How to make shrinky dinks: 9 steps (with pictures)

How to make shrinky dinks: 9 steps (with pictures)
How to make shrinky dinks: 9 steps (with pictures)

"Shrinky dink" or "crazy plastic" is plastic that is sold in sheets. You can create small jewels yourself, plastic decorations that you can color as you wish. This recreational activity was all the rage in the 1980s among children. It is still possible to obtain it from certain businesses and in internet stores. You can make your own creations, if you have the artistic flair.


Part 1 of 3: Make a piece of jewelry

Make Shrinky Dinks Step 1

Step 1. Pencil on a sheet of plastic

Draw a picture on a shrinky dink sheet. Usually, plastic sheets have dimensions of about 8 inches wide by 10 inches long.

  • You can color your drawings. On the rough side, use colored pencils and on the smooth side, use markers. Be aware that there are pre-cut shrinky dinks that already have a pattern that you will have to colorize. You will also find simple plastic sheets to create your shrinky dinks.
  • Do not apply oil-based or wax-based colors such as paints or oil pencils. Your coloring would disappear during the baking phase. You may find sheets sold in packs of 10, which are machine frosted. This type of sheet requires the use of permanent markers to draw a sketch on it.
  • Printing something like a photo, letters through your computer's printer is definitely an option. Consider printing a mirror image so that your image looks good on the polished side of the sheet after baking. If you are inspired, you can also draw on the sheet.
Make Shrinky Dinks Step 2

Step 2. Cut and drill your part

Once you have your design on the plastic sheet, cut it out. You can also perforate it, if you plan to make a pendant or parts of a bracelet.

  • To make holes in the plastic sheet, take a paper hole punch. It can be interesting to make holes, if you plan to create a necklace or decorations, for example. You will need to make the holes before placing the plastic part in the oven.
  • Cut your creation from the plastic sheet with classic scissors or pinking scissors.

Part 2 of 3: Bake Your Decorations

Make Shrinky Dinks Step 3

Step 1. Take a dish

To place your baking decorations, use a cookie tray that you place parchment paper or aluminum foil in. You can also improvise a tray by folding aluminum foil.

  • Place your designs on the aluminum foil with the rough side facing up. Remember to space your different pieces well so that they do not stick together during cooking.
  • To use the oven, it must be under the supervision of an adult.
Make Shrinky Dinks Step 4

Step 2. Preheat your oven

Preheat your oven to 160 ° C for 2 to 3 minutes. You can do this with a toaster oven or a conventional oven.

  • When your oven is at the right temperature, place your tray with the plastic parts.
  • You will need the leathers between 1 to 3 minutes. At the beginning you will see your pieces pick up on themselves. Don't worry, very quickly they will flatten out. At this point, leave for another 30 seconds in the oven.
Make Shrinky Dinks Step 5

Step 3. Take them out of the oven

Take oven gloves and remove the tray, being careful not to burn yourself.

  • If you wish, you can place your decorations in paper that you close over it, then press on it to flatten them a little more.
  • Remember to wait a few minutes for your pieces to cool before taking them in your hands. Ultimately, your decoration will have lost a third of its starting size. On the other hand, it will be 9 times thicker. Finally, it will have a brighter appearance and it will be very easy to keep.

Part 3 of 3: Recycle plastic packaging

Make Shrinky Dinks Step 6

Step 1. Use plastic wrap

Recover a plastic packaging whose number is in the center of the recycling symbol is "6", this number means that this plastic is polystyrene (PS). It is used, for example, for plastic boxes of take-out salads.

  • Look on the bottom of your packaging and look for a number "6", your plastic should be thick enough to make it look interesting.
  • Cut out your plastic wrap to make a flat square.
Make Shrinky Dinks Step 7

Step 2. Make your sketch

Take a permanent marker and make your drawing. Avoid sketching with colored pencils on this type of plastic.

  • Be aware that after cooking, your plastic will have lost a third of its size and become thicker.
  • Before putting your piece in the oven, cut it out correctly, round off the corners, because cooking could make the corners sharp. Punch your part, if necessary.
Make Shrinky Dinks Step 8

Step 3. Preheat your oven

Set your oven thermostat to 160 ° C. Insert the grid on the lowest location. Be aware that it is possible to make decorations from this type of plastic, because it is polystyrene, like the sheets of shrinky dink.

  • Take aluminum foil and fold it to obtain a good thickness and thus make a small aluminum tray. Place your piece of plastic on it.
  • Cook for 3 and a half minutes. The plastic will curl up, then straighten up. Take your piece out of the oven and let it cool.
Make Shrinky Dinks Final

Step 4. Enjoy your work

You have completed your piece.


  • To punch your part, you can use a hole punch. Be aware that the holes will shrink, so try to make the holes as wide as possible.
  • For cooking, do not use a microwave.
  • Be aware that water-based markers will not be good for this type of activity.
  • You can make different jewelry like earrings, rings, etc.
  • Make labels with names.
  • Offer your creations to your friends.
  • You can complete your creation with trinkets that you can find in decoration stores.
  • If you want with a heat gun, you can shrink the room. You will, however, need to hold the coin with the tip of a pencil to prevent it from moving.
  • Remember you need to draw on the rough side with crayons and with markers on the smooth side.
  • To use colored pencils, you will need frosted plastic sheets or if you have smooth plastic sheets, sand the plastic with sandpaper or a nail file.

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