Guide: How to SHRINK Shrinkles

Shrinkles is a fun craft activity for all of the family. If you are the lucky owner of a new Original Shrinkles magic shrinking plastic craft kit and are looking for some top tips on SHRINKING your SHRINKLES, you've come to the right place!

Product News
Posted: 15th June 2017
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Guide: How to SHRINK Shrinkles

Follow these simple steps to become a Shrinkles SHRINK expert and learn how to SHRINK your Shrinkles perfectly every time! And if you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with us!

  • Step 1: Pre-heat your oven to 350° F/ 175ºC (Gas Mark 3)

  • Step 2: Using the Shrinkles pencils included in the pack, colour in your Shrinkle drawings.

  • Step 3: Cut around your Shrinkle drawings with a pair of scissors. (If you are working with younger children, you may wish to cut the Shrinkles out before colouring, to avoid smudging).

  • Step 4: If you are making keyrings, use a hole punch to make a hole no less than 7mm from the edge of the drawing. 

  • Step 5: Line a cool baking tray with foil and place your Shrinkles onto the baking tray. Pop the Shrinkles into the centre of the oven and watch as your Shrinkle drawings begin to SHRINK 7 times smaller and 7 times thicker than the original! 

  • Step 6: Once the Shrinkles have completely shrunk and flattened in the oven, remove the tray from the oven and leave to cool. 

Please ask for the help of an adult when operating the oven and using sharp objects. 

Further Cooking, Cutting & Colouring Information 

The quality of Original Shrinkles is always excellent and every SHRINKLE will shrink perfectly. However, performance in shrinking does vary, depending on a number of factors, so here are some hints and tips on becoming a SHRINKLES expert! 

Shrinkles Colouring-in Tips 

Please note “Shrinkles” pencils give the best colouring results. These are included inside all packs of Shrinkles. 

When colouring-in your drawings, smudging will occur if you: 

  • Colour too heavily 

  • Use soft or waxy pencils (Use Shrinkles pencils for best results) 

  • Lean on the areas you have already coloured 

If you have the pre-printed Shrinkles colouring sheets, you might want to cut out your Shrinkle shapes before you start. This will minimise smudging your drawings as you move across the sheet and colour them all. 

It is also best to start at the top of the Shrinkle & work downwards when you are colouring, so that your hand does not rest on the colouring you have done. Alternatively, you could rest your hand on a piece of paper which you place on top of your partially coloured Shrinkle. 

What are the best pens for colouring my Shrinkles?

The best way to colour your Shrinkles are with the pencils provided in the Bumper Boxes and Mini Packs. You can however use felt tips such as Promarker pens.

Any tips on cutting out my Shrinkies? 

Do not cut intricate shapes or long narrow pieces, as they are likely to break. 

How do I make a hole in my Shrinkle to make a keyring? 

A standard hole-punch will position a 5mm hole, 7mm from the edge of the plastic. Do not position the hole any closer to the edge as the SHRINKLE could break when you clip a keychain or other attachment on. 

What temperature should I set my oven to for SHRINK crafts? 

Ovens vary a lot, but we recommend pre-heating your oven to 350° F/ 175ºC (Gas Mark 3) as a guide - you may need to go a little higher. 

You can use a gas, electric or fan assisted oven, but not a microwave. 

Can I use a Heated Craft Gun to SHRINK my Shrinkles? 

Another method is to use a Heated Craft Gun to blow very hot air onto the Shrinkle. This method does work but we highly recommend using an oven for the best results. To do this, you should work on a heat-resistant surface and move the gun in a circular motion above and around the Shrinkle until it will Shrink no-more. 

Due to the uneven distribution of heat, your Shrinkle may start to develop a bubble in the centre of the Shrinkle. If this happens, flip the Shrinkle over and heat the underside with the craft gun. 

With this cooking method, you may have to use a hard-back book to finish flattening the Shrinkle. This method is not always successful, as a hole can develop if the heat is not spread over the Shrinkle evenly enough. It may be best to ask an adult to help when using a heated craft gun. 

Do thermostats cause differing results? 

Like ovens, thermostats also vary. In addition, your thermostat will be continually turning the heat ‘ON’ and ‘OFF’. Consequently, the heat is always ‘RISING’ or ‘FALLING’. It is not actually constant. This is why you may sometimes experience two different results when shrinking one SHRINKLE after another. 

Any more tips on pre-heating the oven? 

It is vital to pre-heat the oven but NOT the foil lined baking tray – this must be cool. If not, this may cause excessive curling and bonding. 

How long should I leave my Shrinkles in the oven? 

It is impossible to be precise about the length of time that you leave the SHRINKLE in the oven. This will always vary due to the difference in ovens and thermostats as previously mentioned. 

When should I remove my Shrinkle creations from the oven? 

Do not open the oven door until the SHRINKLE is lying flat. If it has an overall slight curve on it, it may well be ready, but it certainly isn’t ready if it is at all “curly” or has a hint of a “bubble” in the middle, or the edges are turned up etc. 

The vital thing is that it MUST BE PLIABLE albeit for only a few seconds. When you place it under a table mat or book, it is simply to hold it flat whilst it sets. YOU MUST NEVER PRESS IT FLAT! 

If it is not pliable and you do press it, it will crack. 

If you discover that it is not pliable as you place it on a work surface, then simply re-heat it in the oven until it is. 

What happens if the oven is too cool? 

The SHRINKLE will either not shrink, or won’t go flat and certainly won’t be pliable, and may have bubbles. 

What happens if the oven is too hot? 

The SHRINKLE will curl excessively and bond to itself. ADULTS, if you’re quick to spot this happening in the oven, you can pull the bonded SHRINKLE apart WHILST IT IS PLIABLE, but remember, you’ll only have a few seconds and IT IS VERY HOT, so please be careful. 

There are blank Shrinkles sheets in my pack - what are they for?  

Some of our packs contain blank sheets so you can get creative and make your own designs to shrink! The transparent sheets are perfect for tracing your favourite characters or designs.

Shrinkles Troubleshooting 

If you are not happy perhaps because your SHRINKLE is curved or has a bubble, remember you can always re-heat it, but it will take longer the second time. 

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