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Shrinky Dinks Gone Very Wrong

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How does one define geocache obsessed.....

 

131491.jpg

 

I spent an entire day trying to turn my Signature Card into a Shrinky dink! Yeah, I thought that might be "COOL....." I went through $10 in shrinky dink computer transparency paper trying. Every time I went to shrink the dink, it either turned out way to dark, curled all up into itself and got stuck, etc. I actually sat in front of the stove with a tweezers and a pair of needle nose pliers and every time the sucker started to curl, I would be inside the stove, trying desperately to save it. Is there something wrong with me?

 

How do you define obsessed?

 

P.S. If my picture above works, special thanks to all that helped me in the getting started forum to get it here!

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I've had that happen too. Put them in longer! They will eventually get to a point whjere they will not shrink anymore. You can flatten them with a spatula as you pull them out of the oven.

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Shrinky dinks could be very interesting for caching...this thread gives me alot of ideas...and childhood memories! Maybe they would stay flat if you ironed them?

 

Edit - my previous post was off topic.

Edited by Ce'Nedra
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Ooh, keep working on it and let us know what happens. I think that will be really cool if you get it to work.

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My wife uses those in her card stamping hobby. She uses a hairdryer to shrink them. They curl up but when they stop shrinking they come out straight.

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My wife uses those in her card stamping hobby.  She uses a hairdryer to shrink them.  They curl up but when they stop shrinking they come out straight.

 

I think she is using a Heat Gun. It is a lot hotter than a hairdryer but it looks somewhat like a hairdryer

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How funny.. I have a set of shrinky dink on my table right now waiting for me to trace out the cito logo onto it and find a paper bag so I can bake it.

 

Seriously.

 

Anyway, the directions I have are to bake it for 1-3 minutes until it's done shrinking and then another thirty seconds for it to flatten itself back out. So try that and mayhaps it'll work?

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Are you kidding....? After all that effort, I kept going until I got one to work.

 

131511.jpg

 

Although this pic is a bit blurry, the thing really did turn out pretty cool.

 

As far as the curling thing, I know they do curl while cooking. These curled so much they ended up getting stuck together and couldn't be peeled apart once out of the oven. That is why I tried to mess with it "in process". I think it may have been that they were alot longer than they were wide....They were like elongated business card size.

 

I might try that hair dryer idea so I can have more control...and less heat...when I get some more paper!

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I have been really wanting to play with making a shrinky dink item. Maybe I will make that my weekend project! I'm working on figuring out how to make a pikachu with a cubs hat and haven't gotten anything good yet.

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Don't they have a shrinky dink press? They do for bacon. :lol:

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I remember the perfect material for Shrinky Dinks was from lids from liver containers at the grocery store. I remeber doing this in the 1970's

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I remember the perfect material for Shrinky Dinks was from lids from liver containers at the grocery store. I remeber doing this in the 1970's

I dont know why, but that comment really bothers me.

 

:lol:

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Going WAY back, to 'the day', I remember that the original shape has something to do with success. If they are too long, when they curl they can stick to themselves so bad that they won't come unstuck. I had good success with smaller sizes and rounder. Ovals worked well, but not as large as a business card to start. And straight edges never stayed as straight as I would have liked.

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For anyone interested, they sell two sheets of 5x7" shrinkey dink stuff for 94 cents at Wal Mart in the craft section, but you have to draw on them, I don't think you can print on them.

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For anyone interested, they sell two sheets of 5x7" shrinkey dink stuff for 94 cents at Wal Mart in the craft section, but you have to draw on them, I don't think you can print on them.

Hobby Lobby also sells Shrinky-Dink "paper". They also sell another brand, which runs about a dollar cheaper.

Depending on your printer, you can use regular SD pages or the new inkjet printer pages. I have an HP722C and have had no problems with either kind.

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Seems like you figured out the flattening part. My method is to cook it for 15 seconds after it stops shrinking, then optionally flatten it with a metal spatula.

 

With the ink-jet shrinky-dink paper, you need to lighten your design 50% before printing, and if your printer supports it, choose "transparency" mode.

 

Note, however, that most ink-jet inks are not waterproof.

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:D

I can't wait for Shrinky-Dinkying to hit the UK! :lol:

MarcB

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Note, however, that most ink-jet inks are not waterproof.

I assume some kind of clear coating could be sprayed on them to make them waterproof?

 

Also, a big reminder. Don't run the stuff through a laser printer!

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Seems like you figured out the flattening part. My method is to cook it for 15 seconds after it stops shrinking, then optionally flatten it with a metal spatula.

 

With the ink-jet shrinky-dink paper, you need to lighten your design 50% before printing, and if your printer supports it, choose "transparency" mode.

 

Note, however, that most ink-jet inks are not waterproof.

I tried "transparancy" mode, and it ended up putting a lot of extra ink on the page! I'd rather use the "econo-fast" (draft) setting so it uses the minimum amount of ink for each image. Once they have shrunk, they look normal.

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Note, however, that most ink-jet inks are not waterproof.

I assume some kind of clear coating could be sprayed on them to make them waterproof?

 

Also, a big reminder. Don't run the stuff through a laser printer!

my brother sprayed his with polyurethane. seems to work on waterproofing.

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Can you have a graphic or text on the backside of a shrinky dink?

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Can you have a graphic or text on the backside of a shrinky dink?

No, only one side is textured for writing on

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Found something on the NET about the original Shrinky Dinks, which did come from food containers, and they did shrink real small:

 

Oringinal Shrinky Dink material

 

(First Paragraph)

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I think it may have been that they were alot longer than they were wide....They were like elongated business card size.

 

I might try that hair dryer idea so I can have more control...and less heat...when I get some more paper!

I've been doing some researching on Shrinky Dink and polyshrink online while I'm stuck at home with a bad foot. I haven't had a chance to try it out yet.

But one thing I read was that the plastic is directional. It shrinks more in one direction than another. Maybe placing the design longways versus crossways or vice versa would make a difference.

 

And there is a special heat gun you can buy at craft stores. I became aware of them in connection to embossing greeting cards, but it would work for shrinky dinks too. I don't think a hair dryer has the right heat output.

 

GPSKitty

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Note, however, that most ink-jet inks are not waterproof.

I assume some kind of clear coating could be sprayed on them to make them waterproof?

 

Also, a big reminder. Don't run the stuff through a laser printer!

my brother sprayed his with polyurethane. seems to work on waterproofing.

Polyurethane should work fine. There is also a special waterproofing spray made especially for computer printed shrinkys.

 

GPSKitty

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Note, however, that most ink-jet inks are not waterproof.

I assume some kind of clear coating could be sprayed on them to make them waterproof?

 

Also, a big reminder. Don't run the stuff through a laser printer!

Shrinky Dink makes sheets for your inkjet printer. They sell it at Hobby Lobby. After the dink is dry, use a clear spray adhesive to seal the ink (they also sell this at Hobby Lobby). :lol:

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I think it may have been that they were alot longer than they were wide....They were like elongated business card size.

 

I might try that hair dryer idea so I can have more control...and less heat...when I get some more paper!

I've been doing some researching on Shrinky Dink and polyshrink online while I'm stuck at home with a bad foot. I haven't had a chance to try it out yet.

But one thing I read was that the plastic is directional. It shrinks more in one direction than another. Maybe placing the design longways versus crossways or vice versa would make a difference.

 

And there is a special heat gun you can buy at craft stores. I became aware of them in connection to embossing greeting cards, but it would work for shrinky dinks too. I don't think a hair dryer has the right heat output.

 

GPSKitty

OK, Something I am qualified to comment on! :lol:

 

My wife (apparently like Criminal's) is into the rubber stamping thing as well (she sells them). While you CAN use a hairdryer, it takes longer and blows a lot of the embossing powder away, so a heat gun is a better option. They do sell the crappy little craft heat guns in the craft stores, but my wife uses a regular old Wagner heat gun from the hardware store, and it works great.

 

I think she found the most success using the toaster oven for the shrinky dink stuff.

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...Also, a big reminder. Don't run the stuff through a laser printer!

LOL, THAT could be bad combo!

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Can you have a graphic or text on the backside of a shrinky dink?

No, only one side is textured for writing on

It's been a while since I tried this, but I remember making shrinky dinks with different designs on each side by using a very fine grit sandpaper on the glossy side. This roughened the surface enough that the ink from the markers didn't rub right off. The only problem is I don't remember how they turned out after shrinking.

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Here's what I do and it works really well. I take two cookie sheets, one slightly smaller than the other.Then I take a piece of printing paper and place the shrinkys face up on the paper on the larger pan. Then I place another piece of paper over the shrinkys. Then finally I place the smaller cookie sheet on top of all with a weight on top of that. The weight is maybe like a roll of pennies. Then I bake in a preheated oven at 275-300 degrees. Works every time. For what it's worth...Hysteria

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Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, 275-300 degrees for 20 minutes.

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Thanks for passing that along, Hysteria. I will try that when I start trying to make shrinkys.

 

GPSKitty

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Bought my ink jet shrink film at michaels craft store abought 11.00u.s dollars for 5 sheets 8.5 by 11in pretty good luck just going by the derections on the pkg :lol:

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I "borrowed" the idea of my sig item from SBPhishy. I bought regular Shrinky Dink sheets from Michael's Hobby Shop, along with clear model car "paint". I went to another hobby shop and bought about ten feet of long ball bearing chain, connectors and the small bags seen in my pic. I made the design using Photoshop and then transferred it to Word. I think if fit 8 of them on one sheet. I then printed it out using the draft mode. I then cut them out, making sure not to touch the ink because it would smudge. I then used a hole puncher to punch the hole for the chain. Then I followed the directions on the Shrinky Dink package. They curl up but if you wait, they'll flatten out. I think being circular helps in flattening out correctly. I then let them cool off and sprayed them with the clear model car "paint". I cut the chain to length, then put the connectors on and put it through the hole. See my pic for final product.

 

1081626330088_sig_item.jpg

Edited by Mauison
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uh, does it bother anyone else that otherwise sane grown-ups are repeatedly using the word(s) "shrinky-dink"?

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Frankly, I am in shock that this SHRINKY DINK post has generated, at this present time, 594 readers and over 35 responses. The fact that other people, some perhaps as old as I...(38 years old) still get great enjoyment out of making these things gives me renewed hope for the world...I have got some great ideas for the improvement of my SHRINKY DINKS!!! Never stop thinkin' like a kid, it's way too much fun.

 

Keep SHRINKING your DINKS people!!! :lol:

 

....and keep your ideas flowin'!

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Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, 275-300 degrees for 20 minutes.

Hysteria,

 

Perfect....!You've schooled us all in what is sure to become the standard in baking shrinky dinks. I, for one, will forever call this process, "The Hysteria Method" of baking shrinky dinks. Can't wait to try it out, sounds pretty much foolproof. Thanks for sharing your secret.

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Frankly, I am in shock that this SHRINKY DINK post has generated, at this present time, 594 readers and over 35 responses. The fact that other people, some perhaps as old as I...(38 years old) still get great enjoyment out of making these things gives me renewed hope for the world...I have got some great ideas for the improvement of my SHRINKY DINKS!!! Never stop thinkin' like a kid, it's way too much fun.

 

Keep SHRINKING your DINKS people!!! :lol:

 

....and keep your ideas flowin'!

perhaps as old as you? i'm 48 and Hysteria, who is my older brother is making sig items out of them and is going to help me start some for myself. having fun has no age limit.

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Here's what I do and it works really well. I take two cookie sheets, one slightly smaller than the other.Then I take a piece of printing paper and place the shrinkys face up on the paper on the larger pan. Then I place another piece of paper over the shrinkys. Then finally I place the smaller cookie sheet on top of all with a weight on top of that. The weight is maybe like a roll of pennies. Then I bake in a preheated oven at 275-300 degrees. Works every time. For what it's worth...Hysteria

I just happen to have two properly-sized cookie sheets! Thanks for the tip!

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uh, does it bother anyone else that otherwise sane grown-ups are repeatedly using the word(s) "shrinky-dink"?

Yeah, but look at how long we've been saying "pocket query".

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uh, does it bother anyone else that otherwise sane grown-ups are repeatedly using the word(s) "shrinky-dink"?

Yeah, but look at how long we've been saying "pocket query".

Never! They're PQs. :lol:

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Every time I went to shrink the dink,

 

I hate when that happens. :lol:

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Everytime I see PQ I get this odd craving for ice cream.. hmmm

 

And yeah here are a bunch of men talking about the best way to make a shrinky dink. I never thought it was heat that would do it :lol:

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I know I wasn't the first person to use shrinky dinks for sig items, but I seem to have brought it back from it's dry spell. I can't believe how much shrinky dink talk there is now! Everyone always emails me or posts an "apology" that they "stole" "my" idea! It's kind of funny!

 

Anyway, everything everyone has been making is bitchin. I'm glad it's all working out for the most part for you all.

 

On the sealer topic, you can use any spray on clear sealer. Krylon works great, as does Rust-Oleaum Crystal Clear Enamel.

 

If you have a toaster oven, those work great also. Easier to access your curling dinks. Mine actually work fine. I throw em in, and check them a minute later, and they are perfect. I think they are too small to curl.

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I "borrowed" the idea of my sig item from SBPhishy. I bought regular Shrinky Dink sheets from Michael's Hobby Shop, along with clear model car "paint". I went to another hobby shop and bought about ten feet of long ball bearing chain, connectors and the small bags seen in my pic. I made the design using Photoshop and then transferred it to Word. I think if fit 8 of them on one sheet. I then printed it out using the draft mode. I then cut them out, making sure not to touch the ink because it would smudge. I then used a hole puncher to punch the hole for the chain. Then I followed the directions on the Shrinky Dink package. They curl up but if you wait, they'll flatten out. I think being circular helps in flattening out correctly. I then let them cool off and sprayed them with the clear model car "paint". I cut the chain to length, then put the connectors on and put it through the hole. See my pic for final product.

 

1081626330088_sig_item.jpg

I was wondering who's sig item I picked-up. These are really cool.

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I just did my first Shrinky attempt. I used Bright White (couldn't find ink jet shrinky) it went through the printer fine though. I used draft mode but it came out too light and streaky. Problem is...the ink isn't drying, even after it bakes. I baked the draft ones and they came out pretty well though aside from the ink problem! Anyone have any ideas about the ink? I'll have to print in normal mode next time. My printer is an HP OfficeJet 4110.

 

Thank you!

 

Cloudchaser

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See my above post...the ink doesn't dry. After baking and the shrinking is done, you have to spray it with a clear sealer. I used model car clear sealer and it worked fine. Just a couple of quick sprays and it seals the ink. Good luck!

 

And Nurse Dave, you've got the first sig item I've ever placed. I've only made a few so far so I decided I'd leave them in very cool places at first. And the lookout to me, was a very cool place. Maybe I'll see you on a hunt one day.

Edited by Mauison
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I'd never heard of Shrinky Dink till this topic came up a few days ago but my wife said she used to play with it when she was a kid. This gave her a mission to find some to show me but all stores in our area had none & most hadn't heard of it either. Today she came home with a complete kit, oven included, that she found at K-mart for around $20 on clearance. Problem is you have to purchase your own small 60 watt bulb so I've not been able to try it out yet but I'll keep you posted on how it works. Looks pretty neat though.

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Ok, I have to come clean... Lurker gprgrl here and I have been sitting here laughing and smiling about all the shrinky dink talk. I know I did them when I was little but had completely forgotten about it until tonight!! :lol:

 

What a great idea! I, too, shall be on a mission to find shrinky dinks! :lol:

 

Thanks for the quick time travel and the smiles! :lol:

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I cannot see any pics because my computer is on the fritz , but we had the same problem with our sig items. (There is a pic in our GC gallery) They had to be so big to look right when shrunk, we can only get 3 per sheet. In the beginning we used a rectangular design. We found that if we went to an oval design, they cooked better and shrunk nicer. The oval design also conceals more of the cutting errors and retains more of its original shape (the rectangular ones always came out crooked looking). We can fit 3 per cookie sheet in the oven. But just to control them we cook only two at a time. Watch them closely, as soon as they start to curl, open the oven and flatten them in the oven (be careful, oven is hot!). Don't put your next batch onto a hot cookie sheet, use a cooled one. Hope this helps.

 

Edit for content: Also, wait 10-20 seconds after they are out of the oven and use another paper bag and your hands to do the final flattening.

Edited by Two Geeks and a GPS
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