Invented and drawn by Bob Knetzger
Invented and drawn by Bob Knetzger

Here’s a new twist on an old classic game that you can remake all your own. Tiddlywinks is played with a set of small, color-coded discs. Use your “squidger” (a large plastic disc or shape) to press down and scrape across the top surface of a “wink” (a small disc). When you snap its edge, the wink flips up into the air. With a little practice you can aim your wink to land inside the target cup.

Create your own custom squidgers and winks using shrink film —­ the kind that’s sold under the Shrinky Dink name or generic brand at hobby stores. Draw and color your own design with permanent markers. It’s easy to copy your favorite design: Place the clear film on top of the original and trace. Or create your design on the computer and use the special shrink film made for inkjet printing. Just remember, your design will shrink in size by about one-half!

Then cut the shapes out with a scissors or hobby knife. Shrink the plastic using your light bulb-powered EZ-Make Oven from Make: Volume 35. You can also bake it in your kitchen oven at 325°F or use a heat gun. As the thin polystyrene film shrinks, its thickness swells to 1/16“. Heat it slowly and evenly to prevent curling.

When it cools, you’ll have tough and strong plastic winks and squidgers of your own design in high detail!

shrink process
Print or draw your design, then cut out and bake to shrink!

Look online for many variations and strategies in tiddlywinks game play. Try for a “squop” (landing your wink on another player’s wink, freezing it from play) but don’t “scrunge” (bounce out of the target cup — oops!). The sky’s the limit for your own custom tiddlywink graphics and themes: sports, movies, comic books — or mash them up. When you make your own you’re not limited to the official licensed versions: Star Wars Angry Bird Basketball Tiddlywinks, anyone?