Sometimes things don't work | How About Orange

May 20, 2011

Sometimes things don't work

See this plastic picture frame? It was going to be a cute little desk frame for wallet-size photos, made with the plastic shrink film you heat in the oven. Except it curled up like a piece of bacon. Maybe Salvador Dali would have appreciated it, but I threw it in the trash.

An inkjet printable product gave me good results once before, so I opted to try the white, non-inkjet sheets made by Graphix (purchased at a local hobby shop).

I made a quick paper template to trace, sized 200% larger than the final frame would be. I traced it onto the plastic sheet and colored it with a permanent marker. Then I cut out the front of the frame, a piece for the backing, and a stand to attach to the back.

I baked the front of the frame for three minutes on a piece of cardboard with a sheet of parchment paper on top to prevent curling, per the instructions. Here's the before and after. Boo. This is what it looks like after I flattened the hot frame with a spatula. I tried another one and it was even worse.

Here's the back piece for the frame. It used to be a rectangle. I tried placing a thin sheet of cardboard on top of the parchment layer to hold it down during baking, and the plastic went crazy.

I plan to submit it to a modern art museum where it will fit right in with the rest of the objets d'art. This thing just went from a cheapo craft project to a sculpture worth thousands. Awesome!

50 comments:

Shay said...

Ha! Love your attitude. Too bad it didn't work--however, you may have just accidentally discovered your hidden penchant for modern art.

Jess said...

Look out; I'm going to be a millionaire.

Felicity said...

Hey Frank Gehry gets his ideas by crumpling up paper and seeing what happens. You've discovered another way to create the next civic complex.

Jess said...

Yeah, forget placing these sculptures IN art museums. I'm going to design the museum itself.

justlikelead said...

I imagine a way you could make it work is to place the object between two baking pans and put some weights on the top pan...kind of like using pie weights for pie crusts. I'm not sure how well the frame would shrink but it at least won't be crumply...worth a shot?

With that said, your crumply frame looks cool anyways - reminds me of the "crumpled paper" paperweights sold in the MoMa gift shop

Lori Craig said...

Shrink plastic curls up like that as it's shrinking, but it flattens itself back out when it's done. :) Just heat it up a little more and have something heavy and flat that you can place over the top of it when it's done to press it down. Would be a super cute frame! :)

Grandma G said...

Bummer about the frame. But that's sure a cute little boy! ;)

Shones said...

i see the art in that melted plastic. it looks like a bullfrog!

Dorkys Ramos said...

Aww, yeah, sometimes things don't turn out how we imagine them. Or we think it looks SO simple, but turns out it's not. I love that you posted your attempt anyway. Your post title caught my eye on my blog side bar because I'd just posted about my botched attempt at chocolate-covered kiwifruit pops.

Yeah...they didn't turn out quite like the pretty picture I was following. But hey, we learned some things for next time, right?

val said...

yes you can still use that shrink , keep heating it and it will eventually flatten out again!!!!

Space Age Hanna said...

Yes, sometimes it will shrink unevenly but just leave it in for a little bit longer and it will flatten! :)

hilary said...

I've had a hard time with the Grafix sheets, too. I find that the Shrinky Dinks sheets flatten out better.

able mabel said...

Love your attitude!

Mikelle Auman-Williams said...

Place the plastic on a piece of newspaper on a cookie sheet. Then place another piece of newspaper on top and another cookie sheet. So: cookie sheet, newspaper, plastic, newspaper cookie sheet. That helps keep them flat.

emily @ the happy home said...

:-) great idea, at least! i love the edging... it's very Dr. Seuss now!

Elissa said...

I actually think it looks kind of neat all curled up!

iris said...

You could try the 'Museum of Bad Art'?

ash-we are electricity said...

So, I work with Shrinky Dinks all the time, I make jewelry out of them, and the cut if not perfect will ripple and curl. I am not sure about the ones you used, but with SD's and an off brand I found at Joann's, I have about 10 seconds after it is out of the oven to mold them, so, if it is curled, and I need it flat, a lot of the time if I stick something really heavy on top of it, it flattens out. If you wait too long though it will crack and break, but while it is still flexible--Not sure this helps, but I love your projects!!

Sarah said...

Yeah, I've heard nothing good about the Grafix sheets. However, the actual Shrinky Dink ones work really well however. I've ordered from their site and they ship super fast. To make the plastic really flat and straight, put a heavy book on top of them when they come right out of the oven.

janet in ft worth said...

I think the wavy frame would look really cute glued to a flat frame of non-shrink plastic (make the back out of non-shrink, too), so that you can keep the picture flat while still having the more interesting frame. Now go dig that back out of the trash!

Pam said...

When your art is worth millions (oh, wait, maybe it is already) I can say "I knew you WHEN", tee hee.

Niki said...

funny, normally i look at the pictures frist, then I read the artical. When I saw the "back of the frame" I actually thought that it was an piece of modern art! You could make millions!!!

HawaiianLibrarian said...

I love that frame! It looks ready to embellish as an ornament to hang on a tree, or add chimes, or magnet for fridge art. You rock!

Geevz said...

I love crafting fails :)

amy said...

Oh I love that you posted about something that didn't work. Isn't that just as much a part of the whole process as the successes?

catnap said...

I'm seeing a snow-covered landscape waiting for tiny penguins or polar bears.

Claire David said...

Aw. What a pity it didnt work out. How about try to make a paper frame instead? I made one here at greengaleprints.blogspot.com/2011/05/diy-photoframe.html, maybe this might inspire another great idea of yours?

Tammy said...

I have found that using a heat tool is the best for shrink plastic. Also, I have found that the "colored" sheets are a little more prone to curling and "acting up" ;) The second one doesn't look like it was actually finished but I love your attitude towards the projects. I usually just buy the clear inkjet sheets and print off my design on a color printer and go from there. It seems to be my best option when it comes to shrink plastic. :)

Joyfulgirl415 said...

Funny, I just tried making earrings with the grafix white sheets yesterday and they did the same thing. Since it was earrings, the curl looked pretty cool, though.

Miss Prickly said...

Oh no - don't throw it away! You can just bake it longer. The bigger pieces will curl up like that, but keep baking them until they flatten out.

Frau Traumberg said...

The back piece looks like a bear face. Colour and sell it! ;-)

Rachel said...

Haha :) Love this post, because this is more often than not how my crafts end up.

rohanknitter said...

just wondering if you'd seen this in your fabric- love it!!
http://shop.splityarn.com/product/dusky-tulips-boxbag

rings Dublin said...

Great idea, tried ti earlier, didnt turn out as i hoped but hopefully will look better next time. Thanks for the tips

wildwoodflwr said...

Awww. You could submit it to craftfail.com

Jo said...

I would carry on heating it, looks like it needs a bit longer. I use an embossing heat gun to shrink my shrink plastic, their fairly cheap. (Or you or your mother may have one already?!) I find you have more control over what your doing other than using the oven. Heat them some more! You've nothing to lose!

Jess said...

Except the trash has been thrown out. :) Oh well!

Rohanknitter, that bag is lovely! I hadn't seen it before, and just got it added to the Oslo Flickr group. Caro's work is awesome.

Tracy S {trechichome} said...

Just saw your Blog today and I'm hooked!Thank you for posting :) a masterpiece often comes from a mistake

Julie_c said...

Sorry that didn't work out for you. But it's nice to know stuff like that doesn't only happen to me!

Terri D. said...

I use an embossing heat gun (not the heavy duty paint stripper kind), a teflon sheet and a chopstick. That sounded like a bad joke ( a guy walks into a bar with a...). Use the chopstick to keep the SD from curling up and sticking to itself. When the SD piece is almost flat but still warm (like in your final picture), put down the stick and pick up a wood-mounted rubber stamp. With the wood side down, whomp the SD piece. Flat shrinky. You're welcome. LOL

YnR said...

hilarious!

Jon and Jolie said...

if you have an embossing gun, it may also work and give you a little more control over the poly shrink.

MahkaCrafts said...

I have found that using a heat gun with a small spacula helps. You can do things very slowly and press down every so often

Nikki said...

I've had this problem with my daughters shinky dinks crafts. The last box we bought had a tip sheet in it. Two tips I remember are to heat the pan in the oven before you transfer the pieces and sprinkle some baby powder on the surface to help the shrinky from sticking as it does its thing. It worked for us!

LisaK said...

Like some other have said, I actually prefer to use a heat gun to control the shrinking. You do need to make sure you have some good ventilation. Don't want to be breathing those fumes in too deeply.

Also, instead of buying the crafty plastic you can use the top of a take out container - you know the clear plastic things they put on top of the aluminum take out containers usually from the Mexican restaurants. You can also use the all plastic containers that berries come in or cupcakes from the bakery section, - you want the ones with a #6 in the recycle logo.

Bonnie said...

I second the heat tool idea and yes, just keep heating it as it curls then flattens. I also put a heavy object on top as it cools. Good luck!!!

Anonymous said...

i had good luck with the actual shrinky dinks brand paper and putting it into a toaster oven instead of the oven? dunno :)

Lindy said...

Maybe someone already said this....BUt

I used grafix to make name tags for a group I'm in. I had to adjust both the time and temp of the oven. It was trial and error. I also would have to open the oven and mold it a little and then let it keep baking. Good luck and try it again! When I run out of grafix I will probably buy shrinky dink paper although it's more expensive.

Anonymous said...

NUUUUUUUU!!!! Dont throw it out!!!!!! if that happens... you can put it in the oven for a few more sec... and take out real quick and put something like a book on top of it and press down and it will flatten! :) -desu

Anonymous said...

NOOOOOOOO!! don't throw it out! if you put it in the oven for another 10 seconds it will be flexible. take it out real quick and out something flat and heavy on it like a book and it will flatten out :) -desu

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