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As I was making my polymer clay buttons, I thought I should test how they cope with being washed. From my research on the internet, polymer clay buttons hold up fine but I do like to check these things myself. I also remembered that a while back I got the materials to make buttons using shrink plastic, so I decided it would be good to test those at the same time. Since the first batch of buttons I made is packed away, I made some new ones.

My shrink plastic is printable, so I made a variety of buttons to test different surfaces. I still need to test washing the buttons, but there are already a number of things I don’t like about the shrink plastic.

Buttons by Cate van Alphen

The first kind is 100% colour printed, using a pattern derived from my kaleidoscope cane. It was easy to make perfectly aligned kaleidoscope designs using the computer, but the colours are disappointing. The colours get darker (which I accounted for) but they also change when the plastic shrinks. I’ve pictured them next to a polymer clay button for comparison. Somehow the shrink plastic has lost vitality.

Shrink plastic buttons by Cate van Alphen

I made the next buttons by printing out black lines and colouring them with coloured pencil. Generally I like the colours but the ugly khaki colour in the yellow circles was originally orange pencil which mutated when the plastic shrank. And does one button have a wonky shape? Yes indeed! I used a punch to cut out the shapes so they started off evenly sized and perfectly round.

Shrink plastic buttonsSome of the buttons are not very flat either. These buttons have simple black lines printed on the white plastic. And the backs…

Shrink plastic buttons

The backs are slightly discoloured yellow. Perhaps the tile they were on burnt them? I was using my heat gun on the front of the button so I’m a bit confused. Too hot? Too close? Just something that happens?

Shrink plastic buttons by Cate van Alphen

Shrink plastic buttons by Cate van Alphen

I’m not particularly keen on the white edges of the buttons either. Maybe I’m just too fussy. Oh well, we’ll see what the washing machine makes of them.