If you say you’re too old for bubbles, you are wrong. Bubbles are as universal as they are beautiful. Bubbles have the power to uplift, disinfect, and defy gravity…. And you can harness this awesome power. A bubble wand is the key to hours of summer fun, and a great activity to keep you and those Summer Vacationing kids busy. With a Shrink Plastic bubble wand you and the kids will not only have the chance to blow fabulous bubbles, but design your own bubble wand, as well.
- Silhouette Curio™
- Silhouette Curio™ BASE KIT – 8.5 IN. X 12 IN.
- Shrink Plastic – Clear or White
- Bubble Wands
- Silhouette Spatula
- Colored pencils
- Oven or Heat Gun (Designed for shrinking Plastics)
- Bubble solution
Step One: Open Design in Silhouette Studio®
The cool part about the Bubble Wand design I selected for this project is that you have three wand options. All three will work just fine, so maybe let the kids pick the ones that look the most fun to them.
- Open your bubble wand design in Silhouette Studio®.
- Right click and select Ungroup.
- Delete the bubble shape at the top.
- Select each wand individually and straighten to vertical. (I lined up the handle of the bubble wand to the mat grid to make sure it was straight.)
- Scale up the design as close to 11.5 in. as you can in order to get a decent-sized wand. The Shrink Plastic paper measures 8.5 in. x 11 in. and will shrink down approximately 40%.
- Decide on the two wands you want to cut first (you will only be able to cut two at a time), and move the third to the side. You can always add it back later if you want to mix and match.
Step Two: Cut Design
Fact: Shrink Plastic is hard on your blade. Make sure you use your sharpest one or the blade will stick and skip while cutting. (I made approximately ten wands before I had to switch to a new blade.)
- In the Design Page Settings, select the Curio (cut) 8.5 in. x 12 in. mat.
- Open the Cut Settings panel.
- Select media “Shrink Plastic”.
- Adjust your blade and cutting mats to the suggested settings.
- Secure the Shrink Plastic to the mat (printed word side down).
- Load mat.
- Hit “Send to Silhouette”.
Step Three: Coloring time
At this point you are almost ready for the first kid friendly part of the activity, but there is one very important step first, please follow the instructions very closely.
- Gently, gently, gently (I beg of you, it rips SO easily) use the spatula tool to SLOWLY peel the wand off mat, then the paper liner off of the back. (If you tear the ring it’s not the end of the world. I took a newly shrunk and still hot plastic wand, pushed it together so that it touched, and the wand worked just fine.)
Phew… Now that the hardest part is over it’s time for the funnest! Shrink Plastic can be colored with a variety of media. I choose colored pencils. You can also print on it if you’d like to make fancier wands, or (if you trust your kids) Sharpies work great. Crayons, however, I would not recommend as the wax just melts off and makes a mess.
- Tell the kids to color gently with the colored pencils. Both sides of the wand are ok to color, so let them be creative.
Step Four: Baking/Shrinking
It’s all coming together now.
- Preheat the oven (or set your Shrink Gun) to 325° Fahrenheit.
- Lay one or two wands on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (If you put it directly on the metal sheet it will melt to it, and if you use a silicone baking mat it will stick and keep it from shrinking uniformly). Be careful not to let them touch.
3. Bake until the plastic fully shrinks and lies flat again. Time depends on the size of your object, but roughly 1-3 minutes. Keep an eye on it the entire time.
4. Pull the baking sheet out of the oven and quickly flatten the wands with a glass or other flat heavy (non-meltable) object before the wands cool and harden.
- Allow to cool.
Step Five: Blow Bubbles
Time for the second round of kid fun. Once the bubble wands are cool all that’s left is to pour a bubble solution in a bowl (for easy access for the little wands), dip, and BLOW!!! Your kids have got this step down, I’m sure!
What’s your Bubble Wand style?