Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Shrinky-Dink...

We've been burning the midnight oil. One of the projects we've been working on is one of our childhood favorites: Shrinky-Dink! When we were kids, we used to play with them all the time. We colored and cut out all the figures as usual (I favored the Masters of the Universe set), but in the margins is where the real magic would happen. We'd draw our own figures and gems for our treasure chests. So, it is nice to revisit the medium soaked in nostalgia with jewelry purposes in mind.

10 comments:

Lisa said...

What fun! I love shrinky-dinks. I have some shrink sheets that can be used in a printer...I think I need to get them out and play!! As a kid, my mom and I would also color styrofoam cups and shrink them in the oven to make Barbie hats!

Andrew Thornton said...

EEK! Heating styrofoam creates toxic gases! If someone is pregnant, they should NEVER heat or burn out styrofoam as it creates embryonic mutagen!

Lisa said...

Fortunately, neither my mom nor I were pregnant at the time. Back then we didn't know the extent of the hazards - we had even done the project in my elementary school art class, that's how we got the idea. I am not suggesting anyone do this now - just to make it clear.

Melissa J. Lee said...

This takes me back. I had a Chinese puzzle box where I hid all of the Shrinky-Dink pendants I made as a child. These are gorgeous - I love the harpy (I think she's a harpy - photo's not quite clear in that corner).

Andrew Thornton said...

Hey Lisa. You know what they say... hindsight is 20/20. When we were kids, we did all sorts of projects in and out of school that I would not recommend. I remember one Christmas where we heated old vynol records in the oven to make candle-holders. To this day I can smell and see the toxic swirling black smoke pouring from the ovens. Eek!

Andrew Thornton said...

Hey Melissa! We've been having a lot of fun with the shrinky-dink. Yes, that's a harpy. We all love bird-girls! Perhaps I'll post a better picture of her.

peacockfairy said...

Oh my gosh Andrew - I was experimenting with Shrinky Dinks just last week! What great nostalgia from childhood! I used a rubber stamped image for mine so far. Perhaps I will have to email you outside of the blog as I was having issues with mine curling on all 4 batches I did. Maybe you could help me troubleshoot.

Andrew Thornton said...

Hello Peacock Fairy!

I'm glad that you're taking a trip down Memory Lane also with Shrinky Dink!

I think rubber stamps are cool. We've been using pen and ink and special markers for more custom and one of a kind designs. Though carving your own stamps our of a lino block might be neat.

Curling is a easy problem to fix. While they are still hot, flatten them out with a spatula. You'll still be able to shape them when they're hot. You can make rings, curved links, bracelets... all sorts of more sculptural shrinky-dink fun!

So... do not despair! You'll be able to save all those curled pieces.

Peachychancho said...

Is it safe to shrink the plastic in a toaster oven used on a daily basis for food?

I've been searching around and no site seems to say if its dangerous, toxic, or what?

Andrew Thornton said...

My general rule of thumb is that if you can't eat it, it's probably not good for you.

Shrinky-Dink is fairly non-toxic. However, if it's burnt it does create a black smoke, which is very bad. I imagine that they wouldn't sell anything as a child's toy that's seriously dangerous, but you never know.

If you're concerned about how toxic it is, I would suggest picking up a cheap toaster oven at a thrift store for a couple of dollars to use specifically for the Shrink Plastic. It's probably wise to always use a separate oven when working with craft materials. Especially plastics and polymers and to have that unit in a well-ventilated area and to follow the manufacturer's instructions. (The exception to that rule is PMC, which should always be fired at 1650 for a minimum of 2 hours.)