This is my first year playing Fantasy Football and it has been pretty fun so far. I’ve been itching to try it, so when Diane of CraftyPod.com sent out an invitation to join the Crafty Football League I immediately jumped on board. And, evidently, each year they have a Crafty FFL Blog Hop. Bonus!
My crafty NFL project is shrink plastic charms. They are super easy and look really awesome. They are very versatile so you can turn them into Christmas ornaments, pendants, key fobs, earrings, magnets, probably a bunch more stuff. Best of all, if you have any #6 plastic take out containers, they are just about free.
More & more restaurants are switching to #1 and #2 plastic for take out boxes, and that is wonderful because #1 & #2 can be easily recycled, in fact those are the only 2 kinds my recycle bin accepts. If you do happen upon some #6, save it to make shrinkies. You will be helping the planet by not tossing more plastic into the trash and you get to enjoy a super fun and easy craft. Win-win. If you can’t get your hands on #6 plastic, shrink plastic is readily available at craft stores and in the craft department of Target, Wal-Mart, etc.
You will need:
- #6 take out container or store-bought shrink plastic
- Colored Pencils
- Sandpaper or steel wool
- Hole punch
- Craft heat gun or dedicated toaster oven
- Flat bottom glass
- Jump rings, wire, cording, or something of your choosing from which to hang your charm.
My team is the Raiders. Yes, I know. It was easy enough to get the Raider logo as well as the Charger Bolt (for my nephew) from the internet. Your original image should be no bigger than 4″ x 4″ and probably no smaller than 2″ x 2″.
Make sure your container is very clean. Cut out an appropriately sized piece, making sure there is nothing stamped on it (like a big ol’ #6) and wash it off. If you are using store-bought plastic you can skip this step.
You should lightly sand it with fine grit sandpaper if you are using colored pencils or if you want a more opaque look but if you use Sharpies, sanding is not necessary. Tape the plastic to the image you’re tracing. This is a very important step, trust me. Start with the outline and the big obvious shapes, then add in the details. If you are using a Sharpie you will notice that it “marks” areas that you have already colored. Don’t worry about that, you will not be able to tell once you’ve shrunk it down.
If you make a mistake you can erase it with a Q-tip barely moistened with rubbing alcohol. Once you are satisfied with your design, trim the plastic down to a neat shape and punch your hole. Or holes, depending on how you want it to hang. A regular office-type hole punch is perfect. The holes will seem huge but shrink down to just the right size.
Place your plastic on a heat proof surface (mine is a metal cake pan covered with foil) and shrink it with your crafty heat gun. You could use a toaster oven, if you have a spare, but I wouldn’t shrink plastic in something I cook food in, and the heat gun works pretty well.
Please do this in a well ventilated area! It is very stinky and not good to breathe!
Before you shrink have a flat-bottomed glass handy (with no lettering on the bottom!) so you can press your piece flat if you need to, and try not to blast the plastic off the table with the forced air of the heat gun. I use a fork to hold it in place, and also I try to heat it from above but sometimes I forget. It is going to curl up so don’t freak out. It should straighten itself out, and if not, you can tweak it into submission while it’s still hot. And it will be very hot, so be careful.
Here is the result! Store bought shrink plastic may give a soother finish (although I wouldn’t know, I’ve never bought the stuff) but I like this imperfect “wabi-sabi” finish. If you’re feeling extra creative, colored pencils work great as well and are permanent once you shrink them.
Check out what my fellow Crafty Fantasy Footballers made –