Tutorial–Shrink Plastic Buttons

Make your own unique buttons using shrink plastic and permanent ink!

Shrink plastic button tutorial

Its not like I don’t have enough buttons already, but sometimes you just need something special. These shrink plastic buttons are perfect for all kinds of craft projects, and as they use permanent inks can even be used on clothing*.

You will need:

-Clear shrink plastic sheet
-Heat Tool or domestic oven
-Circle punch, I’m using a 1.5″ by Dovecraft
-Standard size hole punch
-Permanent markers, like Sharpies
-Permanent ink pad, like StazOn and stamps
-Old plate or heatproof surface

Shrink plastic button tutorial

How to:

1.Use the punch to create a circle out of the shrink plastic sheet. It can take quite a bit of force to cut through the plastic, compared to paper. If you don’t have a large punch, draw a circle onto the plastic and carefully cut out.  A 1.5inch/3.8cm circle will shrink down to approx 0.6inch/1.5cm

Shrink plastic button tutorial

2. Use the standard hole punch to make two holes in the middle of the circle

Shrink plastic button tutorial

3.Draw your design onto the circle, remembering that the image will shrink down, colours will become more intense and solid.

Shrink plastic button tutorial

4.Alternatively, use rubber stamps and permanent ink to create your design. Be careful though, as the stamps slide around on the shrink plastic a lot more than they do when used on paper!

Shrink plastic button tutorial

5.Once the ink has dried, place your button onto an old plate and shrink down using a heat tool. If using your oven to shrink the button, be sure to follow the manufacturers instructions.

Shrink plastic button tutorial

6.The button will twist and move as it shrinks, but keep going until the piece flattens out. I like to to flip the button over to ensure an even shrink.

Shrink plastic button tutorial

7.Give your button a minute to cool down and it ready to use!

Shrink plastic button tutorial

Let me know if you use this tutorial to make your own Shrink Plastic Buttons, by commenting with a link, or message me on TwitterInstagram or Facebook! Happy Making!

*I have found that as long as you use permanent ink the image is pretty durable and doesn’t wash off or chip. However, I would recommend testing thoroughly before using on clothing that you intend to regularly put in a machine wash.

2 thoughts on “Tutorial–Shrink Plastic Buttons

  • 5th June 2017 at 4:43 pm

    Hi Emma, I’d like to know what kind of the material the clear shrink plastic sheet is? Is it PVC or something else? Thank you!

    • 5th June 2017 at 6:43 pm

      Hi Bella! I’m not 100% sure, but I believe that products sold as shrink plastic are actually a type of polystyrene!


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