I think the stars are aligning! Somehow I have managed to combine two of my recent craft obsessions- babyfood pouch cap crafts and shrinky dinks crafts- into one fun idea! I noticed that when you use a 1 inch hole punch to punch a hole in shrinky dinks and then you bake them, the resulting hole is about the same size as the diameter of these extra thick milkshake straws. This got me thinking….what could I do with this knowledge?! I know- make the straw into the axles of a car!
Tried it out and it worked on the first try- woohoo! These really do roll and they are fairly sturdy. I’m not suggesting stepping on them or anything but they are not as fragile as some crafts. I used the clear shrink film on this and you could use the inkjet printable kind like I had in my personalized I-Spy bottles but in my experience the printable shrinky dinks don’t feel as unbreakable as the clear stuff.
Recycled Plastic Works Too!
For a recyclable version you can use #6 plastic the same way you would use the shrinky dinks film, however most of these containers are not as big as a full sheet of shrink film so keep in mind that your end result will be smaller than mine. Rust and Sunshine talks about using these containers here. They shrink by half (roughly) so if you start with a piece that is 6 inches wide, it will end up about 3 inches wide. Or try it on the diagonal, that might get a little more room for you.
Shrinky Dinks Rolling Cars Toys Tutorial
Clear Shrink Film (I used Polyshrink brand but Shrinky Dinks would work too)
1 Milkshake straw
4 Caps from Babyfood or Applesauce Pouches
Hot Glue Gun
1 Inch hole punch
Metal sheet pan
1. Using a sharpie permanent marker, draw or trace the outline of your car or truck with no wheels, but mark a spot where you want the wheels.
Notes: I downloaded this truck from Coloring Crew and re-sized it in Microsoft Publisher to be as big as possible, printed it on paper and traced it onto the shrink film. I did the same thing with the car but got it from a google search. I’d advise a taller car than I used. My truck was nearly the full length and width of the sheet of shrinky dink page. The car was the full length but only half the width of the page.
2. Cut your car (or truck) out and using the one inch hole punch, punch holes just above the bottom of the car where you marked the dots for the wheels.
3. Sandwiching the piece between parchment paper, bake on a metal sheetpan according to package instructions. (Note: the parchment on top will usually help keep it from curling too much but it is going to curl a lot by nature of shrinking. If yours does curl up to the point of touching itself, you can try to pry it apart, sometimes it works, sometimes not. But if you see it START to curl, don’t freak out, it will flatten on it’s own pretty well if you leave it in the oven. Mine took a long time at 300 degrees. Be patient!)
4. Remove from the oven once it’s relatively flattened out and stopped shrinking. Place something heatproof, flat and heavy on top of the piece to be sure it’s very flat. I pull the piece of (hot!) parchment onto the counter and set a corelle baking dish on top of the parchment with the piece still inside.
5. Cut two pieces of milkshake straw, about 1 1/4 inch in length each. Set each of the pouch caps hole-side down on a hard surface and press down to flatten the prongs as much as possible.
6. Using hot glue, add hot glue to one end of one straw piece and then push it into the hole of one of the caps. Repeat with the other straw and another cap. Try to be sure it is straight up and down to be sure the axle will be as straight as possible.
7. Push the straws through the holes and then pour some hot glue into the holes of the remaining pouch caps and push them onto the ends of the straws, again trying to be sure they are straight.
Once dry, you’re all done! vrooom,vroom, beep beep! You could use these just for fun, but also to talk about inertia and gravity since they can roll down ramps and slides pretty well.Mine ended up being about 4 inches long with the car being about 3 inches tall and the car about 2 inches tall.
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