Ordering a personalised keychain can be costly, although you may get a discount. However, that is only possible if bulk buying. And not everyone who needs a customised keychain needs to buy it in bulk. This is where custom made rubber stamps come in. With a piece of shrink plastic and your rubber stamp, you’ll be able to create a keychain for yourself and for others.
So, How Can I Make Keychains Using Shrink Plastics and Rubber Stamps?
Materials You Need:
- Rubber Stamp
- Ink Pad (Archival Ink and Solvent Ink Pads)
- Shrink Plastic
- Jump Rings or Strings
- Wax Paper
- 1/4 inch puncher (or larger)
- 2 Untextured Flat Surfaces
Step #1: Prepare the Shrink Plastic
Although you can still make your own keychain without having to buff the shrink plastic with sandpaper. However, buffing the shrink plastic first makes the ink from your rubber stamp, stick to the plastic better. Inks by nature, are resistant to glossy materials at some point. This is why even if the ink is made to be able to stick with glossy materials, the plastic needs to have a texture.
Step #2: Prepare Your Rubber Stamp
Shrink Plastics are not the only thing that you’ll be buffing in this project. It is important that you buff your rubber stamp as well especially because you need the ink to be able to stick on the rubber plate of your stamp. A buffed rubber stamp, if applied over a buffed plastic creates a clear and vivid image. And that should be your goal if you’re creating keychains out of shrink plastics. Shrink plastics are able to shrink 45% from its initial size, which means the large images and texts from your rubber stamp are going to shrink together with the plastic as well. I highly advise for you to use large craft stamps, DIY rubber stamps, or personalised rubber stamps that have large bold texts and large images.
Step #3: Apply Ink On Your Rubber Stamp
Now that you’re done with preparing your shrink plastic, and your rubber stamp, it’s time that you apply the ink on the rubber stamp. Dab the ink of your choice into the rubber stamp. Make sure that every part of your stamp’s rubber plate is covered with ink. Just remember, you don’t want your impressions on your plastic to be too wet, or it’ll take a while to dry, and there’s a huge chance that the image on your plastic will smudge.
Step #4: Start Stamping
With the ink covering the rubber plate of your rubber stamp. You can now start making stamp impressions on your shrink plastic. You can make as many images as you want, just remember, you want your impressions to be big in order for the images to be clearly seen even if the plastic shrinks sizes. If the colour of the impressions on your shrink plastic starts to fade out, do Step #3 again, until you’re satisfied with the number of impressions you have made on your plastic.
Step #5: Wait For the Ink To Dry
You don’t want your fingerprints all over your stamped image and ruin your DIY project. So wait up for minutes or seconds until the image is all dry. While waiting for your ink to dry, it’s best if you clean your stamps up. You don’t want the ink to be sticking in your rubber stamps for a long time.
Step #6: Cut The Plastic
After having to dry your shrink plastic, it’s time to cut your shrink plastics into your desired shape. If your stamp has a personalised border, you can follow that line. However, you may want to start cutting outside of the lined border. Doing this makes the finished look of your keychain neat and clean. Another thing is that you must leave a space in cutting for your keychain hole. I highly suggest that you use a 1/4 inch puncher or something more significant. You’ll be having a hard time slipping the jump rings or string by the time the plastic shrinks.
Step #7: Prepare Your Tray
Before heating your plastic up. Line your tray with a parchment paper/ wax paper to prevent your plastic from sticking on your tray by the time the plastic is heated. Then place your plastics on the tray, remember to face the imprinted part up, or the ink will transfer to the wax paper.
Step #8: Heat Your Oven Up
After preparing your tray of shrink plastics, heat your oven up, preferably 325 °F or 165 °C. Place the tray inside the oven and wait for your shrink plastic to shrink.
Step #9: Cool it Down
If your plastics are done shrinking, take the plastics out from your over. Beware that the plastics are hot so you want to be careful with that. After the plastics have cooled down for a bit, smush it in between 2 flat objects. You have to make sure that the object where you’re putting your shrink plastics in between do not melt and does not have a texture. You want your shrink keychain to be looking neat and clean. This is the part where you insert the jump ring on the hole of your keychain. If you don’t have a jump ring, you can use threads instead.
Being able to create your own keychains makes organising better. You can label each key you use for your home, for your car, for your locker, or whatever keys you have. Personalising your own keychains does not mean you have to spend a lot of cash. You can just grab your own rubber stamp, get yourself a shrink plastic and a personalised keychain is on its way.