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How Long Do Shrinky Dinks Last?

If you’ve spent a lot of time working on an art project, you want to know how long it’ll last. Shrinky Dinks can be sentimental, too, depending on what you made, so you want to trust it’ll have a long lifespan. 

So, how long do Shrinky Dinks last? Shrinky Dinks become durable after you bake them since they get nine times thicker. They might chip or fade with time, but they should last you many years. You can make them last forever if you seal them well. Sanding the plastic before using colored pencils on them also prevents fading.

You’ll want to make your Shrinky Dinks last as long as possible, so keep reading! Everything you’ll need to know about the lifespan of shrink-plastic is below.

The Lifespan of Shrinky Dinks

After you bake a Shrinky Dink, the plastic becomes nine times thicker and is very durable. If you made a charm you could wear, it might chip over time as you bump it into stuff. However, shrink plastic has a very long lifespan.

Shrinky Dinks were very popular during the 80s— some people still have the designs they made when they were kids then! These old Shrinky Dinks are usually in decent condition, although their color might’ve faded or become a bit warped. 

Sealing your Shrinky Dinks can make them last even longer while staying in great condition. One of the best sealants for these projects would have to be Mod Podge. Particularly the Dimensional Magic formula. It creates a dome over your designs, which is perfect when making charms or keychains. Plus, the Mod Podge seals in color, making the Shrinky Dink even more durable.

Overall, Shrinky Dinks can last decades. The plastic is very strong and won’t break down over time. 

How Long Do Shrinky Dinks Stay in Good Condition?

Shrinky Dinks can stay in good condition forever if you seal them. The plastic is durable enough to take a lot of wear and tear. 

Adding a reliable seal to your work can prevent much of that damage, especially if you wear the Shrinky Dink often. Sealing the design prevents the color from fading, so they stay in their best condition even longer.

If you want to keep your Shrinky Dinks looking nice, you’ll want to store them properly. You should lay them down in your container with either a cloth or paper between your cutouts. That way, they won’t bump into each other and chip when you’re moving the container around. Wrapping them also can help keep the color as vibrant as possible.

That said, you don’t need to worry about handling your Shrinky Dinks often! The plastic is extremely thick and durable, so it’ll stay in good condition for many years.

The Durability of Shrinky Dinks: How Long Will They Last?

You can trust that your shrink creations are very durable. The thick plastic can handle kids playing with them without breaking. Usually, cracking only happens when the cutouts are accidentally dropped from high up and hit a hard surface.

Sometimes Shrinky Dinks can get tiny scratches on them, so you’ll want to add a seal after they cool down. Most Mod Podge formulas are scratch-resistant, making your Shrinky Dinks even more durable than they already are.

So, you can expect your Shrinky Dinks to last years before they look worn out. Taking a few additional steps can make your creations last even longer, so it’s worth using a quality sealant.

How Long Will Shrinky Dinks Last Before Fading or Breaking?

How long your Shrinky Dinks last before fading or breaking will depend on how you made them. You’ll want to lightly scratch the surface of the plastic sheets with sandpaper before coloring your designs with colored pencils. Doing so gives the pigment something to “grip” and makes the Shrinky Dinks hold onto the colors much longer before fading. 

If you follow the instructions exactly, the plastic should be durable after it cools down and solidifies. Then, adding a seal to the top will make it last even longer. 

So, leaving your Shrinky Dinks without a seal and not scratching the plastic sheets should give you results that remain in great condition for a few years. They’ll start fading, but the plastic is strong enough not to break for a long time. You can still find Shrinky Dinks that people made many years ago, although they might be faded.

However, prepping the plastic sheets and adding a final seal to your creations will help them last decades. While it might seem like adding two more steps is too much of a hassle, you’ll be pleased with the results! Your Shrinky Dinks will be brighter for longer, and the seal makes them strong enough never to break.

Do You Need To Seal Shrinky Dinks?

Technically, you don’t need to seal any Shrinky Dinks that you make, although it’s a good idea. Your Shrinky Dinks will last much longer and look nice for longer if you apply a clear finish to them. 

However, the plastic is still strong enough to resist most damage. So, it’s up to you whether you want to seal them. Most crafters prefer to seal their Shrinky Dinks because they put a lot of effort into their designs and want them to last as long as possible. If your young one made a Shrinky Dink, you’d also want to seal it to keep it forever.

Check out my other article that talks about using Mod Podge to seal your Shrinky Dinks.

You don’t need to seal Shrinky Dinks, but most people still do. There are a variety of sealants out there, so you can even make your Shrinky Dinks glow in the dark or make them sparkly— the possibilities are endless!

Final Thoughts

In short, Shrinky Dinks can last a very long time. There are still Shrinky Dinks around people made in the 80s during their height in popularity. However, these older Shrinky Dinks can be somewhat faded, yellowed, or scratched. Adding a seal can keep them in nicer condition for decades.

Overall, how long your Shrinky Dinks last depends on what steps you took while making them. If you want your plastic cutouts to last as long as possible, you’ll need to take a few extra steps. Your hard work is sure to pay off.

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!