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Review | Shrinky Dinks: Shrinkable Plastic

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Mini-Me and I have been doing A LOT of crafts! This gives us some much-needed one on one time. Majority of the crafts we do involve glue, glue sticks, empty toilet paper rolls, construction paper, and/or popsicle sticks! So Shrinky Dinks were something we were excited to try…

I’ll just get straight to the point on this one – I didn’t understand what the hell these things did! There. Straight and to the point!

I couldn’t figure out what we could do with them so I decided to start off with just printing an image of each of the girls. So I read the instructions and it said to make the transparency on the photo at least 50%. Well, guess what?!? I didn’t have an option to adjust the transparency so I had to do it manually. The photo printed fine with very little smudging from passing through the printer.

Next, I cut out the photos and we placed them on the brown bag that I had.

Shrinky Dink in the oven


Finally, we placed them in the preheated oven. Well within a minute Mini Me’s photo began to shrivel up. I was disappointed and ran for the oven glove to pull the sheet out of the oven and try to save the photo. I placed a folder over it, but, the paper was already too hard and broke into pieces. Needless to say, Mini-Me was devastated that her photo was broken ;(

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Shrinky Dink ruined


Sissy’s photo was able to stay in one piece, however, it’s got a “wave” to it even after placing a folder over the top of it. The image is also very dark and has NO color to it…

Broken Shrinky Dink


The paper was hard to decipher which was the shiny side and what was not {you are suppose to print the image on the shiny side for it to work}. Both sides pretty much looked the same. If you looked closely the non-shiny side had what looked like fine lines running through it.

Shrinky Dink Disappointment


Overall, this was a BIG disappointment! They do offer kits with pre-made designs on them and all you have to do is color and cut. I would be hesitant to buy them but it might be easier.

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3 Comment

  1. Avatar
    Pam - Operations Manager
    January 25, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Shrinky Dinks has been on the market, supplying creative fun to the world for more than 38 years. Shrinky Dinks is as versatile a media as a blank sheet of paper yet the creative possibilities are as widespread as any other craft product on the market. Shrinky Dinks is not complicated, however Shrinky Dinks for Ink Jet printers is recommended for ages 12 and above, and your chosen project may require more than just a basic knowledge of printing and photo processing.
    Figuring out what to do with Shrinky Dinks is easy. If you don’t have any ideas of your own, there are thousands of shrinkable plastic projects on line, new projects are posted constantly at, and there are more in printed craft publications at craft stores and news stands. The package of Shrinky Dinks is also a good place to start.
    When using Shrinky Dinks for Ink Jet printers, the instructions indicate to set your printer to the transparency setting and a separate instruction indicates you must LIGHTEN your photos at least 50%. This is where the basic knowledge of a photo processing program comes in.
    Printing is NOT done on the shiny side of the plastic as the reviewer suggests…our instructions tell you to print on the coated side of the plastic “(this is not as shiny)”. Reading and understanding instructions is very important when using the Ink Jet plastic. Because there are so many different types of printers, its impossible to give instructions for each and every brand and model, so its important you know how your own printer works.
    Our instructions do not suggest using an entire paper bag to line your baking tray. Our instructions state you should “cut a rectangle shape out of a paper bag” . This is to move the piece in and out of the oven. An entire paper bag may now allow the product to heat properly.
    Shriveling, twisting, curling and distortion are all part of the shrinking process. Again, our instructions clearly state “WATCH as your Shrinky Dinks shrink, bake 3-5 minutes. After your piece LAYS FLAT, allow an additional 30 seconds of baking time to complete the process”. Our instructions do not state to remove the plastic from the oven before the piece lays flat and attempt to squash it flat. That would result in broken pieces, much as the reviewer experienced.
    “Sissy’s” piece was not done which is why it was still wavy…NOT FLAT. If the image had no color it is because it had little color or was not adjusted properly prior to printing and shrinking. All Shrinky Dinks colors intensify after shrinking. Remember you are squeezing 3 inches of ink into a 1 inch space (use your own dimensions) The color does not soak in or evaporate.
    Its is very disappointing that you had such a bad experience with our products, but a visit to our website, a call to our office or simply reading and understanding the instructions would have given you a perfect result. Thank you and keep shrinking!!

  2. Avatar
    January 25, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    I have done Shrinky Dinks for 10 years and NEVER had this kind of mess. YOu obvisouly did not know what you were doing….and….READ THE DIRECTIIONS. Do you let your child use the oven? Clean your oven too….that may help!

    1. Avatar
      January 31, 2012 at 10:17 am

      First, I am a pretty crafty person. I received what was a “Sample Kit” from the company and it did contain instructions. However, there were SO MANY instructions that I felt overwhelmed. Second, NO my child didn’t use the oven…she’s 4! Third, Ory you are more than welcome to come clean my home, I’m actually looking for someone to come help every other week! With two kids, operating two websites and a company, I maintain a clean liveable home, not a spotless one!

      I apologize for misleading the instructions. I was given several different papers to use and wasn’t clear which paper should’ve been used. It stated “shiny” side. Well, both sides were shiny to my eye…both Dena and I had troubles trying to figure this out. Maybe if I would have received a exact kit that the consumer purchases online or in stores maybe that would’ve made a world of difference. I was simply working with what I received – a “Sample Kit”.

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