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Making Your Own Shrinky Dinks

Category Miscellaneous
Robot Shrinky Dink
Shrinky dinks are a fun craft to make with your kids. This is a guide about making your own shrinky dinks.
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March 13, 2014

I have such fond memories of making Shrinky Dinks as a kid! I was so excited when I found packages of the plastic to make them at the craft store awhile back. The best part is that you can draw whatever you want, which is even better than the originals. :)

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Supplies:

  • shrink film (Joann's sells it)
  • Sharpie markers
  • parchment paper
  • cookie sheet
  • scissors

NOTE: If you want to use colored pencils you will need 300-400 grit sand paper too. Sand the film in a crisscross pattern prior to drawing.

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Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 300-350 degrees F. For large designs it is best to bake them at a lower temperature to slow the shrinking process and prevent excessive curling.
  2. Trace or freehand a design onto the film. I recommend putting the film onto a piece of white paper so that it is easier to see what you are drawing. NOTE: Keep in mind that the film shrinks by about 50%, so draw your image bigger than the desired finished size.
  3. Cut out your design with scissors or a craft knife. If you want a hole in it for hanging, use a hole punch PRIOR to baking.
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  5. Line a cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Lay your design on the parchment paper. Cover your design with another piece of parchment paper to prevent the film sticking to itself when it curls.
  6. Bake for 2-3 minutes. Do not remove from the oven until film has flattened back out. If there is a slight curl, use a spatula to flatten it out. Allow to cool before removing it from the pan.
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Comment Was this helpful? 2

July 30, 2009

Use recyclable #6 plastic containers to make your own Shrinky Dinks at home.

Approximate Time: 1 hour

Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Be sure the plastic container has a triangle with a 6 in the middle. Otherwise the plastic is too thin and may burn or cause a fire.

  2. Cut off a flat piece from the plastic.

  3. Using a permanent black marker draw a picture. It may be easier to trace a small one from a coloring book. You can write names too for charms.

  4. Color with colored pencils or markers. Have a child do this so they can get involved.

  5. Cut the picture out using scissors.

  6. Use a nail or sharp object to make a hole if you'll be using it for a charm, a sun catcher or on a mobile.

  7. Preheat oven to 350-375 degrees F.

  8. Place the plastic pieces on aluminum foil and carefully place in the oven for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

  9. The plastic will curl but flatten as it's finished.

  10. Cool before handling.

  11. It may shrink 75%. You may want to experiment to get the correct size you are looking for.

By Little Suzy from OH

Editor's Note: Make sure to supervise younger ones with the oven.

Comment Was this helpful? 5

January 25, 20170 found this helpful

Shrinky Dinks, whether purchased or homemade, work as cute charms for a bracelet. This is a guide about Shrinky Dink charm bracelet.

finished bracelet

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Videos

August 9, 20141 found this helpful

This video shows you how to make a classic craft, shrinky dinks, a fun way to make custom jewelry.

Comment Was this helpful? 1

Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 1 found this helpful
April 29, 2005

I was recently given a pack of Shrinky Dink plastic sheets. Unfortunately, the pack is a "refill", which means the instructions for how to use them are not on the package. Anyone know what types of markers work with Shrinky Dinks, and what temperature they should be baked at? Thanks,

Sunhat

Answer Was this helpful? 1
April 30, 20050 found this helpful

preheat oven to 325 degrees F

print the template on PAPER

position the shrinky dink blank overtop of the printout (whichever image you want). The shrinky dink material should be positioned smooth side down/rough side up

trace the image with a black pencil crayon (you should be writing on the rough side of the material) -- you can trace with an ordinary pencil, but it smudges easier than the pencil crayon does.

color the image in with pencil crayons (make sure you color white areas in with a white pencil crayon!)

cut out the shrinky dink -- always leave a border of uncolored material around the image. cut it out roughly (without sharp corners) the sharper edges break off easier.

hole punch the top of the shrinky dink (if you're planning to make a necklace or keychain)

place the shrinky dink on a cookie sheet or tinfoil pie plate with the rough side up and the smooth side down

put it in the oven (have the oven light on) and WATCH IT SHRINK. It goes really quick (under a minute). It will curl up and then flatten out. Let the piece flatten and then wait 30 seconds. Remove from the oven

let cool 10 minutes

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
April 30, 20050 found this helpful

You can also use a toaster oven for this, as long as your item will fit in the smaller oven. Mine always fit and its cheaper to heat than my regular oven.

judy

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
April 30, 20050 found this helpful

Perment marker pens can also be used to color your shrinky dink plastic. And you can also use a heat gun to shrnk them with. But I think the toaster oven is the best way. Also a lot of the thick clear plastic you get containg the things you buy, the packing that so much stuff comes in, like razors from Costco, can also be used for shrink dinks. You will have to experment a little, but it works close to the pricey stuff, and you recycled another item. I love to make mobiles for the kids rooms. Have fun. Clara from Wa state

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By guest (Guest Post)
April 14, 20070 found this helpful

any markers will work. i find crayola thin tips are best also lorentine pencil crayons are great too. any coloring utensil works except crayons

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By guest (Guest Post)
November 7, 20070 found this helpful

ty so thats how they do it

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Reply Was this helpful? Yes
January 4, 20080 found this helpful

whoops, never mind. if i knew how to delete this, i would. sorry!

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By guest (Guest Post)
March 8, 20080 found this helpful

The shrink dinks have curled up and my oven stinks. They are now flattening out. Should i keep my oven going or not.

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 9, 20090 found this helpful

I really need shrinky dinks, but they are too expensive!

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December 8, 20130 found this helpful

There is a wonderful book out, although directed towards kids, called The Shrinky Dinks Book, by Sherri Haab and the editors of Klutz. It gives basic instructions as well as tips and tricks.

The temperature issue: With small pieces that don't have any things that stick out, the 300* to 350* is just fine.

The best, most wonderful thing in the world for small pieces is the Shrinky Dink Oven. It has a 3x3" or 4x4" tray, cooks with a light bulb (conserves energy), and has a window so you can watch it shrink. I think I paid 20 dollars for it fifteen years ago. Changed the bulb twice. Takes a 40 watt appliance bulb.

The downside: you can't touch your piece if something starts to go wrong. Plus, you have a two minute cooling lock on it. Persumably so kids don't burn themselves.

A problem occurs with larger or more complicated pieces. The higher the temp, the faster it will shrink, but also the higher risk for curling and sticking to itself. To combat this, first test out your oven with scrap pieces. Note how fast they shrink, etc. and adjust your temperature.

To prevent curling: put your 'dink on parchment paper, put another piece on top. Then put a light, oven-safe flat thing on top of that. Like, the drip tray from the toaster oven, for example.

Use a lower temperature, 275*, and turn it up by slow increments until it shrinks at the rate you want.

To fix bubble or concave curl with the shrunk 'dink: do the above thing with parchment paper. Put on an oven mitt. Take the 'dink out of the oven and quickly press it down. Let cool.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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