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Mater Christi Learning Commons: Shrinky Dinks

Resources, research support and skill development

What is Shrinky Dinks?

Shrinkable Plastic will shrink to half it's size when exposed to a constant heat above 250 degrees celsius. The sheet plastic is flexible enough to be fed through an inkjet printer and shaped as part of the shrinking process.

After shrinking, the plastic will be hard and durable which makes it ideal for jewelry, brooches and bangles.


Workshop Photos




Step 1: Prepare Materials

Prepare your shrinkable plastic by ensuring that the surface is sanded with fine grade sand paper. If you are using recycled plastic, make sure that it is from a "6" category. Alternatively you can buy shrinky dink plastic that has already been "roughed up".

Step 2: Create the Design

Draw or print onto your shrinkable plastic. If you are drawing remember that the marker needs to be permanent. 

Step 3: Add Colour

You can use anything to colour in the shrink plastic that is permanent. Pencils work well, but remember to brush off the residual pencil lead before baking. Even though the pencil colourings are light, the colour will intensify as it bakes and shrinks.

Step 4: Punch holes

Remember to punch any holes that might be needed as the plastic hardens in the oven and it can be quite difficult to cut holes into your delicate pieces later.

Step 5: Shrink it

There are a number of ways of shrinking:

  • Conventional oven (250 degrees celsius)
  • Toaster oven (maximum)
  • Heat Gun (200+)

Place unheated plastic on a baking tray and into your oven for 5-10 minutes. Remember that your plastic will shrink up into a ball before it then straightens out. Be patient! Use chopsticks to orientate your plastic as it will be quite hot!

Step 6 Attach your hardware

Attach your hardware with either jewellry pliers or brooch backs with superglue!