a mind-shrinking experiment!

No joke, when I opened my new pack­age of Shrinky-Dinks, this was what I saw:

“Mind-shrink­ing ideas”.


Do they actu­al­ly mean mind-bend­ing? Mind-bog­gling? Mind-blow­ing? Or, they real­ly did mean mind-shrink­ing. But then one’s cre­ativ­i­ty is expect­ed to expand at the same time.


So, any­way. I bought the Shrinky-Dinks for a com­mis­sioned project, which I can’t show you just yet, because… well, I haven’t fin­ished yet, and I’d have to deliv­er it to the cus­tomer first before show­ing it to you. But soon :D

While I was bak­ing the store-bought shrink plas­tic, I thought I would also give the #6 plas­tic a try. Since I first saw the idea on Dab­bled I’ve col­lect­ed a cou­ple of #6 plas­tic con­tain­ers, main­ly from dough­nuts (Yes, I did buy the dough­nuts for the plas­tic, but I cer­tain­ly enjoyed the sweets too :D).

So here’s one flat piece of #6 plas­tic I’ve har­vest­ed from the dough­nut con­tain­er. The Shrinky Dink man­u­al says that one could use acrylic on the plas­tic, so I did the same with the #6 plastic…

I think I lay­ered on the paint too thick­ly. Or acrylic just does­n’t work in the shrink plas­tic process at all. Or I just real­ly should­n’t trust those mind-shrink­ing ideas from the Shrinky Dink man­u­al anymore.

So, when it came out from the oven the paint was all flak­ing away…

But it shrank beau­ti­ful­ly. Nice and thick and per­fect­ly pro­por­tion­al. I was actu­al­ly real­ly sur­prised how well it worked, because, you know, it came from a dis­pos­able plas­tic con­tain­er! I scrubbed away the flaky paint so you can see…

After doing some research (i.e. look­ing under every kind of plas­tic con­tain­er in gro­cery store) I real­ized that #6 plas­tic is actu­al­ly not that easy to find. Most plas­tic con­tain­ers are made of #1 plas­tic. I pret­ty much used all of the usable spaces on the dough­nut con­tain­er to make the mush­room (because there was only one flat piece on the top, which was part­ly cov­ered by a stub­born, sticky piece of label, and the rest of the box have ridges all over it), so I thought I would just wait until I come across more #6 plas­tic to con­tin­ue experimenting…

And then, this past week­end we went to the Chi­nese gro­cery store and bought some deli­cious Chi­nese bak­ery swiss rolls (it was hon­ey­dew mel­on flavoured :D)…

I actu­al­ly want­ed to get the swiss roll­s for the swiss rolls, not for the plas­tic con­tain­er. But to my sur­prise, as we were half way done the swiss rolls, I noticed that the con­tain­er has a tiny #6 on it — SCORE!

This time, I learned not to use acrylic paint, and instead sand­ed the plas­tic thor­ough­ly with some fine sand paper, and then coloured it with pen­cil crayon.

I made an owl charm…

… and I real­ly like it :D


And then, inspired by the love­ly neck­laces from this shop, I attempt­ed to make a Hong Kong Island charm. If I had the mon­ey, I would absolute­ly order from the shop and have Hong Kong Island made in sil­ver. But for now I’m hap­py with some recy­cled plastic.

Hong Kong actu­al­ly also includes the Kowloon Penin­su­la and a num­ber of small sur­round­ing islands, but those would be dif­fi­cult to incor­po­rate in a charm. Plus, I thought Hong Kong Island would make a fun neck­lace charm because it looks like a frog (like the chant I was taught in school as a child, to learn the geo­graph­ic fea­tures of the land, “Hong Kong Island is shaped like a frog”. In Can­tonese, of course).

I print­ed out a map and traced over it. The first attempt turned out some­what squished. It looks like it has­n’t com­plete­ly fin­ished shrink­ing, but I watched it for half a minute and it did­n’t con­tin­ue to shrink, and I did­n’t want it to melt or burn, so I just took it out.

So for the sec­ond attempt I stretched the map ver­ti­cal­ly a bit in Pho­to­shop before print­ing it, and its shape turned out much better.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, because of where I put the hole it did­n’t hang prop­er­ly (did­n’t think it through…). So with the last bit of plas­tic I tried again.

And that’s what I set­tled with. It’s stretched a bit fun­ny too, but not because of the bak­ing, but because the map I traced it with was stretched length-wise, since I thought the plas­tic would stretch side­ways in the bak­ing. But now I think plas­tic has some kind of “grain”, like paper, where it would stretch one way and not the other.

But any­way, it was great fun! My cre­ativ­i­ty has cer­tain­ly expand­ed, but I hope my mind has­n’t shrunk…

And the quest for #6 plas­tic continues!

Have a great day, every­one! :D

4 thoughts on “a mind-shrinking experiment!

  1. I will now be on the look­out for #6 plas­tic at the super­mar­ket today, I haven’t done shrinky-dinks since the 90s! (And I loooved them then.)

    Any­way, your owl and Hong Kong neck­laces are both so charm­ing. :) And I wish I had a slice of that beau­ti­ful cake, yum.

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