Turn Trash Into Treasure

Turn trash into treasure??  Really?! No, but you can turn trash into a fun craft and it's cheap!

Do you remember Shrinky Dinks from the good ole days?  You can still find them in some places but they can be too expensive to buy for a whole class.  I have a cheaper alternative that will have you dumpster diving like a pro.

All you need are some permanent markers, an oven (in my case, a toaster oven), and some #6 plastic with this symbol on it:
I have a good source for this plastic.  The cafeteria at my school uses it for salad containers. I enjoy eating salads but I eat them more often because I need the plastic so my kiddos can make their own Shrinky Dinks.   I've been known to dig through the trash to get more (embarassing, I know).
All you need to do is draw on small pieces of plastic with a permanent marker and cut around the design.  If you plan to turn your Shrinky Dink into a charm for a necklace or bracelet, you'll need to punch a hole in it with a regular paper hole punch.  To shrink the plastic, put it in an oven preheated to about 275-300 degrees.  It only takes a couple of minutes for the plastic to shrink so don't wander off.  During the shrinking process it will curl up and look like it is ruined but then it lays down flat again.

For Mother's Day my class made their mothers a Shrinky Dink key chain.  I gave them some clip art heart samples for them to trace.  Once the plastic shrunk I added a jump ring and some key chain hardware that I found at Walmart.  I think they turned out really cute.
Before you go, let me share some other news...
My friends at Second Grade Smartypants are having a huge 100 follower giveaway.  Yay! If you haven't already, please drop by and check it out.


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  2. I love your blog and I'm so glad that I found it! I've selected your blog as one of my top 15 "One Lovely Blog" awards. If you have not already received this award, please check out my blog to see what you need to do to claim your award. :)

    Victoria Wise

  3. I love doing things like that - we took little dixie type cups in a college course and melted them! It was a ton of fun and interesting to see!

    I also wanted to stop by and let you know that I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger award! Stop on by my blog to pick it up and give your own 7 facts :]

    Miss V’s Busy Bees

  4. Just found your cute blog! I am using owls as my back to school theme too!
    Stop by my blog sometime.

  5. I have done shrinky-dink key chains in the past for Father's Day presents. I'll have to hunt for some #6 plastic and give it a shot - thanks for the tip! I'm your newest follower :)
    Stories by Storie