Aug 31, 2013

Homemade Shrinky Dinks

(Daddy crafts)

If you remember shrinky dinks, or know what they are all about, then it probably means we are from the same generation! 

Shrinky dinks are fascinating stuff. They are made from flexible plastic sheets and when heated in an oven, shrink to about one-quarter in size to become smaller and harder without changing the original shape nor color. They are mostly used for making personalised plastic jewellery and charms.

In fact, I was so inspired by ahappymum's DIY Shrinky Dink project that it gave me the perfect excuse to pitch the idea to Ash and Ayd just as they were mulling over what to gift their teachers for Teachers' Day. Needless to say, they embraced it (Woot!).

Obviously, the magic cannot happen without the most important ingredient of the project - the shrinky dink plastic. I have read online that you can get them at those craft shops at Bras Basah but you would probably have better luck getting the plastic from Daiso. Not to mention it is cheaper too!

The $2 shrinky dink pack comes with 2 A5 white translucent plastics and one keychain ring holder. Daiso sells the clear plastic ones as well but personally, I feel the colours stand out more on the white translucent ones.

As for the colours, you can make do with normal markers and colouring pencils but for best results, oil-based markers are most ideal.

And then, it was time to get cracking!

The two boys decided to make Minions keychains for their teachers and I printed out A5-sized pictures of those yellow cuties for the boys to trace. The important thing to note is because the plastic shrinks to one-quarter of its original size, remember not to make your drawings too small.

Once the tracing and colouring are done, you may even include words or names for that personalized touch. Then, cut out the shape and pop it into the oven to let the magic begin.

Oh, and here's a reminder - if you are making a keychain, remember to punch holes BEFORE sticking it into the oven! And speaking of oven, a normal toaster oven works fine as well. Just line the tray with either aluminium foil or baking sheet, turn up the heat and watch the magic happen before your very own eyes!

Please do not freak out when it starts to crumple and curl like a ball. It is all part of the show! I think this is the most fun part of the entire craft process for the boys as I could clearly see their excitement swelling as the plastic went shrinking in the oven. Eventually, it will flatten itself out and become a thicker and harder version.

Once it is flattened, wait for another 5 seconds before removing it from the oven with a pair of tongs. While it is still soft and malleable, you may want to press it with a ruler to make it perfectly flat.

When it has completely cooled, attach the keychain ring holder and TA-DAH - A homemade personalized shrinky dink keychain! Amazing process isn't it?

So after the first successful attempt, mass production duly followed.

In fact, it looked so fun that I just had to give a go myself too - by throwing an Evil Minion into the mix. Heh.

I hope that both Ash's and Ayd's teachers will like their small gifts for Teachers' Day. Actually, I reckon it will be the perfect craft activity if you want to keep your kids busy for a few hours.

Happy Shrinking!

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