How to Make Shrinky Dinks with Recyclable Plastic

by - February 27, 2018

Making shrinky dinks is a fun activity to do with the kids.
It brings out everyone's creative side. And since this activity requires supervision by adults, this will be a great way to spend some quality time.

The shrinky dinks can then be used as bracelet charms, necklace pendants, or accessories for other projects. :)

There are activity kits that are ready for coloring and heating.

But since I love to doodle, I have decided to make shrinky dinks from scratch.
And good news! We don't need to buy shrink films - which are quite pricey for me - just to make these cute little charms. We could recycle plastic containers.

Here is a list of the things we need to make shrinky dinks:

  • Plastic #6 - these are food containers and can be found in grocery stores. Look for number 6 inside 3 arrows. 
  • Permanent pen - ie. sharpie; don't use crayons or alcohol-based markers.
  • Scissors
  • Puncher
  • Aluminum foil or parchment paper
  • Oven toaster

How to Make Shrinky Dinks with Recyclable Plastic

1. I drew the design I want for my shrinky dinks in a paper. For this post, I drew letters to spell out my children's names.

2. I then traced them on the plastic.

3. I then added patterns and colors.

4. I carefully cut them and punched a hole.

5. Put them on top of an aluminum foil or parchment paper to heat in oven. I used oven toaster. I suggest to preheat the oven for 2 minutes and heat the plastic for 1 minute.

6. The plastics will begin to shrink. Don't worry if they begin to curl, they will just flatten back.
If after heating it's still curled up, you may put another aluminum foil or parchment paper on top of the shrinky dinks and place a book or something flat and heavy.

7. Tadaaan! And the shrinky dinks are now done!

They can now be used as bracelet charms or pendants! ♥

PS: I have to be careful next time that the edges aren't too sharp once the charms have shrunk.

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  1. Fun idea! Your letters turned out great. Love the design on each letter.

  2. I love shrinky dinks!!! I made a few pieces last year when I saw how easy they were without buying the special paper. I even keep the containers after muffins or cakes just for shrinky dink purposes. I never made letters though. I love this idea and my kids would like it too. Most of the time my pictures were not as big either so I will do this next time. Thank you for the idea.

    1. The first shrinky dink I made was Rapunzel and a cupcake. I didn't know they are going to shrink like super tiny! Hahah

  3. Omg!!! I use to make these when I was a kid! I totally forgot about this. I definitely need to make these with my daughter

  4. This looks fantastic! I’m always looking for more crafts to do with my daughter!

    1. I would love to see some of your crafts ♥

  5. Oh, wow, I had no idea you could do this without the special kits!