Friday, April 3, 2015

Shrink plastic from your recycle bin, but first, a Friday Smile

I'm going to start with a Friday Smile that I hope Annie at A Stitch in Time and the gang will appreciate.   I have no photos, only the tail (OOPS, TALE), which I swear is true.  Wednesday night, my friend Scott dropped by to see if he could get my speakers working on my computer.  After spending time finding the problem, I asked him to work on my SD Card Reader.  Although he thought it was fixed, sadly, it is not.  Luckily, I'll be able to work around the problem for awhile, at least.

Back to the story, Squiggles was in the office with Scott and me.  I had one of the windows raised, and he was enjoying the fresh air and the bird that was tweeting away in the tree outside the window.  When we went to the kitchen, I made sure he was in the office, because he and Bleubeard are having turf wars at the moment.

I had planned to fix a meal, but Scott insisted on getting fast food not far from my house.  I stayed back and soothed Bleubeard, who then decided to head to the basement.  About that time, the phone rang, and it was Scott telling me he had caught Squiggles, who had somehow gotten out and was across the street.  My heart dropped, because I never wanted him to go outside.  Bleubeard had been born in a barn, and was adept at the outdoors, but Squiggles has been in a pretty antiseptic environment all his life.

Scott brought him in and he headed straight to the office, where he pushed the door open.  Soon, I headed upstairs to see if he was OK.  Without turning on the lights, I heard the worst commotion.  With only the light shining from the kitchen below (the office sits above the attached garage), I saw TWO SQUIGGLES.  Yep, two.  Scott had found the only other cat in the world that looked nearly exactly like him.  When Scott got back, he asked me if I could tell which one was Squiggles, and I said only that Squiggles was the one with the collar.  They looked THAT SIMILAR, if he hadn't been wearing his collar, I might not have been able to tell them apart.  Other than the fact that Squiggles was hissing and using the guttural language that angry, overprotective cats make, that is.  When the other cat was safely outside, I laughed so hard, I had tears in my eyes, and my sides ached.  To me, it was THAT funny.  I hope you can laugh at it too.  I'm sure Annie and the gang will have a few that are funny, too.  But now it's time to do a bit of recycling.

Some of you may have a much larger craft budget than I have.  But even if I had unlimited disposable income, I would still recycle shrink plastic.

Shrink plastic is expensive when you buy it in sheets, but FREE when you grab it from your recycle bin.

Supplies from back:
Large circle punch
Stamp ink, color and type of your choice (preferably solvent or Staz-on)
Plastic from your recycle bin
Stamp of your choice
Heat tool (not shown)

Not all plastic is the same.   For it to be shrink plastic, it must be #6 plastic.  Look for this label embedded in the plastic.  Much of the plastic you get will probably be #1 or #2.  Be sure yours shows the #6.  Mine came from a bakery product I bought nearly a year ago.  Whenever I get food items from a store, I check the number and save all #6 plastic.

Here's what I did.  I placed the plastic in a large circle punch and punched.  Granted, I had to stand on the punch because I have no strength for something that large.

Now that the circle is punched, I grabbed my heat gun and turned it on.   I used a chop stick to hold onto the plastic, because, just like all shrink plastic, it will curl up onto itself and tries to blow away, too.  However, just like all shrink plastic, eventually it flattens out.

That thin piece of plastic has now shrunk 

to one quarter (1/4) its original size.

It's now time to ink your stamp.

After stamping the first one, I realized I needed to use permanent (solvent or Staz-on) ink instead of slow drying pigment ink.  Regardless, you now have a shrink plastic embellishment you can use in your art.  You'll find the ones I made in the Kings and Queens Altered Book I'm making.

Today is Day 3 and I recycled #6 plastic and turned it into shrink plastic art.  I also kept plastic out of the landfill where it takes millennia to disintegrate. 

24 thoughtful remarks:

voodoo vixen said...

Oh my goodenss... two Squiggles! I do hope Squiggles II does not take it upon himself to make your house a permanent residence... probably not seeing as how he wasn't greeted with open arms? LOL Love the shrink plastic... and thank you for telling me what sort to look out for as I have never figured that bit out!

Annie said...

Oh Elizabeth thank you so much for sharing your story.....I have tears running down my face here now from laughing! That's soooooo funny...we obviously have the same sense of humour :-)
Annie x

Fiona@Staring at the Sea said...

That is so funny! Poor Squiggles. Great tip on the plastic. I had no idea. The recycling bin was emptied an hour ago. Can you believe it? Otherwise I'd be off for a rummage right now!

tilly said...

how many cats does one person need lol.....a funny tale

Halle said...

Oh my gosh!! Too funny. He has a doppelganger. Good thing you had a collar on him.
I hadn't thought of using my heat gun to shrink plastic. DUG! Thanks for the slap on the forehead moment. :)

Halle said...

DUH not DUG...I think I need another cup of coffee before typing. ;)

Robyn Oliver said...

Hi Elizabeth, you have us all laughing, what fun cat antics, bit scary too but worth a good belly laugh. Cheers and enjoy your weekend Robyn

Nan G said...

Yeah Scott, he found a squiggles imposter! Poor Squiggles I what a start to have an upstart in his house. giggles all around here. The Girls just 'humfff'ed at me and went outside.loved the tip on free shrink,plastic.mwho knew there was different kinds. Thanks E! Always an enlightening visit. Hugs

Craftymoose Crafts said...

That is so funny...and Bleubeard's "worst nightmare"! Twin Squiggles!!!

Free shrink plastic has always been one of my favorite tips that I have seen on your blog.

Hope you have a great weekend!

froebelsternchen said...

Great Elizabeth -Thank you for your tipps ! I tried it with P6 ( found just one special white plastic package from a curd cheese with the number 6 on it)after I found the fab tutorial from Suzette Morrow
there is a part two on this video and she gives great tips , also for coloring it.
but it turned out not as well as with my bought shrink plastic I have to admit.
I make the stamping always with black archival ink, has to dry a bit but is good for it- better for me than Staz On.

Nancy said...

Interesting steps to the shrink art. Squiggles story is too funny! We had the same thing happen with a new-to-us chocolate lab. The first time we left home, hoping all would be well, we were headed back and a mile or so from our place spotted our dog! Oh no, we thought, he's a "runner". Loaded him in the back seat, he gave my husband a face lick and off we went to home. Only to find our dog was there behaving himself very nicely. We drove the other dog back to his place with red faces! They were an exact match right down to the red collars! And we still laugh about it.

Krisha said...

Thanks for the tip on which recycle # to look for. This also looks like it shrinks to the original shape better than the expensive, store bought stuff.

Cat story was hilarious!! Poor Bluebeard the thought of 2 Squiggles would have sent him back to the barn....LOL

jinxxxygirl said...

Well my goodness i will file that little bit of information away for a later play date Elizabeth... #6 it! I've always seen shrink plastic stamped and colored and THEN shrunk...?? Any special reason you did your different? Hugs! deb

Divers and Sundry said...

roflol! Poor Squiggles, and I'm sure y'all left Imitation Squiggles quite confused. What a funny story.

Elizabeth said...

I did laugh at your two Squiggles tale - I can just imagine my Bonnie's reaction if I brought home another Bonnie ... all hell would break out too :) Great tip on shrink plastic - now filed at the back of my mind as something to try sometime. Hope your Easter weekend is good. Elizabeth xx

~*~Patty S said...

Thanks for the laugh...that IS a good one for sure E!!! Too Funny!!!
I bet Bleubeard would have had something to say about TWO Squiggles in the house LOL!

I will keep an eye out for #6 plastic...can't say I've come across any. We do recycle lots of plastic among other things here.
Hope you're having a good Friday.

johanna said...

haha, two squiggles... what would bluebeard say? are they friends meanwhile?
great Recycling tip! i never thought this would work. but i think i would have used stazon, though i do not like this pad very much (dries too fast on the pad, constant reinking needed...)

Jo Murray said...

Hilarious story! Thanks for the info on the

AiyanaKalyna said...

I loved the two Squiggles story. I laughed so hard. I also loved the Shrink plastic tutorial. I always forget what number to look for. Thank you for the reminder. :)

mamapez5 said...

I really laughed at the cat tale because I can really imagine that situation.
The recycled plastic is very clever. I didn´t know it was robust enough to heat shrink. I must look out for some no 6 and try it out. (I can´t find a hash symbol on my Spanish keyboard though I am sure there is one on there somewhere!).
Happy easter to you and yours. Kate x

Hettie said...

What a shock for Squiggles! Funny he has a doppleganger so close!
Great tip on the shrink plastic. Thank you.
Happy Easter.

Laura said...

Oh goodness! Has the real squiggles forgiven you for letting another on to his property?
Thanks for the #6 tip. I'll give that a try...

massofhair said...

Hoping Squiggles has gotten over his surprise doppelgänger visit lol, sounds so funny but i am glad everyone is ok!

Thanks for the #6 tip, never knew that but i do keep all the packaging plastic i get from time to time :-) xxx

pearshapedcrafting said...

Oh My! Poor Squiggles! Can imagine the noise!!! Great tip about the plastic - I'll be looking from now on! Chrisx