Art, Art activities, Craft, DIY, Drawing, Make, Create, & Share!

Shrinky Dinks

These have always been a student favorite! It’s like a magic art project – you draw on the shrink film, heat it up, and watch it shrink! Shrink film is so much fun, there’s really a lot of different ways you can create with it – it’s not just for kids!

What is it? Shrinky dinks are a type of plastic – polystyrene. Certain types of polystyrene are often used in food packaging and containers, it’s got the number 6 plastic code…..which also means if you have a take out container or some other type of plastic with the number 6 plastic code, you can make a shrinky dink out of it!

You can also buy Shrinky Dink sheets. I used the “Ruff n’ Ready” sheets. They’re my favorite, with one side that has a sanded surface, which, takes mediums really well! However, you can re-create this with recycled plastics too – just use some sandpaper to scratch up your plastic!

Shrinky dinks shrink about 1/3 their original size when heated – I use a small craft oven; a toaster oven, kitchen oven, or heat gun, can also be used! When they shrink, the colors on your artwork become more condensed, making them darker. I typically use colored pencils or markers on the shrink film. I’ve also use chalk pastels and pens. You can cut shapes out of the shrink film before you shrink it, as well as punch holes in it for key chains, etc.

For this project I’m making a key chain but check out some other ideas of things you can create at the bottom of the post! I’ll also be drawing my own design but as this shrink film is transparent you can also trace a page from a coloring book, magazine or book!

What you need:

  • Shrink Film, or #6 Plastic
  • Scissors
  • Hole Punch
  • Colored pencils or Markers & a Sharpie pen
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Key Chain – unless you plan to make something else!

Step one: Cut your shrink film to the desired size – keep in mind it shrinks to about 1/3 it’s original size! Trace your piece of shrink film on a sheet of paper.

Step two: Draw your design on your sheet of paper with a pencil – once you’re happy with your design trace it onto your shrink film with a sharpie pen. You can tape your shrink film to your paper to help keep it from moving!

Step three: Color in your shrink film design – I used colored pencils but you can use markers or pens as well!

Step four: Once your design is colored, punch a hold in your shrink film, using a hole punch, so you can turn it into a key chain later!

Step five: You can also cut out around your design if desired!

Step six: Bake your shrink film! 325* F for just a couple minuets – You’ll notice it crinkles up and then will flatten back out as a much smaller and thicker piece of plastic.

Let your shrink film cool for a few minuets. It’s fun to see how much it shrinks compared to your original drawing!

As it shrinks your colors also become more condensed, so they appear darker!

Step seven: Add your key chain pieces to your shrink film!

Trace a coloring book page instead of drawing your own design

Besides a key chain you could also turn your Shrinky Dinks into zipper pulls, magnets, pins, hair clips, jewelry, mini artworks, or anything else you can think of! I use the Shrinky Dink “Ruff n’ Ready” variety but they also offer several other types that you can use for different techniques!

Send me your Shrinky Dink creations to add to the Followers Gallery!

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