Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Tutorial: Shrink Plastic Bookmarks

It's that time of year again. Coffee mugs, pencil holders, Starbuck's gift cards, "World's Best Teacher" magnets - you know...end of the school year teacher appreciation gift time.  Well, I said "PHOOEY!" to the souvenir-shop-style items, and decided to do something for both the teacher AND her students next year.


I thought it would be great to represent a slew of classic(ish) children's books on durable, hard plastic bookmarks.  I decided to make about 20 of these, and present them in a mason jar for the teacher to keep on her desk.  Then, I thought that other people may like this idea, so I made a tutorial.
And, away we go..
   The first thing that you need is some shrink plastic. I had 2 different brands in my craft stash, and the sheets were about 8.5" x 11". I have read a few blogs that say you can recycle take-home meal containers for this kind of project, but I didn't have any of those to try out.

Also needed are - Fine point permanent markers, scissors, small binder clips, a hole punch, and parchment paper.

Instructions (Click on the images to view them larger):
 Lay out a piece of paper that is the same size as your plastic sheet, and measure the halfway mark.

 Draw a vertical line separating the 2 equal sides, and place your plastic sheet on the paper.
 Use the drawn line as a guide for cutting the plastic
This will give you 2 plastic sheets appx 4.25"w x 11"h.

 Use your small binder clips to attach one plastic sheet firmly to the page with the image that you are going to trace.
 This picture shows that I used a black permanent marker for the outlines, and colored markers to fill in some of the details. I definitely suggest illustrations that DO NOT involve a lot of shadowing.
Once you have traced the illustration, repeat the tracing process on the title and author name. Then, punch a hole in the top of the bookmark.  If you forget to punch the hole prior to baking, you will have to use a drilling tool to get it done afterward.
 Heat your OVEN (not toaster oven) to 250 degrees, and place your bookmark on a foil-lined tray covered with parchment paper.
 Lay an additional piece of parchment paper on top of the bookmark to prevent curling, and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
The finished product comes out about 1/2 the size of the original, but size will vary for each bookmark.
Finally, just add some ribbon or thread through the hole that you punched (you didn't forget to do that before baking, did you???), and you have a great keepsake that any kid would love to get!
Don't forget to put them in a decorated container before you give them to the teacher.


Deece said...

This is a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

Angela said...

You're welcome! Thanks for checking it out. If you make some, I would love for you to comment here and let me know.

Anonymous said...

These would make a great Father's Day gift as well!