By EcoCraft Contributor Amy from the blog The EcoCrafter
Recycled shrinky dinks are one of the best and easiest recycled crafts out there. They are made from #6 plastic and permanent markers, both items that can be found in most households.
With this shrinky dink project, you will learn how to make an anatomically correct heart charm. Although it may seem somewhat morbid to some, to me the image of a real heart conveys science and love at the same time. Teach kids about reducing waste and anatomy at the same time.
Identifying Plastic for Shrinky Dinks
Before starting this project it is important to properly identify the type of plastic you are using. Most plastics have a recycling symbol that shows what type of plastic you are looking for. You want #6 (Polystyrene). This type of plastic is commonly found in clear takeout containers as well as some other one-time use food packaging.
- Clear #6 plastic
- Permanent markers
- Paper clips or tape
- Hole punch
- Jump ring
- Picture of a heart – PDF download *
Print the heart picture. Place #6 plastic on to of heart picture and hold in place with paper clips or tape. Color on the plastic following the colors of the heart.
I like to trace all the outlines in black to help the shapes really stand out.
Cut out the heart. Leave a tab at the top to punch a hole in.
Punch a hole in the tab.
Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Once the oven is heated, place the plastic heart on top of a piece of tin foil and place it in the oven. Within minutes you will see the heart curl and shrink. It will curl so much that it will seem like it is not working but it will flatten out.
Occasionally the plastic keeps a bit of a curl. If you are fast enough, as soon as you take it out of the oven you can use a spoon to flatten it. Within seconds it will have cooled and become a hard strong piece of plastic.
Add the jump ring through the punched hole and make it a necklace, keychain, or zipper pull.