Monday, May 11, 2009

Shrink Plastic ~ a.k.a. Shrinky Dinks! - Mfg. & Figure Shrinkage

When I asked what everyone would like to see Shrink Film, Shrink Plastic or Shrinky Dinks was right up at the top of the list so I thought I'd start off with some of the basics today.

This is the fun stuff from the 70's that we all fell in love with.... I remember coloring and shrinking some of those fun and funky charms myself ;) Check out these way cool retro commercials I found on You Tube.... 1979 Glow in the Dark Shrinky Dinks and Puffy Fuzzy Shrinky Dinks. Dang it's so wild seeing those commercials now ~ they used to be so "hip" - lol!!!

Here are a few other mfg. of shrink plastic ~

(I have some of this and it works fine)

(I have this and it works great!!)

Now, not only are there loads of mfg. of shrink plastic the varieties that are on the market are just as numerous.... Clear, White, Matte, Black, Ink Jet, and even a wide variety of colors (blue, green, red, purple, etc). Normally I buy clear because I can make it matte or white if those are's pretty hard to make it clear ;)

No matter what type of shrink film you purchase (or may already have in your stash) it all shrinks differently. Normally they say it shrinks anywhere from 50-75% of it's original size. If I have a new or different type of shrink film I always make a test strip...

1. Cut a piece of the shrink film, measure and document the measurements on the film it's self.

shrinky dinks019

2. Heat to shrink and re-measure....

shrinky dinks020

As you can see ~ this piece shrank from 8.5" x 2" to 3.5" x .80" ~ or about 59% overall.

By creating this type of test strip you can guestimate how small your finished pieces will be by doing a little bit of math...

How to determine the approximate shrinkage of a shrinky dink or shrink plastic piece....

Original Size........... 8.5"

Multiply by %........ 59%


5.01" (reduction in size)


Original Size............ 8.5"

(-) Size Reduction.. 5.01"


Approx. Finished Size 3.49"

Tomorrow I'll be back with some examples on how to make basic charms :)

Hope you stop in and see what I've come up with!


  1. Thanx for doin' the math for us Roni! I just got some and it's made by Lucky Squirrel. Will do the test strips as you suggested. You are the BEST!

  2. This is great as I am just considering doing some shrink plastic for the first time :-)
    Whilst I am here I would like to say thanks for the image transfer with diamond glaze/glossy accents. I have just done one and am thrilled with it

  3. I can't wait to see this Roni! Shrink plastic costs too much in my opinion here in the UK, so last time I was in the US I bought like 10 packets of the stuff.. its been lying around my craft room ever since waiting for some use! You always seem to know just which projects to write about which use up these long-forgotten supplies we all have :)
    p.s got your package - thank you! It's so lovely, I am going to put together one of my own :)

  4. I had to write today to tell you that I follow your blog religiously though I get so busy I have yet to make a comment.

    I really appriciate your dedication, your art and the way that you share with your followers.

    I cannot wait to get your book. Thank you so much for all you do.

  5. Wait. Did she just do MATH?

    *thud* <-------- phinny just phell over


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!