This is what you'll need:
Sharpies or other alcohol-based pens for drawing
Scissors or a punch
Standard hole puncher
Toaster oven (or conventional oven)
Something heavy and flat
Spray sealant or clear nail polish
There are a many types of shrink plastic available, so you'll have to make sure you follow the instructions when creating your design. Some types of shrink plastic can be run through your inkjet printer, while others can only be decorated with alcohol-based inks and markers.
The SECOND thing to keep in mind is that the image will darken when it shrinks, so if you’re printing out your design, you’ll want to print your image at about 50% transparency.
For the dog tag design, you can be practical: make a tag with your pet’s name & your contact information – cellphone number, city and state if not your street address. You can also include important info like if your pet needs daily medicine.
After you've created your design, cut it out. You can use scissors, but I like to use a jumbo hole punch that’s 2.5”. Then you’ll need to punch a hole to put your split ring through. I use a standard hole punch for this, but I’ll punch about 3 holes next to each other to make more of a tablet shape for the ring to go through. Make sure you don’t put the hole too close to the edge of the plastic because you don’t want it to break off the split ring when it’s finished.
Most instructions recommend putting your tag on a piece of brown paper bag inside the toaster oven, but I find that the shrink plastic sometimes sticks to the paper, so I use a piece of aluminum foil instead. Put the aluminum foil on the broiler tray, and fold a corner of the foil up to help with removing it from the toaster oven.
The tag will be hot when you take it out. Put something sturdy and flat - like a book on top of another piece of foil - on the tag until it cools. After it's cool, you can sand the edges of the tag with an emery board if there are any rough spots.
You’ll also want to make sure your image is protected, so I spray it with a clear coat of acrylic spray. Some folks use clear nail polish.
Big thanks to the lovely folks at Virginia This Morning on WTVR 6 who invited me on to share this craft with the Richmond community!