Use our free template to create the cutest state shrinky dinks
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!
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 wantedto melt my own plastic and have no problem buying actual shrinks 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.
In this (future) post, we will test all these methods besides heat gun and will report our findings.
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 most 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.
Kid-friendly Shrinky Dink designs
- 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!
Adult Ideas for Shrinky Dinks
- Small charms for jewelry
- Fun designs for magnets
- Garden markers
- States Outlines
- Food drawings
- Simple shapes repeated
- Name designs
- More rainbows
Honestly, you can draw anything you really want on your shrinky dink.
Our favorite Shrinky Dink 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.
- Hole Punch
- Cookie Sheet
- 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 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.
- Add magnet, pin, or string.
- Enjoy your easy Shrinky Dink craft!
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A few notes about cooking shrinky dinks
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.
Finished state shrinky dink
Here you can see the size difference from the template to the actual end result of the shrinky dink.
Tip about 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!