Introduction: Chihuly-inspired Sculpture

Using plastic cups and Shrink paper, you can make a Dale Chihuly inspired sculpture that looks like real glass! Kids of all ages and skill levels can enjoy this fun and engaging art project.


*Shrink paper

*plastic cups

*colored Sharpie or permanent markers

*oven or toaster oven


*glue gun

*optional: parchment paper or cookie sheet

Step 1: Step 1: Gather Your Materials

You will need:

*plastic Shrink sheets

*plastic cups (the cheaper ones are the best!)

*colored Sharpie or permanent markers

*a glue gun


*optional: parchment paper or cookie sheet

Step 2: Step 2: Trim and Shape the Shrink Paper

The Shrink paper makes more interesting shapes if it is cut into smaller pieces.

1. Cut the sheets into fourths

2. Round off the corners

Step 3: Step 3: Color and Decorate!

Using the Sharpies/permanent makers, color and decorate the cups and Shrink paper however you want! There is no wrong way to do it! Think dots, swirls, lines, hearts...whatever you like! This is an activity that kids of all ages and skill levels can do. Little ones can even scribble on the pieces and it still turns out great!

For the cups, it helps to stick your hand inside and work so it doesn't slide around. You can make the lines around the cup or up and down the side of the cup to get different effects. And don't forget the bottom of the cup! It becomes the center of your finished piece.

Step 4: Step 4: Melt

To melt the Shrink paper and cups, you can use either an oven or a toaster oven.

Set the temperature to 325 degrees

For an oven, you can set the pieces on a cookie sheet. For a toaster oven, slide a piece of parchment paper onto the rack so the pieces don't stick

***IMPORTANT*** Only put the Shrink paper in the oven until it starts to crinkle up! Once it starts to crinkle, quickly remove it (please use a pot holder to protect your fingers). If you let it go past this point, it will flatten out and shrink.

For the cups, they will flatten out completely into a disc. Sometimes the ends curl under. Either way is fine and gives you a different look.

Step 5: Step 5: Create a Three Dimensional Piece of Art!

Once your pieces are melted, glue them together using a hot glue gun.

If you want to hang the piece, put a hole in the top piece with a hole punch and add string or yarn.

Another option is to glue the pieces together on a piece of cardboard for a table top sculpture.

Put in the sun and enjoy!

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