WeeWork Kids Crafts: Awesome Homemade Shrinky Dinks
We're having lots of fun with our recycling this week. Earlier we made colorful ornaments from pie tins, but today's project really takes the cake. My friend Val, the creative mind behind Stitched Tribeca, mentioned that she thought you could make shrinky dinks from recycling at the library one day and I just had to try it. It works! Here's how you do it:
Start stockpiling your recycling. Once your kids start making these they won't want to stop. For the best results you want #6 plastic (look for the number stamped in the triangle on the bottom of your containers). I found that 6 is hard to find, but I had tons of #1 plastic so I tried it with both. The 6 definitely worked better, but they both worked. The #1 didn't flatten out as well, but it did shrink, so experiment with #1 if that's all you have (The large heart in my photos was made with #1).
1. Let kids draw their designs on paper first. Then trace them onto the plastic and color them in with Sharpies.
2. Cut the designs out holding them by the edge so you don't rub the marker off. If you want to make charms, use a hole punch to make a hole. Use your scraps to make more designs. Place designs on a lined cookie sheet.
3. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 2-3 minutes. Watching them bake is half the fun, so keep an eye on them as they curl up and then flatten out again. When they have mostly flattened, they are done. If they don't flatten out perfectly, use a spatula or similar to press them flat. You can also pop them back in the oven to warm them up again and flatten them out more if needed.
NOTE: Heating plastic can release toxic fumes. We did not notice any fumes with the very small amount of material in this project, but try this craft only in a well ventilated area and at your own risk.
Kids' work is to play. WeeWork is a Mommy Poppins series offering an easy daily activity for grown-ups and children to do together, making kids' work an important part of your day. We aim to inspire together time, creativity and fun using only your imagination and things around the house. You can see all our WeeWork activity posts here.