You Can Make Shrinky Dinks in the CrockPot!

Day 257.

Oh this is so much fun. Anne emailed me last week to share that her Sunday School class has used Crock-Pots to cook Shrinky Dinks. The last time I made Shrinky Dinks, I was in second grade. I now own a second grader. This realization was rather startling.

The Ingredients.

--box of Shrinky Dinks---found readily in most craft and drug stores. I found ours at Walgreens while I was buying yummy-scented candles. Because they make me happy.
--colored pencils (the box comes with some, but we liked ours better)

The Directions.

I plugged the crockpot(s)---I ended up plugging in 3 because we made so many---on the counter to preheat on high and we got to work coloring and cutting the plastic. The plastic can be sharp; I'd recommend an adult do the cutting.

Put the cut out plastic shape into the crockpot. If the crockpot is fully hot, it will begin to shrink right in front of you---it will curl, fold up a bit and create either jubilance or tears.
But then it flattens and is fine, and tears will turn to glee.

Remove the little piece of shrunken plastic with a spoon or spatula. If it hasn't fully shrunk, the piece will stick a bit to the bottom of the crock. This alarmed me, and I pushed it around a bit with the spoon, but I think that wasn't necessary. They seem to unstick on their own when the shrinking process is complete--the longest piece took about 10 minutes. If the crockpot isn't fully heated, it will take longer.

The Verdict.

I can't remember the last time the girls and I had so much fun working together on a project. This craft is a great age-equalizer. Both my almost 4 and almost 7 year old could work side-by-side without competition or any worry about "doing it right"----I colored a few, too, and it was a lovely afternoon. I will definitely make these again.

I liked the crockpot rather than the oven, because the kids could sit on the counter and watch them shrivel, and I could poke at them with a spoon (probably not necessary, but it made me happy). I didn't use the crockpot cover, and we all peered in without fear of great bodily harm.

A-plus craft. Thank you SO much, Anne!

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Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at September 13, 2008

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What they say about this article

  1. Anonymous9/13/2008

    I checked your site earlier this morning and was saddened to see no new post yet (it was around 7 am). But, I knew I'd check back later in the day and was so thrilled when I saw this project posted!! My kids and I will definitely try this one out this week as they LOVE shrinky dinks and are always very impatient at the stove door when shrinking time comes. They will just love being able to watch the crock pot shrink them before their very eyes!

    Also, our local Michaels craft store carries packages of shrinky dink paper without pre-printed designs. It is in their stamping department and you get, I think, 8 sheets in one package and can get either clear or colors. It is cheaper than buying a lot of the shrinky dink kits over time. My kids love to get these bigger packages and we trace images from their favorite stories to make our own custom shrinky dinks. And, with Michaels, I usually buy them when we have a 40% or 50% off coupon for a great deal!

  2. Anonymous9/13/2008

    Looks like a lot of fun. I'll have to try this with my 3 year old. He loves coloring and I know that he'll enjoy watching them shrink!

  3. Anonymous9/13/2008

    I would have never thought to make shrinky dinks. My father and I just last week were talking about where to find them. We didn't think that they even made them anymore. I never thought to look at a craft store. Thank you for the tip. Oh by the way have I ever said that I absolutley love your blog and your Ideas? Well I do!!!

  4. Anonymous9/13/2008

    This looks like fun. Mostly though, I'm always just really happy for you when you find something like this to do in the crock pot because it means you got to cook something for dinner ON THE STOVE that you know for sure everyone will like and eat.

    I would imagine that by now, that has to be a bit of a relief. :)

  5. Wow - who would have thought you could do that - how cool!

  6. Wow! Who would have thought you could do that with a crock pot(well, you obviously!)

    What a fun idea!

  7. Anonymous9/13/2008

    Do you have to use kids?

  8. What a great idea - I'm totally do this. Sounds like a great rainy day project to me.

  9. I had forgot all about shrinky dinks. How much fun is that!! I'm w/Nichole, do you have to have kids for this.

  10. Great idea! Thanks for doing this blog...I discovered it last week and have used two recipes already!

  11. lol, no, I guess the kids could be optional... though I have a few you could borrow for a few hours. ;-)


  12. Hi Steph ;-)
    WE are thrilled to have this project to do together.Thanks Crockpot Queen!

  13. Wow, they still make those? I don't think I've done those in about 20 years. Something to keep in mind for when my nephew is a little older.

  14. Anonymous9/13/2008


    What a neat idea. I will have to see if they are available in Australia.

    In the meantime I'm falling in love with my ice-cream maker. I think between the ice-cream maker and my crockpot I could live happily without anything else in the kitchen :grin:

    Roast pumpkin ice cream is awesome. Next time I'm going to try roasting the pumpkin in the crockpot for the true double whammy.

  15. What a fun idea! I can't wait to try it with my kids.

    I must say I love your recipes. I do once-a-month cooking and have used a couple of recipes in my cooking. They taste great even if you freeze them. Thanks for your blog!

  16. I totally love this idea. I haven't made them since I was knee high to... well you know.
    I didn't even know you could buy the kits. Thanks so much for the info.

  17. What a great idea! We love Shrinky Dinks at our house!! I will be trying this next week.

    If you love yummy smelling candles, you need to check out my website. It's

    I sell Scentsy Candles and they are wickless (no flame!) so they are safe around kids and animals and the warmers are really Beautiful! Besides that they won't burn your house down! The scent will last longer thann most 12-16 oz name brand candle (between 60-80 hours).

    Keep up the good work and I can't wait to see what you have planned for dinner tomorrow.

  18. Anonymous9/13/2008

    You are a GODDESS! Seriously, I think I may love you. My kids (4 & 2) just had the most fun e-v-e-r. I am officially a cool mama. Thank you, Stephanie.

  19. I absolutely LOVE your blog! I posted on mine today to tell my readers about your crockery gifts. :)

  20. I didn't even know those things were still around! Sounds like it's time for a little shrinky dink finding field trip...

  21. That is AWESOME!!! I love Shrinky Dinks!!!

  22. I am thrilled that my idea has made such fun for so many!! I came up with this when we did Easter crafts; we always have crafts during the Sunday School hour on Easter, between the Easter breakfast, the Egg Hunt and the Flowering of the Cross. I wanted to do shrinky-dinks right there in the church parlor, without using the kitchen, and it occurred to me that a Crockpot ought to work. That particular year, we made cross shrinky-dinks, made a homemade rock "tomb" with lots of helpful dads, rocks, and clay, for an Easter display with our Easter figures (like a creche but for Easter), and had the always-traditional and always-popular coloring table for Easter images, for the youngest and youngest-at-heart. The only thing that went wrong was that the crock cracked because I forgot to unplug it and it sat for hours empty.... but it was an old one anyway.
    Yay for shrinky-dinks!
    Anne from Austin

  23. wow random things.. pretty cool

  24. Anonymous10/04/2008

    Thanks for this one!!! I've been scratching my head all week for an animal craft to do at my now nine year olds birthday party tomorrow. Then I suddenly remembered your shrinky dinks in the crockpot post! We hold the party at our village hall where there is no oven, but I can always take my (NEW) crock pot along with me. Horray! A fun craft for older kids, and something 'different' than the normal coloring or making puppets etc. My boys where almost as excited tonight about doing the shrinky dinks tomorrow as they are about the party now! LOL!

  25. Have you tried this with the #6 plastic that can't be recycled? I did some in the oven and they turned out so cute! I used a salad bar container and made circles with hole punches, put the boy scout logo on with permanant marker, colored them in with yellow and colored the outsides red for our Webelos scouts in our den, shrank them down in the oven on parchment paper @ 250 degrees for about 4 minutes cooled them for about two minutes and presto, they were ready to be tied to a red wax coated string with a bead tied to each end and were given to our scouts as a Christmas present as bookmarks for their Webelos books. Everyone was so impressed I made them essentially out of trash that couldn't be recycled!

  26. Anonymous12/15/2010

    We colored some recently and it said to use an electric stove but mine is gas so I told my daughter we would have to wait and use Nana's some time but now... we can use the crock pot! I am so excited!

  27. Dude! I just told our 4yr old we couldn't get some Shrinky Dinks because we have a gas over (with no window, to boot. What fun is that?!). Now we can shrink to our hearts' content! Thanks!

  28. This looks like a ton of fun...I'm going to try it and if my six year old twin grandchildren are really, really nice, I might let them help! :-)

  29. Why does it have to be an electric oven? I know you can use a heat gun and a toaster oven as well; however, my directions for shrinky dinks do not say it has to be an electric oven. Do you guys know something that I don't know? Also, you can make bracelets and rings out of the shrinky dinks. You have to have something to shape the plastic to within 10 seconds of coming out of the oven though. If it hards to fast, just reheat it. This idea works well with a heat gun. Thanks for the advice. Happy Shrinking!

  30. Carolyn Ruge5/21/2022

    I wonder if this site is still operational. A lot of years have passed since the last post but I'm wondering about the temperature of the pot. Mine is actually a deep fryer but can be used for simmering, making soups etc. It had temperatures from 1 - 10 but goodness knows what that means in centigrade. Fingers crossed that someone out there can help because I've just ordered some shrinky dink plastic and I'm itching to do something...soon. Thanks in anticipation...I'll test it out before telling my eager granddaughter about it