I am a big fan of shrink plastic. In the late 70's, I spent many hours making Shrinky Dinks charms (which I dangled from the laces of my oh-so-cool roller skates and Kangaroo tennis shoes). Over the years, I've bought various brands of shrink plastic, always clear like my beloved Shrinky Dinks. When I saw that Grafix had shrink plastic in white, I was intrigued.
The package comes with six 8.5x11 inch sheets. They are shiny white and completely opaque. The directions say to start by sanding the surface with 300-400 grit sandpaper. The plastic went from smooth and shiny to dull and scratched. I used a rubber stamp and Staz-on ink to stamp 5 identical leaves. The ink went on very nicely with even coverage. It dried immediately. I cut the leaves out, keeping a small edge around the image.
The directions say that permanent markers, water based acrylic paints and heat set paints work best. I don't do a lot of painting, so I focused on testing the materials I do use.
From left to right:
Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist is a staple in my craft room, so I grabbed three bottles and lightly misted the leaf. The ink beaded up, leaving some areas nearly white. I let it dry and gave it a second spritz. It looked better. After it shrunk, the colors were much more intense.
I colored the leaf image with Prismacolor Art Markers. This was very frustrating, as the colors did not blend the way they do on paper. I had to go over each area several times to layer on color. There was some difference in color after shrinking, but not as much as with the Glimmer Mist.
I had the highest expectations from the colored pencils. However, they did not give good coverage and the small scratches from the sandpaper were extremely obvious with the color over them. They were my least favorite of the materials I tried. I used a variety of brands, including Caran d'Ache, Faber-Castell, and Derwent. Some of the pencils were better than others, but none of them worked as well as I'd expected. It looked a bit better post-shrinking, but the scratches were still visible.
Next I got some pens from my scrapbooking stash. I loved the way the American Crafts Slick Writer glided color onto the plastic. The Marvy Uchida Le Plume and Le Plume II were not quite as even, but were satisfactory.
For my final leaf, I tried Staedtler watercolor pencils. I colored lightly, then wet a small brush to push the color into place. This ended up being my favorite.
So, would I recomend Grafix Shrink Film in opaque white? Yes, but with reservations. The items shrink quickly and easily with minimal distortion, the plastic is easy to cut by hand or punch out, and a variety of media can be used. However, the opacity of the white plastic means that some colors come out very dark and no matter how lightly you sand, the scratches are visible with certain media. I'll have to try this product again in the future using the recommended markers and paints.