Super Shinking Plastic!




Introduction: Super Shinking Plastic!

Never buy that Shrinky Dink crap, you can make your own, for free!

Step 1: What to Have

You will need:
Type 6 Plasic
A Sharpie
An Oven
Aluminum Foil
Cookie Sheet

Step 2: Cut the Plastic

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

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 4: Prepare the Rest of the Materials

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.

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!

Enjoy making your own shrunken plastic!



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    86 Discussions

    What if there is just the "PS" on my plastic without the number? Does it work anyway?

    hi, i dont have an over, tried it in the microwave but the plastic burnt. can anybody suggest the instructions for microwave

    1 reply

    It won't work in a microwave because of the way a microwave works.
    The oven works by heating the whole inside of the oven to an even temperature, which will heat all the components of the plastic relatively evenly and cause it to revert to its original shape (shrink) before it was heat formed the first time.
    Microwaves work by causing the water molecules to gain energy essentially. It doesn't heat it evenly and won't cause the plastic to shrink at all.

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

    1 reply

    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?

    3 replies

    Shrinky Dinks are crap 'cuz they cost like $5 a sheet when you can find your own plastic in your recycling bin!

    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.

    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.

    8 replies

    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.


    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.

    "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.