Chris Gardner

Chris Gardner

1104 posts

Comments - How to: Make DIY Shrinky Dinks

ronmaggi on Jun 28, 2009:

My first time around it worked out well. I sanded it with 2000 grit sand paper first, but I didn't like the frosted look. My second time around the polystyrine fused together on one side and there was no uncurling it! Any tips for preventing that, or should I just chalk that up to the skrinkydink gods? Also, there is a post on how to make shrinkydink rings. The author used brown paper instead of foil, and the toaster oven. I think I'll go that route next time as it is smaller and probibly has better temp control.

Megan on Jun 22, 2009:


Thanks a lot!

Axel on Jun 22, 2009:

No, these don't work in a microwave at all. They need constant heat at 325 degrees, and microwaves don't work that way.

11lizzie on Jun 22, 2009:

Would it be possible to make these in the microwave??

Axel on Jun 12, 2009:


There's a number of sealants you can use to protect your keychain, if you search for them or ask an artist (anyone who does lots of crafts probably knows what's good). I use a bottle of embossing powder I got from the Shrinky Dinks website, which works great (and gives it a nice sheen) except you can only really coat one side (not a problem if you only draw on one side).

Megan on Jun 06, 2009:

I just wanted to ask if there was some kind of cover that i could put over it.

Actually, I just finished making a couple and I made them into key chains, but after I put them with my keys, the keys scratched off the permanent marker. Is there something that I could use to cover over the front side?

ClayBabe on Jan 22, 2009:

I'm jumping in a little (LOT! lol) late here but it shouldn't be harmful in any well ventilated area. The harmful fumes come if you burn it. DON'T BURN IT!

You do color it before you shrink it, but I wouldn't advise putting lighters in the oven. Make a wood or cardboard template shaped like your lighters and bake on those.


deathbyillusion on Oct 14, 2008:

Ok im a littlwe confused like if your going to shrink this to an object do you de it in the oven when you furst put it in or do you do it after you have put it in the oven like putting it in boiling water cause i was going to print a logo out on my pc using this plastic then shrink it to lighters would that work?

irisgripri on Jun 10, 2008:

From the Green guide website:

#6 PS

Extruded polystyrene (#6 PS; commonly known as Styrofoam) is used in take-out containers and cups, and non-extruded PS is used in clear disposable takeout containers, disposable plastic cutlery and cups. Both forms of PS can leach styrene into food; styrene is considered a possible human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. It may also disrupt hormones or affect reproduction.

As we all know, the leaching happens, when the plastic is heated... I don't really know how harmful it is to breathe the stuff in that gets released, but it seems a little risky. Does anybody know?

speedogirl2 on Sep 19, 2007:

Not to rain on the party, but could this potentially release toxins from the plastic?

siera104 on Sep 12, 2007:

This is a great instant gratification craft! The post suggests punching holes in the plastic after you shrunk them I didn't have much luck with the hot things. Instead I used a regular single hole punch, it shrunk down to a great size hole to make jewelry and such. Plus if you have plastic that had a sticker on it and you cant seem to get the glue off all of the way, no worries just draw on the the other side and after you shrink the plastic the glue comes off much easier when its been heated.

BrokenFingersArt on Aug 27, 2007:

What a cool post! I use shrink plastic to make jewelry. Check it out . The way to get the best color is to take really fine sandpaper and sand the heck out of your plastic before you draw. Also really soft pencils work great.

megrockstar on Aug 18, 2007:

i love this! how cool

stephee on Aug 13, 2007:

My daughter and I tried this over the weekend. Wow - I forgot how much fun - and how easy - it is! And re-using the #6 polystyrene (that we can't even recycle in this area - only #1 and #2 are accepted) was a great bonus. We are sold on this and can't wait to do more and more! I will say, though, that I think ours shrunk down smaller than 1/3! Tiny, tiny! I will try to remember that next time!

Thanks for the tutorial! :)

locamama on Aug 10, 2007:

Okay, I was inspired to play.  I used the shrink plastic I already had.  I used a guitar pick template from this site  I stamped a dragon in black stazon ink.  I colored the outside of the image using metallic pencils and punched a hole before shrinking.  After shrinking I sanded the edges and edged with a silverleaf pen.  Then I added a layer of diamond glaze to give it a shiny look.  Just make sure that you don't seal the hole with the glaze.  Now it's drying and tommorow I will make into guitar pick necklaces for my boys.  This is a great project for my middle school boys. 

Caya123 on Aug 10, 2007:

Now I have an excuse to buy a set of those cool colored permanent markers. I always avoided buying those, because with small kids around, it's just asking for trouble-

stephee on Aug 10, 2007:

This is great! I can't wait to try it. The first thing I thought of, application-wise was zipper pulls and cell phone charms. Ooh - are they thick enough to use for buttons? That could be fun, too.

Do you have a pic of the finished product?

locamama on Aug 09, 2007:

Oh, I also use a heat gun instead of the oven and flatten it using the back of a wood mounted rubber stamp when it is done shrinking but still warm. 

locamama on Aug 09, 2007:

I love the idea of making a guitar pick.  My son would love that.  They have been making necklaces using the Lucky Squirrel shrink plastic but your method is cheaper.  I'm a stamper so we rubber stamp with Staz on ink and color with colored pencils. 

_xhan on Aug 09, 2007:

ahh shrinklets! They rocked!

Caya123 on Aug 08, 2007:

I never did that as a kid. I have no idea why! Looks fun- yay, I got kids of my own to do this with!!

DIY Maven on Aug 08, 2007:

Very cool. I love revisiting crafts I used to make as a kid to see how I can apply them to things I'm into now. I'm thinking I could make embellishments for beading and paper arts using this technique.

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