Crafts,  Kids + Family

The Best Shrinky Dink Ideas

Remember Shrinky Dinks? When many of us were kids, Shrinky Dink paper was a really fun and simple craft idea that we loved doing. Well, it’s back and just as much fun as ever! Today, I’m sharing a ton of fun shrinky dink ideas to help you get started making the most adorable crafts with your kids.

Collage of shrinky dink craft ideas

My kids love playing with shrinky dink paper. And I love having a DIY project we can all do together! They first discovered it when I grabbed a little craft kit for them at Target a few months back. But, we soon found that you can easily buy shrinky dink sheets on Amazon and make your own! It’s so easy to make your own shrinky dink crafts, so today I’m teaching you how. I’m also sharing a ton of shrinky dink ideas to help inspire you and your kids.

What is shrinky dink paper?

Shrinky dink shrink film sheets are special sheets of polystyrene plastic (aka: styrofoam) that you can use to make shrinky dink crafts. You decorate the paper however you want, then you place it in the oven for a few minutes at a low temperature and magically, it shrinks! Your designs stay fully intact, but the paper shrinks from the original size down to about 1/3 of the size it was. The kids think it’s the coolest thing they’ve ever seen, and I have to admit I get pretty excited watching it happen, too!

Shrinky dinks crafts are really quick and easy, and it’s guaranteed to be a win with the kids. It makes a great gift idea for mom or dad, grandma or grandpa…or even their friends! Let’s learn how to do it!

Shrinky Dink Instructions

*Note: The exact shrinky dink instructions will vary a little bit depending on the brand you purchase. But, largely, they’re all the same!

  1. Grab a Shrinky Dink plastic sheet
  2. Decorate it however you like – print a design using an inkjet printer or draw something out with markers. See below for lots of ideas to get you started.
  3. Cut out your shape with scissors.
  4. If you’re using a design where you need to have a hole, use a hole punch to make it before shrinking the paper!
  5. Place in the oven. Place it on a cookie sheet pan on top of a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil. Instructions will vary but they usually need to bake for 1-3 minutes!
  6. Pull out your shrinky dink creations once they’ve shrunk. While they’re still on the baking sheet, you may need to use an oven mitt or a flat object to gently press on it and uncurl the edges. Do this while it’s still hot!
  7. Let it cool off, then enjoy!

What should you use to draw on shrinky paper?

We typically use colored Sharpie markers with our shrinky dink paper! The kids feel so special getting to use the permanent markers (because I never let them otherwise), and the colors stay really crisp. You can also use colored pencils or acrylic paint on shrinky dink paper!

Where to purchase shrinky dink paper

I got my shrinky dink paper right here on Amazon! It’s affordable and comes in a pack of 20 sheets, with markers and some accessories!

You can buy plain shrinky dink paper or kits that come with markers, keychains and more! Here are a few options:

Shrinky Dink Ideas: Crafts to Make With Shrinky Dink Paper

1. Shrinky Dink Rings

woman with rings on her hand made with shrinky dink paper

via Awesome Jelly

Grab some ring blanks and you can make any sort of ring you like with some shrinky dink paper! These would make such a fun gift for your kids to give to their friends! Get the instructions here!

2. Footprint Keychain

footprint keychains made with shrinky dink paper

via The Best Ideas for Kids

Want to preserve your little one’s sweet footprint forever with a really cute craft?! These little footprint keychains are so easy to make, and they’re perfect for you, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and anyone else who loves that tiny little baby. Learn how to make it here!

3. Dog Tags

black dog collar with a homemade dog tag attached

via Somewhat Simple

How cute is this DIY pet name tag made with shrinky dink paper? This post also has some great details about how to print on shrinky dink paper. So, be sure to check it out!

4. Jewelry Charms

You can make charms for any kind of jewelry with shrinky dink paper, including bracelets and necklaces! Even earrings! This little donuts and milk charm bracelet is a really charming idea. Learn how to make it here.

5. Ring Bowls

A flower-shaped plastic bowl for jewelry made with shrinky dink paper

via Alisa Burke

Okay, this one is just as cute for the adults! I absolutely love the idea of making these little ring bowls for a bedside table. I’d be just as excited to get in there and craft as my kids were! Learn how to make it here.

6. Cake Toppers

unicorn cake topper made with shrinky dink paper

via Southern Revivals

I LOVE the idea of making custom cake toppers for just about everything with shrinky dink paper. And, unicorns are always a win, too. Print out a template to trace and color in, and it’s guaranteed to be adorable. Mentally bookmarking this for our next birthday party! Get the tutorial here!

7. Fridge Magnets

rainbow handprint and footprint magnets on a fridge

via Crafty Morning

Magnets are always a win for kids crafts, and they make great gifts, too. These handprint magnets are so adorable, but of course you could make any design that suits your fancy! Learn how to make them here.

8. Name Tags (Great for Backpacks!)

simple and adorable name tags made with shrinky dink paper

via Lia Griffith

These little name tags would be great for anything – put them on a backpack, a water bottle, or just about anything else your kid needs to keep track of. There’s even a printable template for you! Get them here.

9. Christmas Decorations

diy mitten garland made with shrinky dink paper

via Handmade Charlotte

You can make all sorts of Christmas decorations with shrinky dink paper. This little mitten garland is absolutely precious. See the details here. You could also make tree ornaments, stocking tags, and more!

10. Bookmarks

christmas themed bookmarks made with shrinky dink paper

via Teacher Thrive

Who doesn’t need more bookmarks? I’m constantly losing mine and love the idea of having my kids make a couple for me to stash in my nightstand! These would also make the cutest DIY gifts for the kids to make around Christmastime. Learn how here.

Other Shrinky Dink Craft Ideas

Here are a few other things you can make with shrinky dink paper – they’d all make great gift ideas for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, and more!

  • Shrinky dink necklaces
  • Shrinky dink pins
  • Buttons
  • Gift tags
  • Zipper pulls
  • Coasters
  • Charms
  • Wine glass charms
  • Napkin holders
  • Name tags
  • Place settings
  • Christmas stocking tags
  • String light covers
  • Luggage tags
  • Garden markers
  • Hair barrette charms
  • Suncatchers
  • Belt buckles
  • Embellishments for wreaths
  • Miniature pictures

The only limit here is your creativity! Can’t wait to see what you can do with your own DIY shrinky dinks!

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