Saturday, May 1, 2010

Shrink Plastic Buttons by Jane Johnson

Good morning!! Today I want to share with you how I make my shrink plastic buttons. It is quick and easy and you can create just about any shape button you like!!

You will need:

Shrink plastic (I have used the frosted shrink plastic)
Ink pads (if you use the frosted shrink plastic you can use most inks on it's rough side, otherwise you will need Stazon)
Heat mat
Heat gun

You can of course simply die cut circles/flowers or any other shape from the shrink plastic and colour them with copics for plain buttons, or, as I am doing here, you can stamp the shapes in different inks onto the rough side of the shrink plastic. (these stamps are from Stempelglede) Just remember that they shrink to about 7 times smaller so you need to start off fairly large!

Next I have stamped some Whiff of Joy swirl stamps from the Spring Swirls set over the top of my white circles.

Next, carefully cut around the stamped shapes.

Here are my buttons, cut and ready for the next step.

Using your cropodile, punch two (or four if you choose) holes using the smallest hole punch. WARNING! point the cropodile down towards the desk as you punch as the plastic circles are hard and sharp when they pop out and hit you in the face (from experience LOL).

After all the holes are punched it is time to shrink them!

To prevent the buttons from blowing away, hold them with some tweezers when using the heat gun. Use the hottest setting on the heat gun and hold it a couple of inches away from the button.

For those who have not used shrink plastic before, this is what happens when you start to shrink it!! It will crumple and twist together, but don't worry, once it has shrunk to size it magically flattens out!! If you choose to make some flower shape buttons you will find they are slightly more difficult as the petals sometimes stick together. If this happens simply apply another burst of heat and quickly pull them appart with the tweezers (the plastic is very hot for a few seconds after heating but soon cools down!)

Here are the finished buttons!

To give you an idea of what size stamps to use here are the finished buttons alongside the original stamps! These buttons are now 15mm diameter and the circle stamp is 37mm!

Finally, here are some of the buttons on a finished card. This image is called "Chicken Soup" and is available from today, along with 9 others from the fabulous Get Well collection. I hope you have enjoyed the tutorial and are inspired to make some buttons of your own!

Jane x


  1. Their great, it's amazing how many obvious things you can do if you just think to do them.

  2. Fab tutorial.. buttons looks great ~ thank you xx Lizzy xx

  3. FANTASTIC Jane, cannot wait to try it, have plastic but never used it, will now! Thank you

  4. Thanks for the tutorial. Fab idea, I love playing with shrink plastic

  5. These are great Jane will certainly be having a go at these!

  6. adorable - I have some shrinky dinks and will try this with stamps! thanks

  7. What a brilliant idea - thanks Jane!

  8. Thanks for the inspiration
    Christine x

  9. what an innovative idea= thanks for sharing! What size was the circle stamp when you started out? Thanks for the ideas!

  10. Gorgeous tutorial- thank you.

  11. Thanks for the tutorial.Gorgeous!!

  12. Hallo,

    Very LOVELY your buttons ! Great !

    Françoise (Belgium)

  13. Very cool! I'm going to try this!

  14. Brilliant. will be trying this x

  15. I will definitely will be giving this one a go hun, what a brilliant

  16. Fantastic Tutorial Jane, never seen this done before, thank you, take careX:)

  17. fabulous tutorial!! thanks for sharing! will have to try this some time!

  18. this is a great tutorial, I so love this idea. I've been scared to use my shrink plastic, but I love buttons too much not to try this lol. I'll have to buy one of those crockodile things though won't I. I dear, more craft shopping, how will i cope lol. Hugs lin


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