yet one more polyshrink...

Q: I tried sanding my polyshrink to make the colors more permanent, but then the colors bled into the grooves left by the sandpaper. Has anyone SUCCESSFULLY made anything halfway durable with this stuff?

A: You need to use an extremely fine grit sandpaper. I buy mine at a place that sells modeling (cars, planes) kits and supplies. I ran out and tried a coarser grit and I too had the bleeding problems. I have had really good luck with two kinds of markers: Sharpie permanent markers and another brand called Staedtler Lumocolor Permanent. The latter comes in four point sizes. As others have said, Comotion is a good brand of shrink plastic to use. About the 1/8" hole punches, try looking at a university book store. That's where I got mine. A lot of times they have some "fun" stuff for crating. I have jewellery I've been wearing for at least four years done with shrink-plastic. I agree you need a fine grade sandpaper, but sometimes feel that the stuff which sometimes comes with it is too fine. I use a slightly courser one to start and then just give it a quick swipe with the fine to finish. I find Tombow pens are really, really good on the plastic (after sanding) but do let any outlines (such as rubber stamped images) dry very thoroughly before coloring in. I use the Tombows on the rubber stamp and colour with them later or use pencils. You can also spray with varnish after shrinking if you want to, although I rarely do. I think I have found my own solution, after trying just about everything under the sun, to get inkjet ink to stay on polyshrink. Thanks for all of your suggestions! I sand the paper, with 220, then 320, then 400 grit sandpaper, in all directions--vertical, horizontal, both diagonals, and round and round. Then I color with colored pencils. This acts to fill in the really deep grooves and smooth the surface out while at the same time providing a medium for the inkjet ink to stick to. Also, as far as unidirectional shrinkage, I use the computer to lengthen the design just enough that after the unidirectional shrinkage, it looks normal again. I know the book from the kit from River Gems says you can get interesting effects with the unidirectional shrinkage, but I prefer figures (humans, cats, dogs), rather abstract designs and thus need 1-to-1 shrinkage. Anyway, thank you ALL for all of your input. Without your ideas, I would have never come up with my own!