Lesson to be learned: Heat guns are not ideal for shrinking entire pages of shrink plastic/shrinky dink paper- it's hard to get it to shrink evenly without folding in on itself, which is what I had been aiming to avoid by using the gun in the first place. No amount of reheating and pressing could fix this puppy. It also appears the heat partially melted the piece as well, there was some discoloration as a result.
Heat Gun + Full Shrink Plastic Sheet = Disaster
The heat gun purchase wasn't a total loss however, I use it all the time to get my pages to dry quicker so I can keep working.
My birthday spread:
I am only partially happy with these results- I wanted to do a crayon resist with watercolors and I like how the letters came out but I feel like I didn't do enough with the background. I ended up using those sticker reinforcements that you put on notebook paper but I regret it now. They look like an afterthought (which they were). The birthday flap and cake are both from the multiple Barnes and Noble gift card envelopes I received.
I am really excited about the idea incorporating plastic bags into my spreads because it allows me to add 3D items and other stuff I want to be able to handle and not commit to the page. I am buying some more of these next shopping trip, you can find them in your craft store's jewelry section.