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How to Shrink Plastic by Hand - A Step-by-Step Guide

  • Thursday, 24 December 2020
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How to Shrink Plastic by Hand - A Step-by-Step Guide

If you are looking for ways to shrink plastic, you need to know how this process works. Shrink plastic refers to the use of certain heat treatments to shrink plastic to different shapes and sizes. The process itself is rather complicated but with the right tools you can shrink plastic with ease. Shrink plastic isn't an easy process but with the proper tools and preparation you can shrink the plastic to create all sorts of items from jewelry to large sheets of plastic for your car. All you need to do is understand how the process works and what you can expect once the shrink plastic cools off.

To perform the shrink plastic process you will need a few tools. Since the product is quite a bit more complicated than regular shrink plastic you will want a few special tools for the job. The basic tools are a large pair of scissors and hot irons. Both of these items can be purchased at your local craft store for relatively cheap. A food safe spray bottle may also be purchased and placed directly on the heating element, while you wait for the plastic to be cooled off.

Once you have gathered the necessary tools and you have placed them in your oven you will need some heat. A toaster oven is an excellent choice for heat set up. Since the plastic has already cooled off you can place the toaster oven on the preheated element and place the plastic over the top. The toaster oven will need to be turned on for approximately five minutes to heat the plastic completely. This will take approximately two hours on a low setting.

Once the plastic has cooled you can place the items you want to shrink plastic onto it and then carefully cut it all the way down to the testing piece. You don't want to cut the material too much as otherwise you risk overheating the piece. Once all the material has been cut into pieces (one by one) you will need to carefully place them back into the toaster oven. You may want to place a sheet of paper under the pieces to keep them from falling out. You may also want to place them inside the oven directly onto the foil so they can all fall out together. Continue this process until all the pieces are finished and you are left with a nice pattern of shrink plastic.

After the pieces are completed you should place the baking sheet on top of the shrink plastic and place the blade underneath it. Use the blade to carefully remove any excess plastic from the sheet. If any extra plastic remains you can simply roll the remaining material onto the cutting mat. You may find that after cutting the mat that there is no longer any plastic remaining. If so you can re-roll the cutting mat and continue cutting.

After you are finished cutting the material into desired shapes you should place the sheet on the baking sheet and then send it through the oven on the self-cleaning cycle. Once the sheet is done cooking, you should inspect it to ensure it is completely done. It is possible for you to overheat the sheet in the self-cleaning cycle, so it is important for you to ensure that your piece's finish cooking before removing it from the oven. Once your pieces are finished cooking, you should remove them from the oven and allow them to cool.

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