Shrinky Dinks Keychains

Shrinky Dinks Keychains
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Step 1: Supplies

Do you remember Shrinky Dinks? I do! My brothers and I used to color, create and play with them when we were kids. Back then (circa 1985) the Shrinky Dinks came with images pre-printed on them to color. Now, the company has come out with all sorts of cool products to enable you to unleash your creativity. You can purchase Shrinky Dink blank paper, ink jet ready paper, pre-printed shapes, glossy finished paper and more.

Shrinky Dinks have come a long way, and so have crafters with their creative ways to utilize this fun product. I have seen Shrinky Dink jewelry, charms, trinkets, key chains, favors and all kinds of other cool stuff. It’s time to get your play on and play around with some Shrinky Dink products. Join the fun!

Difficulty: Easy

Materials: Shrinkable Plastic, colors [permanent markers, color pencils or crayons], scissors, whole punch, baking sheet, oven, key ring or zipper pull and jump ring (optional)

*I purchased my packet of Shrinky Dinks blank paper at Michael’s for about $8.00. The packet contains 10 sheets.

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Step 2: Getting Started

Instructions:

Print or trace an image onto your shrinkable plastic. Remember: images will shrink about 45 – 60% after you bake them. Keep this in mind while you decide on the size of the image. I found tons of free coloring pages when I googled things like “Disney characters coloring pages.” These will work perfect as your images if you plan to involve your kids in the creative process. It gives them something to trace and color and provides a sense of ownership – “Hey, look what I made!”

Since I had just watched the Hunger Games, I opted to use an image of the MockingJay (from the movie) as my traceable design. MockingJay jewelry and apparel seem to be pretty popular right now.

Color your image in completely. I used Crayola color pencils. I also outlined my colored image with a black pen, going over the pencil lines I had previously traced. Be careful where you place your hands as you color. (My hands smudged my pencil lines a bit and it showed up in the finished product.)

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Step 3: The Next Step

Cut out your shape as smoothly as possible. Small, sharp scissors are ideal for cutting shapes with lots of tiny curves or inner shapes you want to remove. You may also create fancy or frilly edges with designer scissors that have the special edges.

Punch a hole in the shape, near an edge but leaving at least 1/2 inch space between the edge and hole, as it will get very small in the oven. (On my first attempt, I didn’t make the hole large enough for the key ring. The next attempt I punched about 3 – 4 holes clustered together to fit on a key ring.) This is where your key ring or zipper pull will go.

Preheat oven to 300°. (The package says 325°, but my oven runs hot. I’ve found if the temperature is too hot, your plastic won’t uncurl toward the end of the baking process.) If you need to protect your baking sheet, place a piece of butcher paper or tin foil on to your baking sheet. This will make it easier to remove shapes from cookie sheets.

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Step 4: Finishing Up!

Place your colored, cut out shapes, colored side up, on your baking sheet. Place the baking sheet into your preheated oven. Bake for approximately 3 minutes. (Shrinky Dinks brand says to bake for 1 – 3 minutes.) My boys love this part the best. They love to watch their colored pieces magically “shrink”!

Your shapes will curl up on themselves. DON’T PANIC. They will flatten back out. Let them cook for another 30 seconds after the curling and flattening to finish the process and set the color.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let cool. Then remove your paper with the shapes still on them from the baking sheet. I use my cutting board to place them on as it can tolerate heated food/objects. If they haven’t completely flattened, lightly press your pieces flat until they cool for about 15 – 20 seconds, using another piece of paper or piece of cardboard. (This is a very small window while they are still slightly pliable.)

Once they are completely cooled, you are ready to place them on a keychain or zipper pull and proudly display your masterpiece! Alternately, if you have them on hand you could add a jump ring (jewelry making supplies) for extra “dangle” factor.

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*Please remember: kids under 12 really do need supervision with this process, especially operating the oven. I know it should be common sense, but I like to cover my bases.

*Note: Shrinky Dinks or any shrinkable plastic brand will NOT work in a microwave oven.

 

About The Author

Tia Davis is a writer, wife and mother, living happily ever after with her handsome prince and two charming boys in Western Idaho. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in English and Creative Writing and works from home as a content manager. When she isn't chasing little boys she is blogging about them at Mistress of Madness & Mayhem.