Chris Gardner

Chris Gardner

1104 posts

Comments - How to: Make DIY Shrinky Dinks

Jewelya on Feb 05, 2012:

We used to make these as kids in the 70's, in our oven, using the plastic lids from the liver containers my folks used to buy at alpha beta. We used to make earings with them, We simply used a hole punch at the top of our square, round or triangle design, and you could slip them onto the gold or silver hanging earings thingy,  and you could change out your design every so often, cute stuff! We also made pendants, and even used embroidery yarn to make necklaces for our family and friends for christmas gifts. Ah, the good ol' days!

MED on Feb 05, 2012:

Thanks so much - such a fun craft for kids.  I repinned to Pinterest.

Anonymous on Nov 18, 2011:

We cut out a Letter L...but when we baked it, didn't flatten back out.  I think it was because we trimmed right on the edges not in a oval shape.  We also did a Letter D and cut that out in a oval and it came out perfect.  

Quilted Cupcake on Oct 29, 2011:

You can also use a heat gun (the crafty kind) to shrink without the oven.  Great re-use of plastic!  Can't wait to try it.

Patricia J on Oct 12, 2011:

im so about to try this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Patricia J on Oct 12, 2011:

im so about to try this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous on Sep 22, 2011:

I used foam meat trays years ago when I taught Sunday School.  Make sure your room is well ventilated, gets a little fumey.

Ruby on Sep 21, 2011:

Just tried my first attempt and they turned out great until I sprayed a clear coat on and it made the colors run. Will have to find a different type of coating. Any suggestions?

Ruby on Sep 21, 2011:

Just tried my first attempt and they turned out great until I sprayed a clear coat on and it made the colors run. Will have to find a different type of coating. Any suggestions?

pinellas on Sep 13, 2011:

Awesome! I've been doing this w/ the kids in our afterschool & Summer playcamps for a number of years now & coincidentally, I got the idea from a science project book. Since we have between 80-200 kids in the various programs, purchasing sufficient shrinky dink plastic is beyond our budget. I'd like to add that the shrinkage amount will vary, depending on the original thickness (or thinness) of the item you're recycling.

FWIW, those rippled sides can be used as well, to make stripe-y patterned rectangles (earring & pendants) & the textured bottoms of muffin/cupcake trays make cool diamond-patterned discs as well. Don't forget to punch holes before shrinking & you can also do this w/ #6 polystyrene foam trays.

I have a dedicated toaster oven I use for crafts like this - & make sure to do it in a well ventilated space.

Addie on Sep 10, 2011:

Thanks for the tutorial. I teach grade 8 physical science and I think I can use this as an activity (inquiry based science) for my students (physical-chemical change, mass, density, and measuring with metrics). Do you have any other crafty, playful suggestions for teaching science?

I plan to share this link with other science teachers. Thanks again!


dee on Sep 10, 2011:

other plastics do not work like #6, .... plus they have chemical outputs... i suggest using what is listed or going to a craft or hobby shop and buying shrink plastic..... it's not expensive and it's better than toxic fumes if u can't get the #6 plastic.

enermazing on Sep 09, 2011:

Thank you so much for these detailed instructions! I've been wondering what plastic to use as a substitute, and how to process it - now I know :)


Amanda on Sep 09, 2011:

Re making the image more permanent:  if you lightly sand the plastic with 300-grit sandpaper before drawing, until there's a uniform haze on the surface, your marker/stamp ink will adhere better.  Also, you will be able to use colored pencils on sanded plastic.  Colored pencils USUALLY do not run when coated with nail polish.  (You can test on an extra piece of plastic)   If running is a concern, you can spray the finished image with clear acrylic sealer.  This is much less likely to make your ink run. 

If a precise size/shape is important, try to cut your blank from the CENTER of your plastic sheet, as #6 plastic containers are not uniformly thick, especially near corners and edges of the box.  Plastic from the center shrinks with less distortion.

Gooch on Sep 08, 2011:

Sewenviro, your husband is one lucky guy! I'm trying to imagine my reaction if my wife took the time to lovingly create a shrinky dink of Chester A. Arthur (from scratch!).

grimreapurr on Aug 08, 2011:

I just love it all... and you can help me! I am looking to make a cameo frame that is 40x30 (cm) once shrinked. it is an oval shape. I am so useless with mathematics, i just cant really fugure out what size my oval shall be before shrinkage...

Can anyone help?

val on May 31, 2011:

I laughed out loud @ the measuring/ratio of size reduction! I'm one of THOSE parents!! oh yeah, and the leaves, bark, etc. But what a great idea for a recycling craft!

BettinaSGJ on May 26, 2011:

Thx for the tutorial.

Question: Can I use other numbers plastic than #6?
There have been others here asking about it, but no answer...


michelle on Apr 26, 2011:

What a great idea. I have a DIY page on my site. I am going to put a link to this blog post.

ioulunch on Apr 20, 2011:

I recycle used gift cards do you think that they might work instead of the plastic #6. I would love to shrink them down and them I wouldn't have to draw or color!  

Cheryl on Feb 26, 2011:

Careful, though - when I painted mine with clear fingernail polish, it made the permanent marker ink run slightly.

TheInsomniacGamer on Feb 14, 2011:


Yes, it should be waterproof in the first place, but if you want to be double-sure, I would suggest giving the cooled 'dink a coat of varnish, such as clear nail polish. Once this dries, it leaves the 'dink waterproof, as long as it was coated completely on both sides.

Brittany (aka Pretty Handy Girl) on Jan 17, 2011:

I love that you can make these yourself! Do you mind if I link to this post on a blog post I'm writing about felted wool? I know it really doesn't relate directly except I mention Shrinky Dinks when removing the shrunken sweater from the wash.


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Avey on Dec 23, 2010:

This look's like a blast to do and make jewlery out of.

But I was wondering....

Is it waterproof after it has been in the oven,or will the perm. market wash off after awhile?

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