Monday, August 23, 2010

DIY Shrinky Dinks

YOU are a lucky duck. Shrinky dinks can be turned into so many things. It's really crazy how flimsy plastic turns into thick, tough charms like this. And, the best part is that you can make these for fucking free!


  • Number 6 clear plastic
  • Sharpie markers
  • jump ring
  • beads
  • Magic Stretch bead cord
  • sheet of aluminum foil
  • hole punch
  • scissors
  • for a keychain, you can find cheap ones in the kid's craft section
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Draw or find an image to make into a charm. Keep in mind, it will shrink to about 1/3 of its original size. Cut the sides off of a clean piece of plastic. How do you know you have the right kind? Look for the magic number 6 with a recycle symbol embossed on it. You'll find these pieces of gold hiding in the forms of take-out containers, lids for take-n-bake pans from the grocery store, hovering over delicious (and some icky) pastries and cookie assortments, and on meat & cheese trays at company pot lucks. Don't let them get away!

Place the plastic over the design and trace it with a Sharpie. Color it in before making a black outline. Trust me, bitch!

Color first, outline last

Old markers work great for shadows, while fine point markers are nice for smaller details. They blend very well on the plastic, don't they? One lid is big enough for two designs.

Sure, it's easy to find an image online and trace it, but don't forget that you're creative too. Pull out your sketchbook! Even if you do find an image online, only use it as a guide; make it your own.

Cut out the plastic in whatever shape you want. Punch a hole in it somewhere before baking. If the image doesn't have an ideal spot for a hole, leave some extra plastic on top with enough space for a hole. Punch it!

Now it's time to cook. The oven should be all hot now. Place your 'dinks on a piece of foil and get ready. Before you put them in, grab a stack of magazines because you'll need them quickly.

Put them in the oven and bake for about 30 seconds. Temps and times may vary, so it helps to watch them through the window if you have one. If not, crack the oven open a bit and take a peek.

When they look all shrinked, pull out the foil tray and immediately drop your stack of magazines on them. I don't mean drop them on there a few seconds after pulling them out; I mean drop them on immediately! Your 'dinks will not be flat unless you do this. Let them sit for a bit.

String up some beads on your stretchy cord and tie. Add a jump ring to the 'dink and add it to the beads.

Wear the beads as a necklace or you could hang it from your rear-view. Sparkly beads will catch the sun.


  • Use permanent markers. Other markers will smudge.
  • If you don't have a single-hole punch, use one of the holes from a 3-hole punch.
  • Making the hole from a 3-hole punch a little bigger didn't make too much of a difference. But, remember that the hole shrinks too.
  • Add glitter glue or poke more holes and dangle beads from the bottom.
  • Use an Xacto if you have lots of sharp corners to cut out.
  • What really happens if you don't use a #6 piece of plastic? Stop being a ho and see the picture below.

This is not #6 plastic. It turned white and would not flatten. It also didn't get as hard.

1 comment:

  1. I think I love you. F-bombs, skulls, crafting, and thrifty, craft-wid-whatcha-got-itude. I think you and I could be blog buddies. ome folks' blogs scare me. Their perfect soccer mom hair probably takes longer to do than most of my projects. I have subscribed to your blog and will definitely be following it with interest and glee.