Tuesday, 18 June 2013

shrinking & recycling fun

I loved shrinky dinks growing up. There was something extremely satisfying about sitting that close to the oven and watching something transform into a smaller, brighter version of itself. In our household, we normally had Spiderman, Strawberry Shortcake, Care Bears and Smurfs shrinky dinks on hand. Ah... memories.

I looked into getting shrinky dinks recently and they're just not as cool as I remember them.. and the cost is absurd. Especially when I found out that the plastic that's used for shrinky dinks is exactly the same plastic I've been throwing in the recycling bin daily... food grade number 6.

So I started checking all my plastics before throwing it away and found that a lot of my food comes in the shrinky-dink variety.... my pre-prepared salad, favourite yogurt and even my eggs all come in number 6.  I collected a small stash and today got into my experiment as Sera is home from daycare with a bit of a cold.

We started out with the salad bowl as it was the largest surface in all my recycling.  I had Sera colour it al up with permanent heat setting fabric markers and then started cutting out the forms. At first I was thinking sun catcher for her room, but then I remembered that the plastic was going to shrink to about 10% of it's current dimensions and realised that making a necklace with the pieced would be more realistic.  I was a bit worried about the sides of the bowl as they were bent into an octagon, but everywhere I read about this process said that even textures eventually go flat.

After colouring, Sera got washed up and went off to play as I set out to cut up the bowl and punch holes in the ends of each piece (with a paper hole punch).  I made sure to round out my sharp edges (but this can be done afterwards with sandpaper as well). Then I preheat the over to 170°c (roughly 350°F) while laying out the objects on a piece of tin-foil.

I was thrilled when about 30 seconds later my items began to curl up and coil exactly like real shrinky-dinks!  I'm going to turn these ones into a funky neon necklace. Recycling is awesome!

The possibilities are endless with this process... I have tons of ideas but I'm out of plastic for the moment. Better get to eating what's in the fridge!  Can't wait for my next go!

1 comment :

  1. You are so imaginative, what a great craft idea!