Since it’s introduction into the public markets, shrink plastic has become quite a popular material option to be combined with customised rubber stamps due to its malleable nature. Much like it’s name, shrink plastic is capable of shrinking up to 45 percent of the original size and can be purchased in several options- black, white, frosted, and clear. Here’s how shrink plastic can be combined with customised rubber stamps:
Before beginning with anything else, ensure that the shrink plastic procured has been already sanded. If it has not, users are advised to sand down both ways and sides for easier colouring as well as preventing the shrink plastic from sticking when it is heated. Once that is done, consider colouring options that are to be paired with the shrink plastic. It is possible to proceed without sanding down the shrink plastic at the end of the day, however, users will have to exercise great caution and own a steady grip since that would mean the surfaces of the shrink plastic are slippier.
It is imperative to note that colour often intensifies after the plastic has been shrunk. Unsanded surfaces do not take well to certain pigment or dye inks even after heat setting. Good recommendations for both sanded and unsanded shrink plastic would be ink used for archival purposes like permanent inks, archival inks, or even fluid chalk.
Once the colouring options have been chosen, move onto preparation of the shrink plastic. Users can begin using their customised rubber stamps to stamp designs over the shrink plastic as preferred. After which, to avoid smudging, hold a heating tool above the shrink plastic for at least 15 seconds to allow prior drying before holding it closer and allowing the shrinking process to begin.
Overstamping can also be done if users wish to obtain a coloured background for their shrink plastic. By colouring the shrink plastic first and then overstamping with their customised rubber stamps, it creates more opportunities for the inks to bond over the background. Using the rubber stamps, apply directly onto the surface and create a blend or overlay of colours before heat setting and drying the ink. Once dry, overstamp with other different types of ink to further create layers.
While shrinking, it is normal for users to witness shrink plastic curling and twisting. It is advised for users to rely on wooden sticks, handles or tweezers to hold the material down while they move the heating tool in a circular manner for even heating.
Shrink Plastic can be cut and trimmed before or after the colouring process. Make sure to round out the corners since the edges can become rather sharp. Users will need carving tools and a heating tool to soften the areas that they wish to trim. Using their stamped images as a guideline, slowly but surely trim it to the desired shape.