Beware- if you read this you will start compulsively checking plastic containers to see if they can be made into shrinky dinks! This is what happened to me when I first read about homemade shrinky-dinks. The poster said to use number 6 plastic, and it turn out that’s a little bit hard to come by!
The other day I found a cracker container with a number 6 on it. My first #6 find! I wondered- could I make shrinky dinks with rippled plastic??
I started experimenting- sometimes it’s worth it to spend a little time experimenting before getting the kids involved. I rifled through my recycle bin and grabbed a few other containers just in case they would work. Soon I had determined:
- Number 1 plastic shrinks a little, but not much and also sometimes just turns white and curls.
- I read that foam is #6 plastic so I gave this a try with craft foam- sure enough, it shrinks like mad too. It does not, however get stiff. I did not try meat trays, though they are number 6 as well.
- The #6 plastic with the ridges has a pretty neat effect when shrunk. I like that it adds a texture to the little beads.
Here’s how we made homemade shrinky dinks:
We cut out squares and heart shapes from the plastic container to decorate. Each piece we hole punched, and then colored with permanent marker before shrinking in the oven.
For more detailed instructions:
Please see the post where I orginally found out about this idea: DIY Shrinky Dinks
After about a minute- oh no! They’re curling!
After about two minutes (maybe three?)- they uncurl, and that’s it, they won’t shrink any more.
I was worried about the fumes, and I did turn on the hood, but I didn’t really smell bad. In fact I think I got more fumes from the permanent markers than from the plastic.
I discovered that it’s not too expensive to just buy a Shrinky Dinky kit: Make Your Own Shrinky Dinks, but as for me, now I’m on the look out for more plastic I can recycle into my homemade shrinky dinks!
This craft is featured in the heart project. Find out how to get your copy of this gorgeous crafts book, which is raising funds for an important cause [here]