Call us nostalgic, but we miss all the old toys we had growing up! It’s probably got something to do with all the retro merch the Disney parks have been releasing lately!
That’s why we’ve decided to resurrect this relic from our Rainbow Brite-loving, Care Bear huggin’ pasts — SHRINKY DINKS!
Last week we showed you how to make-your-own Scratch-n-Sniff stickers — the Scratch and Sniff Dole Whip Pin we recently spotted at Disneyland gave us this brilliant idea!
And something about the sweet aroma of making our scented stickers at home stirred up another passion in our 80s-baby hearts! You guessed it — we’re talking about that old school classic, Shrinky Dinks!
What’s a Shrinky Dink?
Alright, we think we might have lost some of you who weren’t around for the “Mousercize Years,” so a quick explanation is probably in order! Shrinky Dinks are basically arts and crafts MAGIC for kids.
They start out as big clear sheets of plastic, but once you add your design and cut them out, you “shrink” them down in the oven and they come out all cool-looking! (Why do we suddenly the urge to watch Rick Moranis in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids???)
How to Make Your Own Shrinky Dinks
Back in Roger Rabbit’s day, you could buy commercially-licensed Shrinky Dink kits all over the place! Now you have to search a bit harder to find them, but many are still out there.
Luckily, you don’t actually need a kit to make your own Shrinky Dinks at all! You might even have the exact materials you need to make them right now without even realizing it!
You know all that take-out many of you have been ordering recently while stuck at home? Flip it over! Any recyclable plastic material with the number “6” stamped on its bottom inside that lil’ recycle logo is essentially Shrinky dinks hiding RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU! Many clear plastic to-go containers are made of this magic number 6 plastic!
If you can’t find any recyclable plastic with the number “6” marking, you can order your Shrinky Dinks instead! But don’t worry — you still get to be crafty!
Since the plastic is see-through, you can place it over a coloring book or a storybook to trace the outline of your favorite Disney characters with colored permanent markers. If you want to use colored pencils or crayons in your coloring (we think colored pencils give the most vibrant results!), scuff up one side with some sandpaper or a nail file, in a pinch.
You can also try your hand at freehand drawing your designs — check out these videos for help learning how to draw your favorite Disney characters here!
Next, you’ll want to cut out your design so that when it shrinks it’ll have a nice shape! And don’t forget to punch a hole in it somewhere so you can attach your Shrinky Dink “charms” to stuff afterwards (if jewelry is your endgame. It was always ours!). Use a paper punch or nail for this part!
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and place your Shrinky Dinks color-side up on a baking sheet lined with tin foil.
The Shrinky Dinks only need 1-3 minutes to bake. Make sure you keep an eye on your Shrinky Dinks as they shrink — that’s the BEST PART! Heads up, they may curl while they cook…but they’ll smooth out! Don’t panic! (If you have some Dunkaroos or a Capri Sun pouch lying around, you can take this experience to the NEXT 80’s KID LEVEL and snack while they bake!)
Once your Shrinky Dinks are done cookin’ and have cooled down, you can make whatever you want with them! Use them to make jewelry like earrings or necklaces.
Or you can just put them in a drawer and find them 15 years from now like us — YOU DO YOU!
We hope you enjoy making your own Shrinky Dinks at home, and if you post your creations on social media, please tag us @disneyfoodblog so we can admire your handiwork! We’ll keep coming up with more tubular, radical throwback crafts in the meantime, so stay tuned!
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Do you remember Shrinky Dinks from your childhood? Tell us which sets you had in the comments below!