Friday 4 October 2013

... and a Shrink Plastic Skeleton

Well, I've given in and decided to do a Halloween post... I'm not against it or anything, its just that its never really been a big deal in our house. But this post is being brought to you mainly because I've wanted to use shrink plastic for AGES but couldn't think of anything I wanted to try it out on. In a way I wish I hadn't tried it because it is so much fun, I think I could be hooked!
We don't normally decorate for Halloween but this year I found this skeleton (photo) and couldn't resist buying it. It measures 50cm and is made of wood. Straight away, my mind went to thinking I might be able to replicate it on a smaller scale.

Like any good crafter would(!) I first went onto Pinterest to see if it had been done before. And I found this great post by Crafty Lady Abby who was making them to replace a pair of earrings. I used this for guidance, but ended up making a few changes:

  • Shrink Plastic (I used Shrinkles in opaque white)
  • Drawing Pens & Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Hole Punch
  • An oven (a heat gun works too but I haven't got one!!)
  • Jump Rings and Needle Nose Pliers
I found this image on Google Images and enlarged it to the size of the sheets (just smaller than A4).
After printing it out, I was able to trace the image through the plastic. I traced each section separately, taking care to ensure I had enough space to punch a hole at the joints. The shrink plastic I used has a rough and shiny side. The rough side takes pencil and ink well, and I could even rub out my pencil lines (which I needed to do lots!)
I punched holes in the places where I needed to attach the jump rings (see mistake later!!) and put the pieces in the oven, Gas Mark 3. If you've never used shrink plastic before its brilliant to watch. I found myself on the floor peering into the oven the whole time (Great British Bake Off style)!
After they had shrunk down and cooled I realised I had missed a hole in the torso. I also realised that there was NO way I would be able to put one in afterwards due to the size of the pieces, and their new thickness.

I had to draw out a new ribcage & pelvis, and put in the correct numbers of holes and luckily this allows me to show you the before and after sizes...
Finally I attached the parts together with jump rings so they could be dangly and jiggly! The final skeleton is 5cm and is perfect for a brooch, keyring, or ....??
The observant among you will notice that I realised MUCH later that I forgot to put a hanging hole at the top of his head. If I attach him to anything I will have do it from behind!
Ooh he looks all glowy... What else could he be used for?!

We are linking up to these parties!

13th October 2013: Update - this post was featured here at Dream a little Bigger
Dream a Little Bigger


  1. He looks great this is another technique I am dying to try out.

  2. I'm a fan of printable shrink plastic myself. I'm impressed at how straight your skeleton has come out!

    1. Ooh I didn't know you could get printable stuff. One to add to my shopping list! xx

  3. Fabulous!!! I love working with shrink plastic.

  4. So much detail....

    1. It's amazing how it stays clearly defined! xx

  5. nice post! never used shrink plastic, bust I must try...

  6. Hahaha! I love this guy. Love him, love him, love him. Nice job!

    1. Thanks Allison! And thanks for the feature! xx

  7. Cute! I didn't know about the printable stuff. Thanks for linking up to Gingerly Made's Show & Tell party!


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