Easy DIY Shrinky Dink Instructions

Our free template can help you create the cutest state shrinky dinks for keychains, magnets, and more. This family-friendly craft is fun for everyone. Learn all the tips for creating a shrinky dink craft in just a few minutes.

state plastic shrink keychains wiht colored tassels.

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We have a new love for a childhood favorite craft. Our whole family is super excited about shrinky dinks.

Quick Take: best temperature to cook plastic shrink film = 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 1-3 minutes.

Our State Design Idea

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 plastic design shrink is super cool!

shrinky dink state template with outlines of state and love

We love (no pun intended) state artwork. You can make these with just a black marker or have fun with color. Our DIY charms can help you create any keychain, Christmas ornament, or fun magnet. 

state craft on plastic next to template of Ohio.
Here you can see the size difference from the template to the actual end result of the shrinky dink.

Using Our Plastic Shrink 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!

Supplies You’ll Need

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Read our full privacy policy.

  • Shrinky Dink Film
  • Hole Punch
  • Scissors
  • Permanent Markers
  • Colored Pencils*
  • Parchment Paper
  • Cookie Sheet
  • Keychain, Pin Backing or Magnet*
  • Tassels (here is what we used)*

*Optional

scissors, hole punch, markers, Shrinky Dink film and paper on table.

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.

State Shrinky Dink Instructions

Before You Begin: Preheat Your Oven

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F and print templates (or create a drawing to work from).

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

Step 1: Trace Your Drawing Onto Shrink Film

Carefully line up the film to the template and tape the plastic shrinky film so it does not move. Begin to trace your artwork onto the Shrinky Dink film.

hand showing steps used to create state Shrinky Dink keychain.

Step 3: Add More Details or Colors

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

two images of ohio plastic shrink film being cut & hole punched.

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

Cover your cookie sheet with parchment paper first.

shrink film cut into shapes and colored.
This is what the shapes looked like before being baked in the oven.

Step 6: Place In Oven

  1. You will cook your Shrinky Dink at 325 degrees F for 1-3 minutes.
  2. Watch your project.
  3. Take the cookie sheet out of the oven after the shrink plastic has been lying flat for 30 seconds.
plastic shrink film shapes on parchment paper lined baking sheet in oven.
After a few more seconds the curved plastic became flat.

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

Step 7: Let Cool

Let your craft cool down.

Optional Step: Add A Protective Clear Coat

You can use a clear craft resin or Mod Podge to protect your plastic shrinky design. We used spray Mod Podge and a quick swipe of a foam brush. Regular Mod Podge is probably best, but we were trying to save time.

clear coat being adding to Shrinky Dink shape.

Step 8: Add Accessories

Add a string, keychain, tassels or magnet.

hand holding an Ohio state keychain with red tassel.

Tips

  • Don’t worry if the plastic twists and turns. This is completely normal. We thought ours were going to touch together, but after they flipped and bent, they ended up straightening out.
  • If yours curls up and touches the other side, carefully use a spatula or tweezers to pull touching parts away. Then reheat the shrinky dink until it lays flat.
  • Our plastic shrink film is about 1/3 size of the original design and a lot thicker than the original film.
  • To shrink plastic film, 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.
  • Have fun experimenting with color. We love using colored pencils on shrink film.
State of Ohio drawing on shrink film with green and yellow colored pencil design.

Craft FAQs

Shrinky dinks are plastic that when melted will size down to a smaller size. You can use #6 plastics to make your plastic shrink film.

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 shrink plastic crafts. Just let the paint fully dry before you bake in the oven at 325 degrees F for 1-3 minutes.

If your craft is going to be touched a lot, adding a thin layer of Mod Podge or craft resin can help protect the project.

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

state keychains on wood table.

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!

DIY Shrinky Dink Instructions

Learn how to melt shrink plastic in your oven for this fun and easy craft idea. Use our free state templates to create a fun DIY keychain or magnet.
Print Tutorial
state plastic shrink keychains wiht colored tassels.
Prep:3 minutes
Active Time:15 minutes
Additional Time:5 minutes
Total Time:23 minutes

Equipment

  • Hole Punch
  • Cookie Sheet

Supplies

Instructions

  • 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!

Video

Notes

  • 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.
Author: Erin Nutter
Cost: under $5

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6 Comments

  1. Deb Leingang says:

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

    1. Hi Deb! Good luck with your shrinky dink project!

  2. 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.

    1. 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!

  3. 5 stars
    Looking forward to making some of these for gifts, and one for me!