Shrink Plastic Embellishments

In my recent birdhouse posts, I featured some shrink plastic flowers and leaves and promised to share how those were made. Seems as though this technique has been around for quite some time, but somehow has eluded me until now. (I've mentioned how I'm sort of a late bloomer, haven't I?) Anyway, Tim Holtz used a similar technique in his 12 Tags of Christmas this past season on his Tag 11. And after making my own tag, I fell in love with making these great little embellishments.

Then I saw Tammy Tutterow's blog and was even more inspired by her beautiful charms!

Here's a close-up of my Tag #11's shrinked holly leaves, just as a reminder...

And here's another close-up of my birdhouse embellishments...

Here's how I made mine...

I started with Clear Shrinky Dinks shrink film and cut out shapes from Tim's Alterations Dies. Tattered Leaves and Tattered Florals, (and then I added a butterfly that I stamped first and hand cut.) After cutting, I stamped a design with Black Staz-on.

Then I had some fun coloring the images with my Copic markers on the side that wasn't stamped with Staz-on.

With the colored side up, I placed the pieces onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and baked them for 3 minutes in a 325 degree oven, following the Shrinky Dinks instructions. The colors get deeper and more intense after baking, so remember that when coloring.

Now, just a note here. Tim used the Melting Pot filled with Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel (UTEE) to both shrink and coat the pieces at the same time, and so did Tammy. While I do like that technique for certain applications, I found it harder to control and I also didn't care for the amount of yellowing the UTEE took on when heating. Although my method took a bit longer, it helped me achieve the results I was after.

After my pieces cooled from the oven, I then dabbed them into my Versamark pad, then coated them with UTEE and heated them with my heat gun one by one. I did this twice for a nice thick, bulbous look. 

Another note here: When using word stamps, you'll want to be sure your "tops" of your pieces reflect the words in the correct direction. Otherwise they'll read backwards.

Once these were cooled, I adhered them to my birdhouse with clear glue (Liquid Glass by CTMH) or Glossy Accents by Ranger.

These were great fun to play with, and I warn you if you try it make sure you have a few hours because once you get started, you want to make a zillion of them! Have fun!!


  1. I love Shrinky Dinks, too! You did a fabulous tutorial. Way to go! :-)

  2. Looks like you've been having lots of fun with these. They turned out great.

  3. I love these embellishments ! Thanks for showing an alternative method to get the same look as the melting pot :)

  4. These are gorgeous! I have a couple of questions. I tried doing this but my shrink plastic curled again after heating it with the UTEE and because of the UTEE I could not flatten it again, how do I prevent this? And my UTEE had lots of tiny bubbles :( so I could not even see design, what did I do wrong?


  5. I hope you see my reply Carioca Girl. Thanks for the comments on my blog. Make sure you aren't heating the UTEE in the oven. Use a heat gun like you would with embossing. I didn't put mine in the melting pot so I could control them better. The tiny bubbles could be a sign that you are using a Melting Pot and stirred the melted UTEE beforehand. You shouldn't stir! Just swirl the pot, and let the UTEE melt completely on its own. If you didn't use the melting pot, you may be heating the UTEE too long or too close with your heat gun. For further questions, feel free to e-mail me at

  6. Hi Annette! I would really love to try this, but I dont have copic markers. Will any time of markers do? Also, is there a certain color of UTEE that you used?
    Thank You!

  7. THANK YOU for this!! I tried to use the Melting Pot technique and failed miserably.

  8. I also get bubbles with the utee and heat gun. Hopefully it will improve with practice.


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