I am working on some new upcycling projects and wanted to make my own buttons. I have read in several places that #6 plastics (recyclable plastics with a 6 in the middle of the arrows) work just like those shrink plastic sheets you can purchase at the store. Many take out containers are made from #6 plastics, as are some plastic cups and plates. I reclaimed some cups from my Mom's stash and started experimenting.
Being the non-scientific person that I am, it didn't occur to me take pictures of my first attempts. I figured I would cut out some shapes, punch the holes, heat and shrink and be set to go. But noooo! My shapes kept getting seriously distorted. Circles were turning out as really skinny ovals.
My son asked what would happen if we shrunk a whole cup, so we tried it out. Turns out that a cup will shrink into a disc just a smidge larger than the opening of the cup. Interesting!
So I grabbed my camera and did a little experiment:
A 5" tall plastic cup (#6 recyclable plastic)
Cut into about 1.25" tall rings
Arranged on parchment paper on a baking sheet (you can use brown paper sack as well)
Oven set at 325 degrees. I wish I could photo the shrinking process, but I didn't want to melt my camera and my oven doesn't have a clear view door.
Rings after shrinking. This is exactly how they shrank down. Should your circles be distored, the plastic is very malleable while warm, so you can fine tune the shaping if you desire.
The rings are about 1/16" thick and stiff.
So, what do you think? What do you see this technique being used for? Upcycled jewelry? Christmas decorations? Picture frames? What else?