One of my son’s favorite things to do is to make shrinky dinks. Awhile back, I purchased a large amount of shrinky dink paper from http://www.shrinkydinks.com/ I’m not a huge fan of most of the kits you can buy as they are shapes and designs that you only have the option to color. I like to give the children freedom to choose and create their own designs. Sometimes we have completely unique designs, and sometimes we trace pictures from books to color.
Mr. Jim from the Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum mentioned to me that you could make shrinky dinks by recycling your #6 plastic. I decided that I would try it out and compare the results with the purchased shrinky dink paper.
The first thing I noticed was that the #6 plastic was much thicker than the purchased paper. I cut a piece of the #6 plastic and sanded it to the exact same size and shape as the piece of shrinky dink paper. You can see that the colored pencil looks much more vivid on the purchased paper. I’m not sure if this would be true if I had sanded the #6 plastic more or not. I’ll have to test that out later.
One of the tutorials I found said to use #5 plastic, and some of them mentioned different oven positions and temperatures. I will continue to tinker with this until we have a better product or I will keep buying the paper! I continually stress that the art is about the process, but my little man expects that when he makes a shrinky dink that mom will shrink it right! (and so do all of his friends!)