Shrink Plastic Rings

5 Mar

In this how-to, Lisa will show you how to make beautiful shrink plastic rings.

Shrink plastic rings

Lisa is our Mailorder Supervisor, now working mainly in our mailorder department, although she has also had many years experience working in our shop. Lisa has always made jewellery and studied decorative arts at Nottingham Trent University,  where she specialised in mould making and resin casting, techniques that she has transferred into making her own pendants.

Lisa has also worked with lots different materials for jewellery purposes including metal, glass, resin, ceramic, polymer clay, wood, art clay and is the shop’s go to person for shrink plastic advice!  In her spare time Lisa works on her own business, My Sweet Sailor, creating jewellery and accessories which she sells at craft fairs and through Etsy.

Lisa playing with shrink plastic
When this lovely book arrived just over a year ago, who else would we turn to but Lisa to try out a few of the projects.  Lisa was initially quite impressed with the book as it has a modern and appealing front cover, and having a flick through, she could see that there were loads of fun illustrations and slightly different projects to try.

Shrink Plastic Book 'Shrink! Shrank! Shrunk!'

Lisa instantly enjoyed the book, of which she said, “I really like the templates & illustrations in the back of the book. They’re great if you’re new to using shrink plastic, or not quite confident in your own drawing abilities, it gives you a great starting point. Having all the images to the right scale is also really great as it’s something that’s quite hard to get your head around when you first start out.”

I asked Lisa what you need to get started & if she has any top tips.

The materials & tool needed are fairly simple (most people will already have most items)

  • Shrink plastic (Lisa likes working with the white and frosted plastic)
  • A scalpel (for any tricky areas)
  • Cutting mat or chopping board
  • Sharp scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Baking tray
  • Grease proof paper (stops the plastic sticking to the baking tray)
  • Tweezers (for holding hot plastic)
  • Marker pens

When shrinking large pieces of plastic Lisa prefers to use an oven to shrink it as you get more consistent results, but a heat gun is useful when shrinking small, intricate items.

Here are a few of the super-cute things we made from the book:

Shrink plastic pinky swear necklace

If you want to create rings, a ring mandrel is perfect for shaping your ring around. Lisa shows you just how easy it is to make your own shrink plastic rings in this easy-to-follow video:

If you are drawing your own design, it may help to plan it out on paper first and trace it onto the plastic.

For a professional finish, 3D gloss gives a lovely shine and transforms the finished jewellery.

Lisa uses glaze on her own finished designs, you can see from her drawings that she’s very talented.

My Sweet Sailor designs

Don’t forget that you can share your makes with us, via our various social media profiles! We are on Facebook (, Twitter (@mailorder_beads and Instagram (@mailorder_beads )! (You can use #TheBeadShopNottingham or #MailorderBeads so we can see them!)

See our range of shrink plastic:

Shrink! Shrank! Shrunk! book:

Ring Mandrels:
Gun Guns:

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