I love Shrinky Dinks MORE as an adult than I did when I was a kid! Part of the magic NOW is that you can create your own Shrinky Dink designs – with a blank “canvas” of shrinking plastic! Gone are the limitations of gnome, butterfly, and race car drawings included in the Shrinky Dink kit back in 1980-something. So grab your colored pencils, Sharpies, and blank shrink-plastic sheets….we have some Shrinky Dink Easter Charms to create!
Let’s Do This: Shrinky Dink Easter Charms
- Baking Sheet
- Oven (I know – but I have to spell out the obvious. I’m a mom)
Clearly, the design possibilities are endless! I have two girls that LOVE jewelry, so we opted to make charms for a necklace and bracelet. These Shrinky Dink Easter Charms also make great key chains, book mark tags, or backpack charms. Here are a few critical things to remember when you are making your designs:
- The designs will shrink about 50 – 65%, so make them BIG enough that the final SHRUNKEN design will be the size you want. I have a young artist that didn’t quite grasp this concept, and we ended up with several microscopic “dots” after baking the designs. Sometimes it takes first-hand experience to understand the magical shrinking process.
Before baking measurements:
After baking measurements:
- If the plastic sheets you get are smooth and shiny, I find that sanding them slightly helps colored pencil adhere to the plastic MUCH better. I even do it with Sharpie markers so the ink “sinks into” the plastic instead of just lying on top. After baking, the colors seem to be much more permanent. Just sand it on one side – don’t take chances with your precious designs. I like to use a fine to medium-grit nail block because the “bendy” quality makes it easier to sand a flat piece of plastic.
- To make charms DON’T FORGET to punch a hole into the design BEFORE baking! The designs will shrink, so don’t be afraid to make a hole that seems a little big. It will shrink too.
- Colors become more VIBRANT (and DARK) as the design shrinks. Just think about it as “ink concentration”. Keep this in mind when using dark colors. Just sayin’.
- Bake your designs according to directions on the shrinking plastic sheets. Mine bake for 2 – 3 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t forget to WATCH your designs SHRINK! It will be the most mesmerizing moments in your day. Probably.
- If your Shrinky Dink designs curl at the edges when they are baked, press them down with a spatula, wooden spoon, etc. You pick your favorite kitchen tool to FLATTEN your Shrinky Dink babies out.
- For design ideas and templates, scour the internet and coloring books. I use my cheapy-cheapy copier to reduce/enlarge designs so they shrink to just the right size. It’s trial and error – believe me. I’ve attached a very simple PDF file that I created for these Easter designs (and a few more….watch for future posts!)
Click here for template designs: Shrinky Dink Templates
And that’s really it! Once your designs are done, bake them according to package directions, then sit back and admire your beautiful Shrinky Dink designs! If you opt to make your charms into jewelry, it’s super easy to put a jump ring through the charms and attach them to a necklace or bracelet. Personally, we LOVE to add colorful beads to our necklaces, and that’s super fun to do with little ones. The beaded necklace below was make on STRETCHY CORD, that way it can be simply slipped over heads without using a clasp.
I LOVE this stretchy cord….because it’s NOT flimsy and hold ups well to lots of beading, stretching, and wearing!
And….that’s it! Easy peasy fun spring project!
Have fun with these Shrinky Dink Easter Charms and please post your comments, questions, and pictures below.