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Can You Use Aluminum Foil For Shrinky Dinks?

Baking your shrinky dinks is a crucial step in the process, but you can easily ruin a baking sheet if you simply place your craft right on it. There should be some kind of barrier between your shrinky dinks and your baking sheet. Can you use aluminum foil for shrinky dinks or will that ruin them?

Aluminum foil can be a suitable surface to place your shrinky dinks on before you put them in the oven. The important thing is that you need to make sure there are no rips or wrinkles in your aluminum foil so that your shrinky dinks can bake evenly and remain flat. Baking shrinky dinks on a naked sheet will cause them to stick, likely permanently. 

Aluminum foil wouldn’t make a proper substitute for shrinky dink paper, however, because it doesn’t shrink when it interacts with heat. While you can get creative with where you source your plastic from, sticking to traditional shrinky dink paper is the easiest way to make a perfect shrinky dink. 

Can You Use Aluminum Foil For Shrinky Dinks?

Aluminum foil is often used to line a baking sheet before placing shrinky dinks in the oven. If you were to try to microwave your shrinky dinks, you don’t want to use aluminum foil. The nice thing about aluminum foil is that it tends to stay flat during the baking process unlike parchment paper, which is hard to keep flat. 

You can also choose to use a combination of parchment and aluminum foil if you choose, or swap your aluminum for strictly parchment paper if you prefer it. Just be sure that you have the corners of the parchment secured in some way to the baking sheet so that it doesn’t curl up and potentially encourage your shrinky dinks to curl up too. 

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Another handy tip to make your parchment paper stay in place to keep your shrinky dinks flat is to put a wire cooling rack on top of the parchment paper. 

How To Bake Shrinky Dinks With Aluminum Foil

When you’ve finished creating your shrinky dink masterpiece, you’ll start the baking process by preheating your oven to about 300 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperature can vary depending on the particular shrinky dink paper you’re using, so be sure to use the temperature on your packaging. 

You should then line your baking sheet with a piece of aluminum foil, making sure to have it set completely flat against the sheet. You don’t want to bake your shrinky dinks directly on the baking sheet as they are likely to get stuck. 

I like to use Pre-cut aluminum foil sheets that fit my toaster oven, or regular size baking sheet for the oven.

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Place your shrinky dinks on the foil with the colored side facing up. When you’ve placed your shrinky dinks in the oven, be sure to stick around and keep a close eye on them. Not only is it fun watching them shrink in the oven, but they can end up burning or becoming ruined if they’re in the oven for too long. 

It usually takes anywhere from one to three minutes maximum for your smaller, standard sized shrinky dinks to bake depending on your oven. As to be expected, the bigger your shrinky dink, the longer it’s going to take to bake to completion. Be sure you let them cool down before you pick them up to finish your craft. 

What Can I Use Instead Of Shrinky Dink Paper?

You don’t necessarily have to purchase shrinky dink paper to make a shrinky dink, although it certainly is the easiest product to use. If you can get your hands on some clear #6 plastic, such as an old plastic container you no longer use, you can use that to create your own DIY shrinky dink craft. 

One of the things to be aware of is that doing this can cause some fumes to form, so be sure you have a fan on and a window open. Many DIYers will use a toaster oven to bake their #6 plastic DIY shrinky dinks outside so their home isn’t filled with fumes. 

Ultimately, you’re better off sticking with shrinky dink paper. Even though this type of paper is also made of plastic, it’s specifically designed to be put into the oven in order to work its magic. 

How Do You Stop Shrinky Dinks From Curling?

Shrinky dinks are naturally going to curl slightly when going through the baking process. As the plastic begins to shrink when interacting with the heat, it tends to curl upwards before becoming flat again. That said, baking your shrinky dinks incorrectly can cause them to get stuck in a permanent curl which you don’t want. 

One of the ways you can encourage your shrinky dinks to bake flat is to layer a piece of parchment paper on top of your shrinky dinks before you place them in the oven. To do this most effectively, you can fold your parchment in half, placing the shrinky dink inside the folded piece of parchment towards the folded edge. 

Check out my other article that talks all about Shrinky Dinks Curling. It’s a must read if your Shrinky Dinks are not coming out flat.

Once you remove your baking sheet from the oven, you can also push any curling pieces down with a silicone spatula while they are still hot so they don’t end up cooling down in a permanent curl. You should also be sure to take them off of the baking sheet and place them down on a piece of parchment paper that’s on top of a heat-safe surface. 

Final Thoughts 

Aluminum foil can work as a good barrier between your baking sheet and shrinky dinks when putting them in the oven to shrink. As mentioned, taking the time to thoroughly flatten the foil onto the sheet is going to make sure your shrinky dinks stay intact during their quick baking session. 

There are some alternatives to shrinky dink paper, but ultimately, it’s the easiest and safest material to work with if you want to make some shrinky dinks at home. This paper is also the best chance you have of making your shrinky dink masterpiece without it potentially curling up, becoming ruined, or making your home smell bad. 

Make sure to follow all my tips and recommended products to ensure your Shrinky Dink project turns out great! Also, don’t forget to check out my other articles for all your painting Q&A’s. Happy painting!