Shrinky Dinks Zipper Pull

Shrinky Dinks Zipper Pull
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Step 1: Your Supplies

The Shrinky Dinks Company has come out with all sorts of cool products to enable you to unleash your creativity. You can purchase Shrinky Dinks blank paper, ink jet ready paper, pre-printed shapes, glossy finished paper and more. With back-to-school season finally here, I thought it would be fun to create some personalized zipper pulls for my son’s backpack and sweatshirts.

I used fonts from my Word software to create his initials and transferred them to my Shrinky Dinks plastic to decorate. While I had all my supplies out, I decided to create a teacher appreciation gift too! I think it all turned out so cute, and the best part – it was so easy!

Difficulty: Easy

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

*I purchased my packet of Shrinky Dinks blank pages at Michael’s for about $6.00. The packet contains 10 sheets.

supplies

Step 2: Getting Started

Instructions:

Print or trace a letter onto your shrinkable plastic. Images will shrink about 45% after you bake them. Keep this in mind when you decide on the size of the image. I printed my letters from a blank Word document and traced them onto my Shrinky Dinks sheet. For the fonts I chose, I printed them out at 300 font size to get them big enough to decorate and then shrink.

Color in or doodle on your letter or shape. I used Crayola color pencils and markers. Crayola products seem to set well and stay bright after the shrinking process.  I also outlined my letters with a black pen, going over the pencil lines I had previously traced and it really sets off the shape.

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Step 3: The Next Step

Cut out your letter or 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 letter, 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. If you have a larger hole or circle punch that would work even better. ) This is where your key ring or zipper pull will go.

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Step 4: Baking...

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.

Place your letter or shape, 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. If they haven’t completely flattened when you take them out of the oven, 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 of opportunity while they are still slightly pliable.)

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Step 5: Finishing Up!

Remove the baking sheet from the oven to 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.

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

*Please remember: kids under 12 require supervision with this process, especially operating the oven.

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

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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.