Sunday, June 08, 2008

Recycled Art - Shrinky Dink Necklaces

It was a bit of a rainy day today (very unusual Colorado weather!) so I decided to pull out an art project that I had been saving for, well... a rainy day!

Did you know that you can use #6 plastic to make old fashion Shrinky Dinks? The only place I've found #6 plastic for recycling into art is the clear plastic containers we get from restaurants for take-out or leftovers. It isn't a common used plastic like it used to be (that's a good thing!). We opted to make our Shrinky Dinks into necklaces, but you can do all kinds of projects. I imagine we'll be making some Christmas ornament gifts next winter.

What You'll Need:

#6 Plastic Container
Permanent Markers
Hole Puncher
Oven preheated to 300 degrees
Cookie Sheet
Parchment Paper

1. Cut out flat piece of plastic about 3 times the sizes of desired finished product (I also recommend rounding any edges - they get sharper when the plastic shrinks).

2. Color design on plastic with permanent markers

3. Trim plastic as needed and punch a hole in the plastic

4. Place plastic on cookie sheet covered with parchment paper (you can also use aluminum foil)
5. Place in preheated oven and watch shrink. The edges will curl and the design will looked warped. When the plastic is done shrinking, it will flatten again. It took 2-4 minutes in my oven.

6. Pull out of oven and let cool. Sometimes it helps to place a heavy book (like a cookbook!) on top of plastic while it cools to keep it flat.

7. String yarn through hole, tie a knot in the yarn, and you are ready to wear your necklace!

The kids really thought this project was great fun, and I have to admit that even as an adult, it is still a thrill to watch your designs shrink down!


Penny said...

Interesting! I use shrink plastic occasionally in scrapbooking. Stamping on it and then colouring it is quite good fun. You can make things like wine glass tags and things.

Angela Miller said...

We did shrinky dink art at Keegan's Valentines party. It was so much fun! I just traced a bunch of animals out of coloring books and let each kid color away.

Dawn said...

Great idea! I think a lot of produce comes in those #6 containers as well.

Kristen said...

Buying shrinky dinks is on my list of things to buy for my kids sometime. I'm so glad to know that we can use these containers instead. Great idea!

Ashlee said...

i'm totally impressed!

Mom2Cass said...

I am totally doing this with the kids! Thanks for sharing the idea!

What kind of markers did you use? I'm thinking Sharpies would work?


HappyYogaMama said...

What a great idea! I emptied a container of strawberries today and grimaced when I saw the 6 on the bottom. Can't wait to give it a try!!

Colorado Knitter said...

Oh my gosh! How did I not know about this? Thanks for the terrific idea! Now I will be scouting for the #6.

GreenStyleMom said...

I used Sharpie markers... and covered the whole dining table in LAYERS of newspaper. I was SO nervous the kids would mark on something!

When I first heard this idea, I was actually excited to find #6 plastics!

barbara said...

i think this is fabulous and would love to try it when the baby is older.

but does the plastic not emit toxins as its shrunk? i think it's a cool idea, but it makes me a little nervous!

MaGreen said...

I'd never heard of this before! What an inventive way to reuse the recyclables. I do have to say that I worry, like Barbara, about fumes released. Do you know anything about them?

Going Crunchy said...

Great idea! I am wondering about fumes too, or if the pastic is leaching or such.

I do remember the thrill fo the Shrinky-Dink. That was big stuff!

Anonymous said...

dont worry i am a kid and have just got into shrinky dinks sharpys work great and shrinky dinks are super safe for kids

Anonymous said...

i had a really good idea trace a dollor bill when you are done it looks soooooooooooooo cool

if you want it to look even cooler i used a 2 dollar bill!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

awesome!!! i can't what to try it!!:)