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Picture of Super Shinking Plastic!
Never buy that Shrinky Dink crap, you can make your own, for free!
 
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Step 1: What to have

Picture of What to have
You will need:
Type 6 Plasic
A Sharpie
An Oven
Aluminum Foil
Cookie Sheet

Step 2: Cut the Plastic

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Cut out the shape that you want for your plastic. If you want to, add a smiley face, some hair, whatever.

Step 3: Preheat the Oven

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Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 4: Prepare the rest of the materials

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While the oven is preheating, cover the front of your cookie sheet with aluminum foil, shiney side up! Place your plastic creation on it and get ready for the next step.

Step 5: Place the sheet in the oven.

Picture of Place the sheet in the oven.
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When the oven is finished preheating, place the cookie sheet in. Watch your plastic as it curls and "crumples" up. After the plastic has curled and flattened back out, take it out. The plastic will have shrunken!

Step 6: Enjoy!

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Enjoy making your own shrunken plastic!
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worldstrad3 months ago

how can I make something with a hole for a key ring? hole punch? will that whole still be there?

You have to do it beforehand or you run the risk of cracking the plastic. But I've found a hole punch is perfect!

Shrinky Dinks are not 'crap'! They are great -- you can draw on them with color pencils or markers; anyone have any luck with anything other than a Sharpie on No. 6 plastic?
you can sand it in two directions to make colored pencil stay.
Yeah, markers. Just like you said. Or a pen, or even paint. Possibilities are endless. Why pay?
Bad Donut (author)  Sarah in Brooklyn8 years ago
Shrinky Dinks are crap 'cuz they cost like $5 a sheet when you can find your own plastic in your recycling bin!
gtoal3 years ago
Would this work for making very small pinholes? What would be a good source of dark opaque plastic? Perhaps a coffee-cup lid?

Thanks, G.
This is a great suggestion! I only buy pricey shrinky dinks for the frosted ruff 'n' ready. Unfortunately nothing else takes colored pencil quite as well.
rickharris8 years ago
Type 6 is Polystyrene eg. Yoghurt pots, foam meat or fish trays, hamburger boxes and egg cartons, vending cups, plastic cutlery, protective packaging for electronic goods and toys. Lots of products use this including crisp (Chip) packets etc as above.
Bad Donut (author)  rickharris8 years ago
Even though that has the type 6 sign on it, it isnt type 6 plastic. What youre talking about it type 6 styrofoam which will burn in the oven if cooked.
tyro foam is correctly Foamed Polystyrene so the base material is the same - Type 6 plastic - But in this case without the foaming agent. Yes Foam will just melt.
We used to make cowboy hats for the cats out of beaded polystyrene coffee cups. Most attempts resulted in amorphous blobs, but occasionally, an adorable little white Stetson emerged from the oven. Then we went a little odd from the vapours. You can also shrink mylar chip bags (crisps for U.K. ites) in the microwave. Preferably a microwave you have little regard for. Needless to say, both of these endeavors require careful monitoring.
*snicker* I think you were already a little odd from the vapors. Did the cats agree?
abfab Bad Donut6 years ago
YOU ARE BY NO MEANS....AN EXPERT. PLEASE KEEP YOUR NEGATIVE COMMENTS TO YOUR SELF.
mg0930mg abfab6 years ago
That wasn't negative.
I am not sure if you are referring to me / my post - Either way I guess by some standards I am an "expert" as my degree is in Design Technology leaning heavily on plastics.

Quote
"Plastic #6: Polystyrene (PS)
Common uses: packaging pellets or "Styrofoam peanuts," cups, plastic tableware, meat trays, to-go "clam shell" containers. Many shipping/packaging stores will accept polystyrene peanuts and other packaging materials for reuse. Cups, meat trays, and other containers that have come in contact with food are more difficult to recycle. If you have large quantities call the Eco-Desk Hotline at 707-565-3375. "

From recycling plastics

Foamed Polystyrene is NOT suitable for heat shrinking AND will give off noxious fumes including Dioxins and Cyanide gas at relatively low temperatures.

My comments such as they are are not negative but intended to be informative and highlight safety concerns as were yours - I guess - HOWEVER it is true that a whole range of Thermoplastics can and do possess the "plastic memory" feature and will try to shrink when heated - the reasons for this are several. For the most part PROVIDED adequate ventilation is maintained - The temperature is controlled and monitored - the end user understands what they are doing and is responsible this is a fun and interesting thing to do.

Shrinky Dink do not have the monopoly on thermoplastics.
I thought egg cartons were made out of, like cardboard or something... they don't look plastic. But I may be wrong.
Most egg cartons are made of recycled paper. The foam egg cartons are foamed Polystyrene, and are not suitable for shrinking. The clear plastic ones are usually injection molded Polystyrene, and are suitable for shrinking, so long as they have the number 6 with the chasing arrows somewhere on them.
mmmm... foam meats :D
Wynd3 years ago
I've noticed that Slurpee cups (the plastic ones, obviously) are #6 plastic.
PackRat44488 years ago
i would also like to know what some good sources for #6 plastic are?
Bad Donut (author)  PackRat44488 years ago
You can usually find them in your recycling bin (If you have one). Type six plasic comes from plasic disposable cups, plastic lids (but usually their type 1), and anything that has the little 6 symbol on it. Here is all of the regular plastic symbols, though i have seen type 80 plastic (no joke).
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HELP. I have looked throughout the house and fridge and cannot find Number 6 plastic. Most packages  are 2 or 4.
Some scotch tape dispenser type things are type 6. I've never tried shinking it, will someone try?
How do you think they make those mini tape dispensers?
Plastic injection molding. High-Chromium stainless steel mold. Pretty simple.
haha.
you can do this with those crap credit cards you get in the mail. It shrinks a lot faster too.
woah!! can I make miniature credit cards? my kids would have a ball with those w/their dolls and such
I guess so. I tried it and it melted through the grate in the oven. Hehe.
haha too many spam offers? lol I called and opted out of prescreened credit offers for five years...maybe I could do this with gift cards or something
would it work if you use a small toaster oven
woosang6 years ago
I like this for making earrings. :) Thanks for the info about the No6 plastic!
lotusduck6 years ago
This. Is awesome. Where I live we can only recycle numbers 1-3, so it's totally great to have a use for number 6.
korbin3216 years ago
may i ask what is your problem abfab to defend shrinky dink company so much.
korbin3216 years ago
shut up abfab these instructables are about doing things your self and haveing that pride when its a success so i think i speak for everyone when i say shut up!
camel flag7 years ago
what about the fumes?
noornisaik7 years ago
very nice ... must try this. "Cheap", "recycled" and "easy" are my criteria for a great instructables ... and yours is perfect.
lemonie8 years ago
I have occasionaly wondered what the point of these things was, and I still don't have an answer...
It is possible to make jewelry and little trinkets with amazing detail. It's a lot easier to make a jewelry component (why I use shrink plastic) much larger than it needs to be. I use rubber stamps or draw on the plastic and add as much color or detail as I choose. I shrink the item to the size I need and none of the detail is lost. There is no way I could draw images on a bit of plastic that tiny, but by using the shrinking technique I can add detailed and colorful components to my jewelry designs.
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