How to Use Grafix Inkjet Printable Shrink Film

How to Use Grafix Inkjet Printable Shrink Film

shrink plastic before heating it up

Did you ever play with Shrinky Dinks when you were a kid? It's time to make shrink plastic a grown up craft staple, because there is so much you can do with it. We carry Grafix Shrink Film in 7 different colors including white, black, metallic, clear and more. In addition we have both white and clear Inkjet Printable Shrink Film

Design Team Member Monica recently played with some of the Inkjet Printable Shrink film in white and created the most adorable fall key chains. 

Grafix Shirink Film

How to Use Shrink Film

1. Choose your design and print it right on the shrink plastic using an inkjet printer. Keep in mind that the finished, shrunken piece is about 1/2 the size of the piece you start with, so choose your image size based on that. 

Monica used some adorable free SVG files from Caluyadesign.com for her designs. 

how to cut out shrink film

2. After your designs are printed, use punches, scissors or even your die cut machine to cut them out. That's right! You can use the Print then Cut feature on your Cricut with this Shrink Film. Be sure and punch your hole before shrinking if this will be a tag.

how to use shrink plastic for keychains

3. You have two options for shrinking your designs. As Monica demonstrates, you can use a heat gun to shrink it. Make sure you are working on a heat safe surface like a teflon pad.

how to shrink shrink plastic

Using a spatula can help you keep your design flat, and in fact, Monica mentioned that she probably should have chosen something a bit larger than she did to help flatten the design. Move the heat gun around evenly as you shrink it to avoid distortion. 

You can also opt to bake your design to shrink it. Heat your oven to 300 degrees and pace your design on a piece of parchment paper or a teflon sheet on a baking pan. Place the design in the oven for 2-3 minutes until it has fully shrunk. Watch it carefully. For larger designs you may want to your oven down and let is shrink slower. 

how to use inkjet printable shrink plastic

Is Shrink Film Supposed to Curl Up? 

4. Regardless of which option you choose, there is definitely a period in the middle of the shrinking where you will think - this is for sure ruined. But it's not. It's kind of magic. As it starts to shrink, it really begins to curl up and you'll think all hope is lost. But then as it gets all the way shrunk it starts to flatten out again. As you pull it out of the oven, or finish up with your heat gun, it may still be slightly warped, and you just need to gently press on it with a something flat to help it get all the way flat. But be careful, as pieces are extremely hot when you pull them out. 

finished key chains using Grafix Shrink Film

The possibilities are endless with shrink film crafts. Design Team Member Kate made shrink film charms for a shaker card and also traced a Tarot Card design to make earrings from shrink film. 

What will you make? 

Love specialty papers? Here's some tips for using acetate on projects.


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