DIY Shrinky Dinks, made from recycled plastic

When I saw this shrinky dink tutorial the other day, I knew I had to give it a shot.  Believe it not, I had never seen a shrinky dink (real or DIY) in action before tonight. I’m so glad I hadn’t taken the plastic take-out containers from my last trip to Poquito Mas out to the recycle bin, because they were the only #6 plastic I had in the house.

The tutorial calls for permanent markers, so I drew on the plastic with my Sharpies, and then cut them out.

Little robots, drawn with Sharpie on #6 plastic

Turquoise robot, pre-shrinkingI preheated the oven to 350 and put them on a little aluminum foil tray on the bottom rack.

Orange robot on the tin foil tray
The first few seconds the shrinky dinks are in the oven, things get pretty crazy, at least for a shrinky dink newbie.  Each piece of plastic swells up like a big bubble and then curls around. It happened so fast, I didn’t even have a chance to wonder if I was inhaling toxic fumes!

About two and a half minutes later, I decided they looked done. Not sure why I thought so. Shrinky dink instincts?  Even before I took them out of the oven, I could see that something had gone horrifically wrong with this little guy.  I accidentally put him on the foil upside down, which melted the marker ink. Poor li’l robot.

Shrinky dink gone wrongThe rest of the robots turned out pretty cute, I think:

Yay, tiny robots!Here’s a shot of light shining through the blue guy:

Robot shrinky dink!And look how tiny and thick they got!  They totally lived up to my shrinky expectations.

Look how tiny and thick he is!I’m a bit sketched out by melting plastic in the same oven where I cook my food, so I probably won’t make shrinky dinks on a regular basis, but this was a fun craft using something that otherwise would’ve ended up in a recycle bin.  And of course, my inner 7-year-old is thrilled that I finally got to watch a shrinky dink do its thing through the oven door.

If you want to try it yourself, these instructions worked for me. (Just be sure that all your little marker drawings are facing up when you put them in the oven!)


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One Response to DIY Shrinky Dinks, made from recycled plastic

  1. _mark says:

    i like the retarded robot.

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