So, I was try­ing to make shrink plas­tic neck­lace charms with the teacup tem­plates I made for the teacup book­mark project, but it proved to be quite a process! The trick­i­est part, I think, was to make it hang on a bit of an angle, rather than side­way, like my ear­li­er attempt here…

When it hangs side­way like that I’m afraid it does­n’t real­ly look like a teacup any more…

So, after sev­er­al attempts and numer­ous sheets of #6 plas­tic, I final­ly fig­ured it out! It just involves some “Franken­stein­ing” of two of the teacups.

1. Print out the teacup tem­plates at 50%. (My fin­ished — baked and shrunk — teacup is about 3/4 inch wide, one could vary the fin­ished size by increasing/decreasing the scal­ing of the tem­plates when printing)

2. Cut around the tall teacup and stick it on the blank area of the paper with a tape loop or glue stick. Then draw a line from the top of the teacup ear (aka han­dle), like so…

3. Cut out the short teacup, but with­out the han­dle. Note that I also smoothed out the area where the foot of the cup meets the bot­tom of the cup shape. Just thought it would look bet­ter that way, with the new han­dle, which is what we’re mak­ing next!

4. Trace the sides and bot­tom of the round teacup (it helps to draw it in colours oth­er than black, like the red pen­cil cray­on I used here) onto the tall teacup, lin­ing up the bot­tom, shift­ing slight­ly to the left, so that if the right side of the round teacup is extend­ed it would touch the far­thest right point of the line drawn in step 1. Like so…

5. Com­plete the shape, like so…

6. Trace the new teacup shape onto the plas­tic to be shrunk. (I used recy­cled #6 plas­tic, so I sand­ed it with fine sand paper before trac­ing. But sand­ing would not be nec­es­sary if using store-bought shrink plas­tic, i.e. Shrinky-Dinks.)

7. Dec­o­rate to your heart’s con­tent! I used pen­cil crayons.

8. Bake and shrink! I placed the plas­tic on a piece of tin foil in a bak­ing pan, and baked it at 325°F. I watched it close­ly as it shrank, until it was as flat as it could be, for about 30 sec­onds to 1 min. I find that with #6 plas­tic it nev­er lies com­plete­ly flat when it’s done shrink­ing. So I press the plas­tic with the bot­tom of a glass as soon as it comes out of the oven.



I also sealed the coloured side with an acrylic var­nish, so the colour does­n’t rub off.

I’d like it to hang on more of an angle, but I think that’s the best one so far. Or per­haps a teacup shape like that would just nev­er be able to hang much more upright than that when it’s hung by the ear, I mean handle.

These are the pre­vi­ous attempts I made. They shrank real­ly well so I don’t want to just throw them out. I’ll find a use for them one day…

One thing about the recy­cled #6 plas­tic though, is that it’s unpre­dictable. I’m con­vinced that it has some kind of “grain”, that it tends to stretch a cer­tain way. I cut this piece diag­o­nal to the edge of the box that the plas­tic came from and it stretched com­plete­ly out of shape when baked.

So I think it’s best to first test-bake a small piece before cut­ting out the project piece to see how it shrinks.

Any­way, I had a good time exper­i­ment­ing. Do let me know if you decide to give this a go!

Hap­py first day of June! :D

2 thoughts on “tea-charming!

  1. Real­ly cute! You could use the left­over teacups as hearts for a flower. Just a thought… :) I want to give this shrinky plas­tic stuff a go, but it’ll have to wait until sum­mer. School comes first right now.
    By the way, I learned plarn mak­ing from your blog and I’ve made a skirt of it for a play. I want to thank you for the whole idea of plarn cro­chet­ing! The skirt was a suc­ces and I got such nice com­ments on it, so I thought I’d share a lit­tle of the hon­our with you. Thank you! You can see some pic­tures of the skirt on my blog if you want.

  2. teacup flow­ers… that’s an idea! :D
    your skirt is incred­i­ble! far beyond cro­chet­ing plarn fish! thank you for shar­ing that with me!

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