have to buy some.

The original template was about 4" (the circle) and shrunk down to about 1.5".  I'm going to string this with some beads.

I had intended to have a go at this bracelet as I think it's really funky, but I didn't have any punches big enough and not enough time to cut them all by hand... one day!

My second project from the book was these earrings.  Of course, I wasn't going to make earrings!  I thought one would be nice as a pendant.  I did this project first so didn't realise quite how much it would shrink.

I traced the image and coloured it in lightly.

Once shrunk I covered it with a layer of Glossy Accents to seal the image.  I think this is why I couldn't get a picture of it at all, too much shine.  I might make a second, turn them into earrings and give them to my aunty.

Some of the projects are more difficult.  There are rings which of course are curved, and there are 3d flowers such as this one above.  Beautiful!  I will give this a go later on.

So my opinion on the book?  If you fancy a go at shrink plastic but don't have many ideas of your own, this book is ideal. It's also great if you can't draw.  A lot of the projects are really quite original and the 3d items are just lovely.  The instructions are very well written, I had no trouble following them at all.

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Lark; 1 edition (19 Nov 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1454703490
  • ISBN-13: 978-1454703495

Linking up to:

Craft Book Sew Along at Live. Love. Create.


I was given a review copy of the book by GMC however this review and all opinions are 100% my own, I was not told what to say.  Amazon links are affiliate links.


Joy said...

It's a very interesting book Wendy and seems to have a good choice of projects to work on - if I was into jewellery making it would certainly get me going, and it fact the pieces you have made are so pretty I am rather attracted! You did a lovely review, thank you!

pennydog said...

I think this is lurking at the bottom of my Amazon wish list still! Nice to see some of the projects, you'd never look at those and think urggh plastic :)

Rachel said...

With materials like this it is always useful to have someone do some experiments to offer guidance!

Sandra :) said...

That actually looks like a fun book - Lark does a lot of really good craft books! I really like the layered projecrts (the cameos) - you could do a ton of different designs that way!

JoJo said...

I would love that book. Did it come with some pieces of shrink plastic to use? I like the frosted sheets best but haven't been able to find them. I have the plain clear ones.

Janine said...

I love your earring/pendant with the flowers and your teapot is fun. I remember - long ago! - getting shrinkies free in cereal packets and a craze of shrinking crisp packets in the oven to make brooches. I hadn't considered the possibility of making really beautiful jewellery pieces like these until I saw your pictures

Jane Galley said...

I can imagine you having fun with these projects. It's amazing how much it changes the colour when it shrinks

Sarah in Stitches said...

Very interesting. I've never seen jewelry made with shrink plastic. Thanks for sharing! :D

Celtic Thistle said...

Sounds like a worthwhile book Wendy, I love the 3-D flowers, they definitely don't look like shrink plastic to me!

Anonymous said...

I love your flower pendant, so pretty. Those 3d flowers in the book look tricky but beautiful.


Carrie P. said...


Jo Ferguson said...

I have shrink plastic, sitting in drawer, waiting for inspiration to strike. I'm always happy to find a new book and this one looks great. Thanks for the review. You might have given me the inspiration I've been looking for.