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Easy DIY Shrinky Dink Instructions

Are you looking for a fun craft idea for the whole family? Learn all the tips for creating a shrinky dink craft. Use our free template to create the cutest state shrinky dinks for keychains, magnets, and more.

Ohio love shrinky dink idea

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We have a new love for a childhood favorite craft. Our whole family is super excited about shrinky dinks. You can make more advanced shrinky dinks like the design we will share or more kid-friendly designs and scribbles. No matter what, watching your design shrink is super cool!

shrinky dink state template with outlines of state and love
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What is a shrinky dink?

Shrinky dinks are plastic that when melted will size down to a smaller size. You can use #6 plastics to make your own plastic shrinky dinks. I am not sure I wanted to melt my own plastic and have no problem buying actual shrinky dink film.

Where can you buy shrinky dinks?

Any local craft store or online retailer should have this easy craft. Here are a few landing pages for shrinky dink film so you can shop around for the best price!

  • Amazon: They have a wide variety of clear, frosted, and even colored shrinky dink films.
  • Michaels: Similar to the Amazon choices, but you may even save a little more if it is when you can use coupons!
  • Walmart: If you want a kit, they have a variety.

How To Shrink Shrinky Dinks

You need a heat source. The most common way to shrink shrinky dinks is in your oven or toaster oven. A heat gun or blow dryer is also said to work.

For our shrink dinks, we like to cook them on parchment paper on a cookie sheet at 325 degrees F for 1 to 3 minutes. You will see the plastic curl and twist as it heats up. Wait 30 seconds after the last one is laying flat. We have yet to overcook a shrinky dink but watch the oven pretty closely while shrinking.

Design Ideas

For Kids

  • Simple name writing. There is something so special about their handwriting at those younger ages.
  • Their favorite drawing: whether a monster or flower.
  • Simple shape cut out and scribbled with different colors. Punch a hole and create a fun Jackson Pollock-like charm.
  • Rainbows work really well for Shrinky Dink designs.
  • Anything goes, this is why we love shrinky dinks!

For Adults

  • Small charms for jewelry
  • Fun designs for magnets
  • Garden markers
  • States Outlines
  • Succulents
  • Food drawings
  • Simple shapes repeated
  • Name designs
  • More rainbows
  • Add charms to paint flower pots or other household items

Honestly, you can draw anything you really want on your shrinky dink. Here are cute little garden markers we made just by sketching with permanent markers and cooking the same way we explain in this post.

6 different flower pot shrinky dinks.

Our State Idea

We love (no pun intended) state artwork. The best part all you need is a black sharpie and our template or your own drawing. Simple trace the outline carefully and words of your choice.

Cut out the shrinky drink carefully and punch a hole if you plan on hanging. These would make fun charms, keychains, Christmas ornaments, or magnets. 

Notes About Cooking In The Oven

Don’t worry if these twist and turn. This is completely normal. We thought ours were going to touch together, but after they flipped and bent, they ended up straightening out. You can see this in the picture below.

Just like with our DIY letter crayons, cooking time may vary depending on your oven and environment.

curled up shrinky dink on cookie sheet in oven.

How Small Do They Shrink?

Here you can see the size difference from the template to the actual end result of the shrinky dink. Our Shrinky Dink is about 1/3 size of the original and a lot thicker than the original film.

state craft on plastic next to template of Ohio.

Using Our State Template

If you would like to change the size, you could always adjust your printer settings to make it scale differently. We also only recommend printing the page you need and not all the pages (no need to waste ink). I guess you would print all the templates if you are making 50 states!

Recommend Supplies

  • Shrinky Dink Film
  • Hole Punch
  • Cookie Sheet
  • Parchment Paper
  • Permanent Markers
  • String, Pin Backing or Magnet (optional)
Shrinky Dink film and colored permanent markers.

How To Make a Shrinky Dink

Before You Begin: Preheat Your Oven

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.

Step 1: Create A Template

You can draw your own or use our printout. You also do not have to use a template and could simply draw directly on the film.

plastic Shrinky Dink film on top of outline of Ohio with love spelled inside and black sharpie.

Step 2: Trace Drawing Onto Shrinky Dink

Carefully line up the film to the template. Begin to trace your artwork onto the Shrinky Dink film.

hand tracing Ohio outline on plastic.

Step 3: Add More Details or Colors

If you are using colored pencils you will want to color on the rough side. With permanent markers, you will color on the smooth side.

Step 4: Cut Out Design

Cut out your shape once you are done coloring. You will not be able to cut the plastic after it has been in the oven.

scissors on table and hole punch with Shrinky Dink craft.

Optional: Punch A Hole

Use a hole punch to add a hole near the top, but not too close to the edge.

Step 5: Place Shrinky Dink On Cookie Sheet

We like to cover our cookie sheet with parchment paper first.

shrinky dink with oven in the background showing 325.

Step 6: Place In Oven

You will cook your Shrinky Dink at 325 degrees F for 1-3 minutes. Watch your project. Take the cookie sheet out of the oven after the Shrinky Dink has been laying flat for 30 seconds.

curled up shrinky dink on cookie sheet in oven.

Step 7: Let Cool

Let your craft cool down. Add a string, keychain or magnet.

shrinky dink of ohio with cursive love inside.

Craft FAQs

Can you use Sharpies on Shrinky Dinks?

Yes, permanent markers are our favorite way to add color to Shrinky Dinks. If you want more detail, you should consider using ultra-fine tips.

Do Shrinky Dinks work in the microwave?

No, do not try to melt the plastic in our microwave. Shrinky Dinks melt best in your oven or toaster oven.

What kind of paint works best on Shrinky Dinks?

Acrylic paint will work well on shrinky dinks. Just let the paint fully dry before you bake in the oven at 325 degrees F for 1-3 minutes.

What happens if my shrinky dink curls up and gets stuck?

If yours curls up and touches the other side, you can try to pry it well it is still hot away from the side. You could use a spatula or tweezers to put the part away. Then reheat the shrinky dink until it lays flat.

What temperature is best to cook Shrinky Dinks?

325 Degrees F for 1-3 minutes. Depending on your oven, anywhere from 300 degrees F-350 degrees F is the best range.

What do you use to color shrinky dinks?

We love using colored sharpies to create our shrinky dink designs. Do not use washable markers, as those will wipe off. Acrylic paint and colored pencils are also viable options. To use colored pencils make sure you are using frosted shrinky dink paper.

Do you cut shrinky dinks before baking?

Yes, if you want a different shape you must cut them before baking. Normally you color the shrink dink plastic first and then cut it before baking.

Follow us on Pinterest, Youtube or Facebook for more DIY inspiration!

Related Easy Crafts & DIYs

Now we think we need to make more easy shrinky dinks with this family-friendly craft idea.

Did you have fun making this craft with your family? Make sure to leave a 5 star ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ review in the comments!

state shrinky dink next to larger template.

DIY Shrinky Dink Instructions

Easily make a state shrinky dink using our template. Feel like a kid again with this easy craft project.
No ratings yet
Print Pin Rate
Course: DIY & Family
Keyword: easy shrinky dink craft, how to shrink shrinky dinks, shrink dink instructions
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Active Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes
Author: Erin
Cost: under $5


  • Hole Punch
  • Cookie Sheet

Recommended Supplies


  • Print out the state printable or sketch your own drawing.
  • Place shrinky dink film on top and don't let it move.
  • Use a Sharpie or permanent marker to trace your drawing or template.
  • Neatly cut out design.
  • Punch a hole if you plan to hang it.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
  • Once the oven is heated, place a cookie sheet in for 1-3 minutes. You will see the plastic curl and twist, wait 30 seconds after it is flat.
  • Pull out of the oven and let cool.
  • Add magnet, pin, or string.
  • Enjoy your easy Shrinky Dink craft!


  • You can use colored pencils, colored permanent markers or acrylic paint to add color to your Shrinky Dinks.
  • Make sure to cook in the oven for 30 secs after the plastic film lays flat.
  • Do not touch the plastic until it is fully cooled.
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Monday 20th of December 2021

In the past I have used a heat embossing tool and it works. I always keep a pair of scissors to help flatten out any long piece and use something heavy to keep the shrinky creation flat.


Monday 20th of December 2021

Great tip! Yes, in the oven you do risk a shrink dink possibly curving together. If that happens you can normally use a pair scissors or something metal to carefully stop it and reflatten. Thanks for the great shrinky dink tip!

Deb Leingang

Saturday 3rd of July 2021

Can’t wait to try the AZ, ND, MN, & CA States as shrinks dinks


Sunday 4th of July 2021

Hi Deb! Good luck with your shrinky dink project!

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