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Shopping for Earth Friendly Shrinky Dinks

I love Shrinky Dinks and have used them in the past for many kid projects such as key chains, pet tags, and small homemade toys. For those who don't know what Shrinky Dinks were/are: the product came in fairly thick sheets of plastic material that could be drawn on and colored with crayons or most any other markers, then the image was cut out and laid on a flat surface for baking in the oven. The plastic would shrink and become thicker (therefore almost indestructible) and the colors would not run, but would become more vivid and realistic.

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My kids made little people that would slip in cardboard slots so they could be upright during play. Holidays would produce any number of interesting gifts for the lucky recipients. Portrait lapel pins were always a hit when drawn by the young artists. Great fun!

So now I would like to know if there is a better product that will result in a hard to break finished product, but is earth friendly or green approved. I can't imagine that the original Shrinky Dink material would ever break down into an organic, earth friendly substance. I am wondering if anyone has come across a home recipe or has seen something similar, but not so indelible in the long run. Or maybe someone has a bored chemist in the family who would be up to the challenge of creating a home recipe or even a new green version of this product? We miss our Shrinky Dinks! Thank you

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By Kerry M. from Spokane, WA

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November 16, 20110 found this helpful

I've seen instructions somehow on how to make your own from the clear plastic containers like you get at the store, that hold sandwiches, cookies, etc. I can't remember what # plastic, or what the directions are. I think I saved the directions somewhere to try sometime, but I don't know where they are. You could probably Google the directions, might even find them on here! I know they were really easy. If I find them, I'll let you know.

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November 16, 20110 found this helpful

I have used the white foam (Styrofoam?) trays that meat is packaged on at the grocery store as Shrinky-Dink material. If we have to buy our meat this way, might as well recycle the packaging and keep some of it out of the landfills.

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Wash thoroughly. Draw your design, color with permanent markers, or leave uncolored and paint after baking. Place on cookie sheet and bake. This is the tricky part that might take some trial and error to get it right, because all the foam trays are different. But I've started w/ 250 degrees in the oven and watched closely. I think a toaster oven would probably work best, but I don't have one.

Some shapes work better than others. The more intricate the cut-out, the more apt it is to curl and not lie flat again. Curling as it "cooks" is normal, but it should uncurl before it is finished.

I guess, just play around with it, temp. and time, shapes and sizes.

Hope this helps.
~gloria

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
November 16, 20110 found this helpful

I have used the white foam (Styrofoam?) trays that meat is packaged on at the grocery store as Shrinky-Dink material. If we have to buy our meat this way, might as well recycle the packaging and keep some of it out of the landfills.

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Wash thoroughly. Draw your design, color with permanent markers, or leave uncolored and paint after baking. Place on cookie sheet and bake. This is the tricky part that might take some trial and error to get it right, because all the foam trays are different. But I've started w/ 250 degrees in the oven and watched closely. I think a toaster oven would probably work best, but I don't have one.

Some shapes work better than others. The more intricate the cut-out, the more apt it is to curl and not lie flat again. Curling as it "cooks" is normal, but it should uncurl before it is finished.

I guess, just play around with it, temp. and time, shapes and sizes.

Hope this helps.
~gloria

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

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