Monday, July 2, 2012

Arts and Crafts: Homemade Shrinky Dinks

Do you remember Shrinky Dinks? If you answer yes... hahaha... I'm glad. It means we're probably from the same generation... or you're older than me! 

Shrinky Dinks are magical. They are plastic sheets that you can either draw on, or color if they already come with with pictures (and believe me, they used  to come in every popular character), then you cut them to shape, and bake them in the oven. Then they shrink and become thicker... perfect as a keychain or charm.  

I found a 3D example online.
Photo credit:

I just thought Sofia would enjoy making some so I googled if they are still available for sale in Singapore or Manila... and I because they are not easily available, I found quite a lot of discussions that tell you it's very easy and much cheaper to make your own. The generic name of the shrinky dink magical material is shrink plastic. It's also NOT that easy to find it. I tried googling it and most of the hits I got were for shrink wrap used for food!!! But theoretically they should be sold in Art Supply stores and I heard that they come in different colors, some you can directly draw, color or stamp on, some need sanding, and some you can even print on.

In Singapore, I found it in an online art store, and it was quite reasonable too at SG$1.60 a sheet. However, they already closed their retail store that used to be in Central, Clarke Quay in 2011 so it didn't make sense to buy something and pay for expensive shipping. Some people also mentioned that they saw it sold in Daiso Plaza Singapura and Daiso IMM, so off to Daiso IMM (in Jurong) we went!

If you've shopped in Daiso, you'd realize what a lost cause looking for shrink paper is. Nobody who works there knows what it is, so asking will not get you any help. I tried looking at the crafts, stationary, plastics, paper and DIY sections. The saleslady even told me to look at the kitchenware section since I told her that you needed to bake it. 

Good thing, the articles online also tell you that you don't need to spend money to make shrinky dinks! They say that Number 6 Plastic, which most of the food containers are made of, actually uses the same plastic. I was quite skeptical at first, but desperation and my one-track mind to introduce Sofia to the wonderful world of Shrinky Dinks won!   

These are everything you need.
All available from Daiso at SG$2 (around Php70) each.
Materials needed:
Number 6 plastic takeaway boxes, one hole puncher, permanent markers, and keychains (optional, depending on what crafts you want to make).

If you see the sign on the upper right, you know it's number 6 plastic. 
I had to try it out to make sure it works before I showed Sofia how magical it is.
I used the sides so I won't waste the good parts.
Remember to punch in the hole before baking.
You just need to put it on aluminum foil, then into the toaster oven.
It will curl up like this... (just like the online articles said).
Then it flattens again after shrinking.
For perspective, it came out just a bit bigger than a 10cent coin.
It looked silly with the keychain label...

So I just removed it.
Perfect for Sofia's elephant bag.
My daughter is not really into drawing so I had to label her pictures.
We cut it to make to keychains.
Watching the magic.
Sofia's first attempt at Shrinky Dinks.

We put it with her bag tag.
You need a magnifying glass to figure out what they are.
Sofia had a brilliant idea of using her stencil book.

I made one freehand, Sofia made one with her stencils.
Two more bagtags!!!
We put one on her school bag.
The other one went to her favorite carry on luggage.
It even packs up well.
You can keep everything, except the toaster, in the number 6 food containers.

It's the perfect Back-To-School Activity if you want to keep your kids busy for a few hours. 
Happy Shrinking! Hope you enjoy it as much as we did. 


  1. cool...the #6 plastic really works then! Haha! I also wanted to try it but I was skeptical with the other articles I saw online. Thanks for this. :)

  2. do you get any poisonous smell from cooking plastics?

    1. Not if you use the correct plastic type as indicated in the post.

  3. I can't find type 6 plastic containers. All are type 5.

    1. Try the plastic takeaway containers from Daiso or Saizen

  4. If I am using the oven toaster, for how many minutes should I wait?

    1. You can watch it, once it starts to fully curl up and shrink, you can already remove it.

  5. Does paint work on this? Also, how do you know when it's done shrinking and how hot to bake it?

    Thanks in advanced! Wonderful post. Been looking for Shrinky Dinks since forever. :)

    1. I didn't try paint, but permanent markers work. Color it before baking - just like shrinky dinks. I just stick it in a regular toaster. You can watch it curl, once shrunk, just remove.