Remember these?! Similar to scrunchies being popular in Japan while it has been two decades since I last wore one, apparently Shrinking Plastic has made a huge comeback in Japan as well. There are entire books and magazines dedicated to making accessories and jewelry out of プラーバン, as well as being sold regularly in cool zakka stores. So, I had to get to the bottom of this new (old?) craft trend! 懐かしいよ！
Plastic sheets, sold as プラーバン at craft stores for around ¥200-300 for a couple of sheets. There are also sets.
oil based markers such as sharpie or name pens
hole punch (optional, if you want to make a hole for a key chain or necklace)
toaster over and heavy book
1. Draw a picture directly onto the plastic sheet with a marker. Remember the image will shrink to 1/4 of the size. The first ones we made ended up as the size of a coffee bean after shrinking! Some sets come with pictures to trace as an option.
2. Cut around the picture, leaving some space around edges and punch a hole if you want.
3. Place onto tray covered with aluminum foil.
4. Bake in a toaster over at 800 for approximately 55 seconds. Each plastic sheet will have instructions regarding baking heats and times. See hints for more explanation.
5. Remove tray and carefully peel off from aluminum either with hand or chopsticks and place immediately into the book and press close until cool, around 1-2 minutes depending on size.
Hints: after some trial and error here are some tips that might help
1. When the plastic is curled up, do NOT take out of oven, let it bake a little bit longer and wait until it is flat. You can tell the cupcake on the right is hardened in a weird, twisted way, that is because I took it out too soon.
2. Have your book/ pressing area ready.
3. Don`t bake too many at a time and try to bake similar size pieces since the time seems to vary slightly due to size. Also, pre-heat the toaster oven for a few minutes.
4. Bright colors look best
5. Be careful to not punch hole too close to edge.
****In addition to keychains and necklaces, you can glue them to laundry clips and headbands. The kids had a blast making these, something really intriguing about the plastic changing size and form.
HI! I live in Northern Japan on the Oga peninsula and love making crafts with my children and enjoying the beautiful surroundings with my family.
I also run a small company, Sora, that sells handmade clothing, bags and accessories! www.sorajapan.org