Shrinky Dinks Test Lab – The Wrap-up Of It All…

[16 Jul 2008 | By | 14 Comment(s) | 49,418 views ]

Hope you all enjoyed the shrinky dinks test lab… I sure did!
A reminder, I want to see your creations. If you’re on Flickr, add your pictures to the new Dabbled pool, and/or put a comment here (with a link to your blog) or one of the other Test Lab posts. If we get enough fun stuff, i’ll do a spotlight on readers’ shrinkies :)

Also, be sure to check out the comments, because there are alot of talented people who posted their experiences, especially with sealing, and there is good info to be had.

Here are links to all the posts, for your ease of reading pleasure.

Part 1: HOW TO- Doodle Charms – Jewelry from recycled plastic

This section is a good basic tutorial on how to make shrinky jewerly from old takeout containers, with just sharpies, scissors, a hole punch, and a bit of creativity.  Be sure to read the comments, there are extra tips there about how long to heat them, and whether there are issues with fumes, and some other good points.


Part 2: What would happen if..? (The Shrinky Dink Test Lab)

This section is the first of the experiments.  We cover several cool ideas, like drawing on the front and back of the plastic.  Also we tried several ways of sealing the charm, which produced different effects.  You could totally incorporate these effects into your design.  The comments include several good suggestions for other methods of sealing the shrinky.



Make rings out of #6 recyclable plasticPart 3: More experimentation in the Shrinky Dink Test Lab

The second day of odd experiments included what would happen if you sealed the shrinky PRIOR to shrinking, as well as a really neat effect using spraypaint.  We also shrink non-flat plastic (the side of a to-go box) and make a ring out of it.  And we combine several of the techniques to make a giant suncatcher, seeing just how big a shrinky we can make!  Finally, we use colored pencils, rather than Sharpies, to color our design.


Part 4 of the Shrinky Dink Test lab: Successful sealing.. maybe

This is the post where the commenters really come through.  Not only do we have the (mixed) results of my sealing using polyurethane, the commenter pipe up with a bunch of other solutions, and several do their own tests to really give us all the data.  If you’re interested in sealing, this is the post to read (including the comments).

Shrinky Dinkies – Special Edition : Make Wraparound Wine Glass Markers

This is not really part of the test lab, but was a fun project tutorial to make temporary wine glass markers.  Plus the idea of doing a shrinky making party with your friends!

2/09: More Shrinky projects:
Funky cool Bracelet
Shrinky Xmas Ornament
Shrinky Wine glass markers


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14 Comment(s) »

  • Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor [] :

    I just found your blog today and I love it! All the great up-cycled projects! My favorite are the shrinky dinks… clever easy and cheap! Thank you so much for the tutorials!

  • Sophie [] :

    Great stuff!! Why buy the shrink plastic when we are surrounded in the stuff. BTW have you ever tried to shrink a chip packet? Weird, I know, but I recall when we were kids that we used to do it – everyone had a mini chip packet on their key ring. Just wondering if it still works or if they’ve changed the plastic in the packets – perhaps I’ll have to give it a go.

  • Debi [] :

    Great information. I added a link to it here,, I was talking about shrinky dinks and crafts. Awesome site you have. Love it!

  • lorrwill [] :

    Please please please post how you used this. My experiments with the sealing phase are not going so great.

  • Pepi [] :

    Muy bonito el resultado,quedan unas piezas bellisimas.Un saludo.

  • Sara [] :

    I was trying to figure out how to make recycled beads and came across this blog by accident. I am so excited to discover that I can make my own gorgeous and artistic jewelry from recycled plastic – and who does’nt love shrinky dinks – thanks so much for blogging this!!!

  • Dot [] :

    So glad you enjoyed it! would love to see pics of what you make!

  • CraftyKid [] :

    I love your tutorials!

    I’m trying to find information online about melting plastics with recycling #s 1-5. I’m curious what will happen, how they melt, and whether they’re usable for crafts. I hesitate to experiment myself because I figure someone somewhere has already tried!, and I don’t want to sacrifice our toaster oven or fill our house with horrible-smelling toxic fumes, if that’s what the other numbers of plastic do when melted.

    Do you have any information about what happens when you melt plastics other than #6? How did you come to know #6 was best for crafting?

    Thank you! Happy crafting!

    P.S. — Have you tried any eco-friendly resins as sealers? How do they compare to standard sealers?

  • Dot [] :

    Honestly, I’ve only tried with a few different kinds so I’d be hesitant to give any advice about other plastics. Some will simple soften, some will do nothing at these kind of temps. I would be concerned about fumes from too much experimenting, so try anything outside in an old toaster at your own risk :)

    I do have another cool project –
    a bracelet from a vinyl record, but I’m not sure if that will help you.

  • Betty [] :

    Just a few little notes on thing I’ve discovered in my playing with both shrinky dink film and #6 plastic. You can use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to lighten/blend/remove ink if you’re using a sharpie, bic permanent marker, or prismacolor pen. You can also pick up opaque white paint markers for use on the clear films, usually in the scrapbooking section. Same with gold, silver, and copper. They shine really well through and if you put them on OVER another color you can get some amazing effects.

    Try sanding the film a little with a fine grit sandpaper, than you can add colored pencils to the film as well.

  • Betty [] :

    Oh yeah, one other thing. Prismacolor makes a colorless blending marker. It’s GREAT when you want to lighten colors some, or to add some shading without having to do tons of work. Color on the same side as you put the lines on, and don’t worry so much if the tracing lines bleed a little. Than use the marker over the lines to blend the colors and trace over the lines again. You’ll get an almost 3D look to the edges of the colors and it looks awesome. The marker costs about $3 and lasts a long long time. You can do it with other colors as well, and just totally color over where the lines are and trace them again at the end.

  • Dot [] :

    Thanks for the tips, Betty!

  • Jo [] :

    Oo… Thank you…fab ideas… I can’t wait to experiment. Thanks again for the inspiration CX

  • Spass | Pearltrees [] :

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