Workshop Wednesday: How to Make a Shrinky Dink with Tamar Mendelssohn

By Liz Young 

For today's Workshop Wednesday project, we are going to learn how to make fun little craft from Tamar  Mendelssohn, a local Houston maker and blogger at The Shoe Diet. I met Tamar at Sharespace, and within minutes she had me laughing- she is so fun to be around! Here's what she had to say about her craft: 

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"I'm Tamar Mendelssohn and my craft is Shrinky Dinks, or in scientific terms, Polystyrene plastic (#6) sheets. You might remember this as a children's toy during the 80's, coloring and cutting a piece of plastic, putting it in the oven, it shrinking and turning hard. I use the stuff for jewelry, magnets, etc...not to mention having a good 'ol time in the process."

For an example piece, Tamar showed me her Michael Jackson shrinky dink pin she wore for our crafty meetup. Awesome!

For an example piece, Tamar showed me her Michael Jackson shrinky dink pin she wore for our crafty meetup. Awesome!

What you'll need to make your own: 

Shrinky Dinks shrinkable plastic (available at local craft and art supply stores) 

Permanent Markers, fine point and regular in various colors

An image of your choice to recreate as your project

Tape

Sheet of aluminum foil

Scissors

Oven (conventional or toaster oven)

Step One: Choose an image you'd like to recreate as your Shrinky Dink project. It can be some cool clip art online, or something you draw on your own.

Be sure to remember that your image will shrink down to 1/3 of it's original size, so choose something fairly large and easily traceable.

Step Two: Place Shrinky Dink plastic over your image, and tape down the sides to keep it in place. 

Step Three: You are ready to trace your image. Trace the main lines of your image with the fine-point permanent marker, so you have a clear outline. Then fill in the rest with your choice of colors using thicker markers: 

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Step Four: Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Step Five: Cut out your Shrinky Dink image in the general shape it makes. Place it on top of a sheet of aluminum foil on a baking sheet:

Tamar's King of Rock and my Smokin' Skull ready to be baked! 

Tamar's King of Rock and my Smokin' Skull ready to be baked! 

Step Six: Place baking sheet in oven, and keep an eye on your Shrinky Dink! I was surprised when Tamar and I watched our project curl up and shrink down within seconds! Depending on size, it may take up to a minute or two to fully shrink and harden.

 

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Step Seven: Let your Shrinky Dink cool for a few seconds, and you are done! Glue it to any backing to make: earrings, pins, etc. Or use the hole you punched out and attach it to a necklace as a pendant. 

Thanks Tamar! See you all again next week for another Workshop Wednesday! 

 

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Have a craft or how-to you'd like to share with the world? Would you like your studio to be featured on our blog? Contact me at Liz@houstonmakerspace.com

Copyright Houston Makerspace, LLC 2013.  Background images by Marisa Brodie and Alex Barber.