I’ve recently started making some cute jewelry from shrink plastic. I wanted to try a couple of brands to see what I preferred. I decided to compare Shrinky Dinks and Grafix brand inkjet shrink plastic.
First, the Shrinky Dinks come in 8 x 10 inch sheets. Grafix comes in 8.5 x 11 inch standard letter sized sheets. I bought the Shrinky Dinks from Michaels. 6 sheets cost $10.80 CAD plus tax (with a 40% off coupon). I got 50 sheets of Grafix for $62.00 CAD off eBay.
For my testing, I cut both with small scissors and shrink using a heat gun instead of an oven.
You can print on both sides of the Grafix film. You can only print on one side of the Shrinky Dinks. The images on the Grafix seemed to come out a bit darker. (I’m using an Epson 1400 to print.)
Since I don’t have a contour cutter at the moment (hoping to get a KnK Zing when they start shipping!), I’m forced to cut these out by hand with a small pair of scissors. The Shrinky Dinks cuts easily and I didn’t have any problems. When cutting the Grafix, I tended to have way more cracks. It seems to be more ridged and tears easily when cutting around corners.
The two brands seemed to shrink a little differently. They both shrank approximately the same amount, but the Grafix came out a little taller. They shrunk to about the same width as well, but the Grafix seemed to have a bit of a ridge on the edges. The Shrinky Dinks surface was smooth after shrinking while the Grafix has a rough texture. The colors on the Grafix came out darker as well. (It’s a little hard to see the shrinky dinks as they are smooth and have a slight reflection in the pictures. Shrinky Dinks left, Grafix right.)
After my tests, I definitely prefer the Shrinky Dinks brand. They are quite a bit more expensive, but I find they just print, cut and shrink better. I also like the Ruff and Ready Shrinky Dinks. They give a nice frosted look.
I love Shrinky Dinks! Can’t wait to make more.