Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Shrinky Dinks? Tips For Beginners

Shrinky Dinks, also known as Shrinkles, are toys that can be painted, cut, and baked. People love to paint them with different colours and design them according to their skills. A variety of paints can be applied.

For example, I prefer designing these little toys with a blend of dark colours that is thinned down well.

The question arises, “Can you use acrylic paint on shrinky dinks”? The Answer can be simple, but some considerations are there to be aware of; otherwise, you’ll spoil the shrinky dinks.

I have explained the precautions, methods, and techniques for painting the toys with acrylics. The right way of baking and sealing the toys with acrylics is discussed too. Moreover, dyes other than acrylics are covered as well.

How To Bake Shrinky Dinks Before We Paint Them?

It will be a good step if you oven-cook shrinky drinks before designing them with acrylics. It’ll allow you to correct missteps and errors. Moreover, curls or warps can be minimized by pre-baking. You can bake them in an oven.

  • Set the oven to 120-140 degree Celsius.
  • Put the baking sheet under the toys over the baking plate.
  • Leave shrinky dinks to get shrink for 1-3 minutes.
  • If you observe any curls, correct them by pressing them with a hard tool.
  • Pull out the toys from the cookstove and cool them for a few minutes.
  • Now you can apply paint.

Painting Shrinky Dinks Toys After Oven-cooking:

You can paint shrinky dinks after they are baked but take into account some considerations.

Not all paints are designed for the shrinkles as they get peeled out after being heated. So choose the one compatible with the toys.

The second most important thing is applying the paint in thin layers to avoid any cracks and breaches.

Hair Dryer For Shrinking Shrinky Dinks:

A hairdryer is an excellent choice to heat the shrinky dinks in order to shrink them, but it has some limitations as well.

Hairdryers can be used for smaller toys only, as bigger ones can’t be heated uniformly with a hairdryer. As a result, the toys will shrink non-symmetrically.

Furthermore, the hairdryer can melt or damage shrinky dinks if used non-professionally. So it’s better to put the dryer a few inches away and move it quickly over the toy.

Using Tempera Paint To Paint Shrinky Dinks:

Tempera paint can be used to paint shrinky dinks if it’s compatible with the toy. Choose the type having washable features because all the tempera paints can’t bear the heat.

Secondly, try to apply thin layers over the toy. It is going to help you avoid cracks after the toys are heated.

Crayola Markers For Painting Shrinky Dinks:

Crayola Markers can be used to paint out shrinky dinks, but some of its varieties cannot stick to the toys. So choose ink-based markers.

Apply thin layers over the toys using a fine-haired brush or air spray. It surely helps the colours to stick uniformly to the toys, and no breaches will be formed.

Let the toys get cool thoroughly after being heated. Otherwise, the paint will get flecked while handling.

Finest Acrylic Paint To Be Used On Shrinky Dinks:

Acrylics are not identical. Some varieties are specially created to be applied to the surfaces like shrinky dinks. So be careful while buying the paints. The Best acrylics which can be used to paint shrink dinks are.

  • FolkArt Multi-Surface Paint
  • DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paint

FolkArt Multi-Surface Paint:

It is explicitly designed and compatible with the surface types like shrinky dinks. It’s one of the best choices if you’re painting such toys.

Apply the paint properly in thin layers using good-quality brushes or air spray.

DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paint:

It’s a water-based paint designed to be applied to the surface of shrinky dinks. Moreover, it is non-toxic to human eyes and skin. You can clear out the paint with soap or detergents.

What Type of Markers Should I Use To Paint Shrinky Dinks?

Various markers can be utilised to design and decorate your favourite shrinky dinks. But be careful while heating and cooling the toys, as most of the colours may get harmed.

Sharpies can be utilised for detailing and lining, while paint markers are suitable for filling broad areas.

For a realistic approach, glitter glue and rhinestones can be used. It will add a radiant appearance to your toys.

How To Oven Cook Shrinky Dinks? Step By Step

Let’s discuss the baking process of shrinky dinks in detail with precautions. The following materials are needed:

  • Oven
  • A Baking sheet
  • A Parchment Baking paper

Method of Baking:

  1. Set the temperature of the oven to 120-140 degree Celsius.
  2. Put the baking sheet inside the oven uniformly.
  3. Cover the baking sheet taking the help of parchment baking paper.
  4. Put the shrinky dinks onto the baking paper, ensuring an appropriate distance between them.
  5. Let the toys get baked for 1-2 minutes, or simply leave them till they shrink.
  6. Remove the toys from the cookstove and correct the curls with a spatula.
  7. Let them get cooled thoroughly for a few minutes before the further procedure.

How Do You Seal Colour and Designs On Shrinky Dinks?

Sealing the shrinky dinks after colouring and baking is vital to make your designs stay intact and last longer. You can seal acrylic with polyurethane or any other sealant for this purpose. You’ll need the following:

  • Acrylic sealant
  • Paintbrushes
  • Water
  • Paper cloth


  1. Fill a bowl with acrylic sealer.
  2. Use your paintbrush to apply the sealer onto the surface of the toys.
  3. Apply water over the sealed surface to make the surface smoother and even.
  4. Let the surface get dry thoroughly before handling.

Is it Possible To Paint the Design On All Sides of The Toys?

Both sides can be painted and drawn with your creative designs. But make sure to draw upside down as the designs get reserved after shrinking.

For guidance, a manual can be found inside the package. Please read it thoroughly to understand the response of shrinky dinks to heating.

Can Acrylic Paint Be Used To Paint Shrink Plastic?

The opinions can be varied when we talk about painting shrink plastics with acrylics. But the most straightforward answer is, yes, they can be painted if you’re willing for a luminous and vibrant appearance.

However, handling the shrunk plastic will be a difficult task as compared to other surfaces if you’re an acrylic paint user.

Tips To Design Shrinky Dinks:

  • Try to choose an acrylic paint that is compatible with the surface of the shrinky dinks. Because most of the paints are not able to stick to their surface, and the colours get cracked or breached after heating and drying procedures. So, tend to choose heat-resistant acrylic paint. The best choices can be FolkArt Multi-Surface Paint and DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paint.
  • Different types of decorating markers can be used for designing shrinky dinks. Permanent and paint markers can add sharp details, while rhinestones would add some glitter to your designs. Be careful while you deal with these markers, as heating and cooling can affect the layouts.
  • Baking the toys needs some precautions. Set the oven to 120-140 degrees celsius. Cover the baking sheet with taking help of paper so no direct contact will be established between the metal and the toys. Bake for up to 2 minutes and let the toys get cooled for a few minutes. Correct the curls by pressing with a spatula.
  • Seal the paint with a good-quality acrylic sealant using a fine-haired brush. Apply water over the sealer to make it even and smoother. Let the sealer get dried before you make it prepared for further processing.
  • All the sides of the toys can be painted with your creative designs. But it’s essential to draw upside down as the designs get reserved. A Manual is in the package to help you deal with the toys.

Acrylic Paint Pens:

Acrylic pens have several uses, but the primary purpose is designing attractive letters in the arts. Moreover, they are used for sketching too. Here are some tips for using acrylic paint pens:

  • Shudder the pen finely so the ink gets mixed thoroughly with the paint.
  • Light strokes are helpful for a smooth and even look.
  • Use a towel if the tip of the pen gets plugged.

How Do We Conserve Shrinky Dinks?

Shrinky dinks can be preserved in many ways, but the most effective method is sealing the colour. Once you have applied the colour onto the surface of the toys, seal them with a good quality acrylic sealer. You can do that in the following way:

  • Put some acrylic sealer in a bowl.
  • Apply the sealer onto the surface of the toys.
  • Apply a layer of water over the sealant.
  • Let the toys dry before you handle them.
  • Your toy is now preserved.


Can we use acrylic paint on shrink plastic?

Yes, acrylics can be painted shrink plastic but choose the paint wisely as not all acrylic paints are designed to be compatible with the plastic surface. Some of the best acrylics are FolkArt Multi-Surface Paint and DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paint. They have versatile sticking qualities.

What type of paint should you use to paint on shrinky dinks?

Shrinky dinks can be decorated with a variety of paints and colour markers. You can use Glitter glue for a realistic approach, permanent paint markers for detailing, and highlighters for filling vast areas. Be careful to heat and dry the colours before handling them correctly.

Does acrylic paint shrink?

No, it’s not the acrylics that shrink but the toys. Acrylics may get peeled out of the surface or breach if you don’t use them carefully. So it’s necessary to be aware of the application of different acrylics.

What can we utilise to colour shrinky dinks?

Shrinky dinks can be decorated with a variety of paints and colour markers. You can use Glitter glue for a realistic approach, permanent paint markers for detailing, and highlighters for filling wide areas. Be careful to heat and dry the colours before handling them properly.

Should we bake shrinky dinks with a sharpie?

Yes, shrinky dinks can be baked with a sharpie. The colour sticks to the surface by heating. So it’s necessary to heat the colour after applying and dry the toys before handling.

Can we use crayons to paint on shrinky dinks?

Yes, a crayon can be used to decorate shrinky dinks. They are suitable for detailing, lining, and sketching. A good quality crayon pencil is a plus point.

Can we use coloured pencils to design shrinky dinks?

Yes, coloured pencils can be used to be applied on shrinky dinks. They are an economical choice and help you make lines, texts, and details over the surface of the toys.

Can I use acrylic paint on Shrinky Dinks directly?

Yes, acrylic paint can be used on Shrinky Dinks directly. It adheres well to the surface and provides vibrant colors.


In short, there are ways to decorate, design, and colour shrinky dinks. But the main point is knowing the correct procedure pros and cons of different paints. These are the things explained in the article.

Jose Scott

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