Art, Art activities, Craft, DIY, Make, Create, & Share!

Shrinky Dink Pets!

Create your own magnet or key-chain of your furry friend on shrink film! Use a photo of your pet to trace an outline on shrink film, color you pet in, and then place your shrink film in an oven to shrink! Turn these mini pet masterpieces into a key chain or magnet! Learn more about Shrink film here!

What you’ll need:

  • A sheet of sanded shrink film (Learn how to make your own here)
  • Magnets and/or Key-chain pieces
  • Colored pencils
  • A fine point permanent marker 
  • A photo of your pet approx. 3.5”x5” or 4”x6” 
  • Scissors 
  • Hole punch & Pliers if making a key-chain
  • Oven or Craft Oven

Step one: Print a picture of your pet – a head shot will work best, with clear details & good lighting. If you don’t have a pet or picture of your pet you can use a picture from a book or magazine! The photo should be at least 3.5”x5” or similar – I wouldn’t go much smaller as it will make details more difficult!  

Step two: Place your shrink film over your pet’s photo with the rough/sanded side facing up. We will want to color on the sanded side! 

Step three: With your permanent marker trace your pet; Tracing from a photo can be tricky – we want to include some details but not EVERYTHING, especially with shrink film as our artwork will become very small and details become more condensed. Focus on outlining the main features of your pet (like the eyes, nose, coloration spots) and the main outline.  

Step four: Slide your outline off you photo to see what it looks like without your photo! Sometimes this helps us see what more we need to add! If needed, finish up any lines or details with the marker. You can also use the marker to color in any black areas (such as the pupils). *Tip: When making eyes be sure to leave a little white dot to help make them look more alive!  

Step five: Color your pet in! Use the colored pencils to add color to your pet – you can make your drawing any color you’d like or similar to your pet’s real colors! The colored pencils will look very light on the shrink film – this is okay, when we “shrink” your film the colors will become more vivid and bright!  

Step six: Be sure to color any white areas of your pet in with the white colored pencil – it’s hard to see on the shrink film before it’s shrunk but if we don’t add the white colored pencil these areas will look grey! You can also layer and blend your colored pencils to create different shades and shadows!  

Step seven: Once you have your pet colored in you can add a background or outline! 

Step eight: Cut out your pet – I like to leave a little border space around my drawing but you don’t have to do this. If you’re going to make your piece into a key-chain, make sure to leave an area where you can punch a hole!  

Step nine: If you’re making this into a key-chain or anything else that you need a hole for, use a hole punch to create your hole before baking!

Step ten:  Bake your shrink film! Place your shrink film in an oven @ 325* F for just a few minutes – You can bake it on a piece of parchment paper or tin foil on a baking sheet. You’ll notice your shrink film crinkles up and then will flatten back out as a much smaller and thicker piece of plastic. Once flat remove your shrink film & let cool. 

Step eleven: Finish your shrink film! Add your key-chain piece by connecting the jump ring to your shrink film and key-chain part with pliers. Or adhere magnets to the back of your piece to create a magnet! These could also be made into zipper pulls, ornaments, hair clips, pins, necklaces, earrings, etc.! Check out other ideas for shrink film projects here!

Art, Art activities, Craft, DIY, Drawing, Make, Create, & Share!

Shrinky Dinks

These have always been a student favorite! It’s like a magic art project – you draw on the shrink film, heat it up, and watch it shrink! Shrink film is so much fun, there’s really a lot of different ways you can create with it – it’s not just for kids!

What is it? Shrinky dinks are a type of plastic – polystyrene. Certain types of polystyrene are often used in food packaging and containers, it’s got the number 6 plastic code…..which also means if you have a take out container or some other type of plastic with the number 6 plastic code, you can make a shrinky dink out of it!

You can also buy Shrinky Dink sheets. I used the “Ruff n’ Ready” sheets. They’re my favorite, with one side that has a sanded surface, which, takes mediums really well! However, you can re-create this with recycled plastics too – just use some sandpaper to scratch up your plastic!

Shrinky dinks shrink about 1/3 their original size when heated – I use a small craft oven; a toaster oven, kitchen oven, or heat gun, can also be used! When they shrink, the colors on your artwork become more condensed, making them darker. I typically use colored pencils or markers on the shrink film. I’ve also use chalk pastels and pens. You can cut shapes out of the shrink film before you shrink it, as well as punch holes in it for key chains, etc.

For this project I’m making a key chain but check out some other ideas of things you can create at the bottom of the post! I’ll also be drawing my own design but as this shrink film is transparent you can also trace a page from a coloring book, magazine or book!

What you need:

  • Shrink Film, or #6 Plastic
  • Scissors
  • Hole Punch
  • Colored pencils or Markers & a Sharpie pen
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Key Chain – unless you plan to make something else!

Step one: Cut your shrink film to the desired size – keep in mind it shrinks to about 1/3 it’s original size! Trace your piece of shrink film on a sheet of paper.

Step two: Draw your design on your sheet of paper with a pencil – once you’re happy with your design trace it onto your shrink film with a sharpie pen. You can tape your shrink film to your paper to help keep it from moving!

Step three: Color in your shrink film design – I used colored pencils but you can use markers or pens as well!

Step four: Once your design is colored, punch a hold in your shrink film, using a hole punch, so you can turn it into a key chain later!

Step five: You can also cut out around your design if desired!

Step six: Bake your shrink film! 325* F for just a couple minuets – You’ll notice it crinkles up and then will flatten back out as a much smaller and thicker piece of plastic.

Let your shrink film cool for a few minuets. It’s fun to see how much it shrinks compared to your original drawing!

As it shrinks your colors also become more condensed, so they appear darker!

Step seven: Add your key chain pieces to your shrink film!

Trace a coloring book page instead of drawing your own design

Besides a key chain you could also turn your Shrinky Dinks into zipper pulls, magnets, pins, hair clips, jewelry, mini artworks, or anything else you can think of! I use the Shrinky Dink “Ruff n’ Ready” variety but they also offer several other types that you can use for different techniques!

Send me your Shrinky Dink creations to add to the Followers Gallery!