Shrinky Dinks are definitely a blast from the past for many of us and a great open-ended craft material to create a special gift for anyone on your list. The Shrinky Dink paper is truly inexpensive, only $6 for 10 sheets. Each sheet will make nearly a dozen designs depending upon the size.
You will need:
Shrinky Dink pages- we used the Ruff 'N Ready product
permanent makers- we used fine tipped Sharpies as well as Sharpie brush tip markers for our younger participants, and metallic sharpies and metallic PRANG markers.
1/8" hole punch
jewelry jump rings and lanyards snap hooks
small needle nose or jewelry pliers
brown paper sack or parchment paper
This activity is adaptable to nearly all age groups. Younger children can scribble on the surface and the adult can cut it into a shape and punch the hole.
This design was completed by a young child. It was originally a 4" x 4". The artist used a red brush tip marker and the rough side. Then he turned the square over and added black with a fine tipped Sharpie. We punched in a corner to give a diamond appearance and baked. The ink on the smooth and rough side looked fantastic after baking. The only difference we noticed is that you can't see the black ink on the rough side so doing it that way doesn't make the object reversible.
We had a toddler come visit our office and create a great design. He used both brush tip and fine tip Sharpies. His mother made a frame with Sharpies and cut the edges. The young artist helped punch the holes, using a regular size punch with a little help.
His mom made him a Thomas the Train design to hang in his window, by tracing a clip art image.
Using a 1/8" hole punch makes a smaller hole if you will be making a piece of jewelry. You will need to use a jump ring.
If you have a regular hole punch that works as well for most other items, although you may need jump rings because the hole will be too small to fit on a key ring.
Shrinky Dinks shrink about 50% so make your projects twice as large as you want the finished product.
Here are some designs before baking, some were drawn freehand and others were traced.
Bake in an oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 1-5 minutes.
We baked for 3 minutes.
Placing a piece of parchment paper over the designs while baking keeps them from bubbling and curling up onto themselves. This will be especially important with larger designs.
Be ready with a spatula and press down on each one within the first 30 seconds.
Pressing with a spatula was less important once we began baking with the parchment paper cover.
Then we applied a clear spray paint to the rough side with the ink......
Five of the designs didn't make it because we added too much Krylon clear, gloss spray paint all at once. A light coat, a little at a time is best with the spray a few feet from the shrunk piece.
FYI- we also tried clear coat polish, but that smeared the ink.
Later, we tried Martha Stewart Satin enamel spray. It worked well and didn't run colors, even with a heavy coat.
In the end we decided that spraying the surface was not necessary so it it not listed as a needed material.
Attach the jump rings by prying open and closing with small pliers.
Attach a lanyard snap hook if using on a key chain, zipper pull or back pack.
Or use as jewelry and leave only the jump ring and attach to a necklace or bracelet.
Look at all of those awesome, personalized gifts!