Shrink Plastic Mosaic Tile Frame

Hello! Tami Sanders here today with a bright and cheery project to share with you.

The weather here in the usually SUNNY San Antonio, has been GRAY and DREARY. So I thought I’d make a little something using VIBRANT colors.

I’ve had a quote running through my head for a few days; although I’m sure someone else has said it or something similar before… “don’t set out to create art, set out to create, and let the art happen.

I wanted to frame the quote and put it in my studio. I pulled out a frame and sat down to figure out how to embellish it. I decided to cover it with mini tiles made from shrink film in bright colors and designs…

tcw - mosaic frame - WM

I first needed to figure out roughly how many tiles I would need. I thought 1″ squares would work well, so I would need to make 2″ squares from the shrink film because the plastic shrinks down to about half its original size. I measured the frame and counted how many 1″ squares I would need to cover it.

Next, I pulled out a bunch of stencils. I selected some with small allover designs to use as bases for the designs and a few with larger designs {similar to the way I selected stencils for my ATC Valentines}.

I decided to use Matte Shrink Film from Grafix as I like the soft white color it takes on when it shrinks. Surfacez Inks from Clearsnap are permanent on slick surfaces, so I decided to use them for this project.

Knowing how many squares I needed for the frame, I was able to calculate that I would need about 2 1/2 – 8 1/2 X 11 sheets of film.

I began inking layers of color on each sheet of film using several different stencils and colors of ink. It’s important to remember to tape down BOTH the medium you are inking on as well as the stencil to your work surface in order to keep both steady.

Here is a pic of one finished shrink film sheet…

tcw shrink film sheet

The colors will darken and become more vivid once the pieces are shrunk. The sheets were cut in 2″ squares and baked according to package directions. The pieces were then arranged and glued to the frame front.

For the quote, I cut a piece of white cardstock to fit the opening and used several coordinating colors of ColorBox Pigment Ink to stencil a small design around the edges and then to stencil a butterfly design at the center. Once the inks were heatset; a black sharpie was used to add the quote.

The stencils used in this project are: TCW454 Specimen, TCW484 and TCW484s Netting, TCW439 Retrobursts, TCW431 Ripples, TCW248 Cubist, TCW478 Beaded Curtain and TCW227 Chevrons.

I’ve put together a Snapguide that shows how you can make this frame step-by-step in both photos and written directions; you can view it here: MOSAIC TILE FRAME

If you liked this project and want to play with more shrink film and TCW stencils, check out this post for a pair of earrings: GRAFFITI EARRINGS

thanks for visiting the TCW Blog!



Tami Sanders

The Crafter’s Workshop Design Team Member

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