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By Robin E. L.12/08/2013
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.
By omg!xD (Guest Post)01/09/2009
I really need shrinky dinks, but they are too expensive!
By (Guest Post)03/08/2008
The shrink dinks have curled up and my oven stinks. They are now flattening out. Should i keep my oven going or not.
By Kathy 01/04/2008
whoops, never mind. if i knew how to delete this, i would. sorry!
By bob (Guest Post)11/07/2007
ty so thats how they do it
By djhfdlkshgbkl (Guest Post)04/14/2007
any markers will work. i find crayola thin tips are best also lorentine pencil crayons are great too. any coloring utensil works except crayons
By Clara Steendahl 04/30/2005
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
By jld 04/30/2005
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.
By Vincent King04/30/2005
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
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