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.
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!
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!
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.
- 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!
- Small charms for jewelry
- Fun designs for magnets
- Garden markers
- States Outlines
- 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.
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 was going to touch together, but after it flipped and bent it ended up straightening out. You can see this in the picture below.
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.
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!
- Shrinky Dink Film
- Hole Punch
- Cookie Sheet
- Parchment Paper
- Permanent Markers
- String, Pin Backing or Magnet (optional)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Step 7: Let Cool
Let your craft cool down. Add a string, keychain of magnet.
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.
No, do not try to melt the plastic in our microwave. Shrinky Dinks melt best in your oven or toaster oven.
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.
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.
325 Degrees F for 1-3 minutes. Depending on your oven, anywhere from 300 degrees F-350 degrees F is the best range.
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.
Follow us on Pinterest, Youtube or Facebook for more DIY inspiration!
Related Easy Crafts & DIYs
- Fun Nail Polish Dipped Mugs
- Large Rainbow Word String Art
- Easy Word Canvas Art Idea For Kids
- How To Melt Crayons On Canvas
Now we think we need to make more easy shrinky dinks with this family-friendly craft idea.
DIY Shrinky Dink Instructions
- Hole Punch
- Cookie Sheet
- Shrinky Dinks
- Colored Sharpies or permanent markers
- Parchment paper
- String optional
- Pin backing optional
- Magnet optional
- 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.
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!
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!