Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Cricut charms made with shrink plastic - Part 2

Okay, after I figured out what I wanted to draw and what I wanted to cut, I got out my shrink plastic.  I used PolyShrink canvas white.  I don't know if they still make it - I've had this for a very long time.  The thing to remember is that you have to sand the plastic before you can draw on it.  They suggest a cross-hatch pattern.  I could really tell a difference on the parts I didn't sand too well.

After sanding, I then had a dilemma... what to use to draw on it!  The Cricut markers worked, but the lines were too thick, and the marker ran into the areas that were sanded.  I shrunk it anyway to see how it looked, but it didn't look right.  I then tried the QuicKutz Silhouette pens, which fit perfectly into the Cricut and are much thinner, but for some reason they didn't write.  After one attempt where I took a Zig Writer and drew over the shapes, I decided that was too much work.

Then I thought, "Hey, a Slick Writer will write on anything, even this plastic!  What if...."

I took my beloved black fine point Slick Writer down to the basement, grabbed my husband's saw, and...

Not too bad of a cut, even if Steve thinks it's a little jagged in spots.  I cut the innards (yes, that's the technical term) with scissors, only getting a little ink on my hands, and I put the cap on the cut end.  Here's a picture with the pen next to the Silhouette pen:

Length:  good.  Width:  not so much.  Next stop: packing tape!

Purty, ain't it?  Toward the end of the process, I had to wrap it with more tape because it started to compress with all of the handling.  With each set of charms, I drew then cut.  If you take the mat out, there's a possibility that it won't go back in at the exact same point, so the cuts might be off.

For most of the charms, it worked like a, uh, charm.  With the last three, though, I had some problems.  The pen started to wriggle, and the cuts were off.  I was finally able to get them all done, but not without some swearing and using an extra sheet of the shrink plastic.  Steve said he could make a housing out of Styrene (a really thin plastic used in model railroading), so we might try that for the next time.

Here's the charms after they were all drawn and cut:

For any cartridge that was just a font with no shapes, I used a lowercase "t" for "Traci".  On the back of each charm I used a purple Slick Writer pen to write the name of the cartridge in case anyone asked.

After coloring with colored pencils, this is what I had:

The colors don't look too bright now, but after shrinking they really intensify.  I'll keep you in suspense on the shrinking until tomorrow...


  1. Traci, You do such a wonderful job in shrinking all those charms. Can you shrink me?

  2. Traci, wonderful project! next time of course you will be able to do it on your Cricut Imagine! LOL
    Thanks for the interesting blog