How to Save Money with Kids' Crafts: Homemade Shrinky Dinks


How to Save Money with Kids' Crafts: Homemade Shrinky Dinks

There are tons of absolutely adorable kids' crafts made with Shrinky Dink plastic, a special material that shrinks when cooked. If you love Shrinky Dink projects like I do though, crafting can get expensive. It's not cheap buying new sheets of Shrinky Dink plastic every time you want to make an awesome, new craft. Luckily, there is an everyday substitute that isn't just less expensive; it's free! Use recycled take out containers or snack packaging as shrinking plastic to save a ton of dough and maximize the amount of shrink plastic projects that you can make. Here's what you need:



  • Plastic #6
  • Permanent Markers
  • Scissors
  • Cookie Sheet and/or aluminum foil
  • Oven or Slow Cooker
  • Hole Punch (optional)


  1. Cut out a flat piece of plastic #6 and draw desired design with permanent markers. *Keep in mind the plastic will shrink to about 1/3 of the size and 1/5 of the thickness.
  2. If you are punching a hole in the plastic to make jewelry or charms, do so now.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Place design on cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil, or simply place it on aluminum foil. If using aluminum foil on its own, fold up the edges to create a mock tray. Some sources say that this is a way to speed up the process.
  5. Once preheated, insert the tray with the design onto the lowest rack. Be aware: Plastic does let off fumes. Open windows and/or doors to increase ventilation
  6. Shrinking should take about 3-4 minutes. *Note: at first it will begin to curl, but it will flatten out on its own.
  7. Once you remove the tray from the oven, you have about 10 seconds to shape the plastic however you'd like. Do this with caution.
  8. Enjoy your free Shrinky Dinks!

Shrinky Dink Ideas

Shrinky Dink DIY Jewelry

Shrinky Dink Homemade Gift Ideas

Christmas Crafts for Preschoolers


Sources: Curbly, Crockpot 365, and Skip to my Lou


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