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Small but Meaningful: Personalize Your Stuff with Shrinky Dink

Small but Meaningful: Personalize Your Stuff with Shrinky Dink

We all have these little trinkets, keychains, and charms we bring wherever we go. Each one has its own meaning and sentimental value, making it more than just a decorative piece in our bags and stuffs. Sometimes it’s hard to find a specific piece that really resonates with what we want and feel—from the designs and colors to the words and phrases that go with it. However, there’s actually something we can do to make one at home, which is in the form of a shrinky dink. 

If you have ever seen a TikTok video where someone is making a shrinky dink, you’ll know you can make a variety of designs of your choice. It means it can be personalized as you wish! But what exactly is a shrinky dink? 

Little Things Mean Shrinky Dinks

Examples of Shrinky Dink keychains.
Art and Photo Credits: yOruist/Pinterest

Shrinky dinks, as the name implies, are shrink plastic papers that shrink in size when baked or heated. The plastic paper also became thicker and harder without compromising the design or colors. It’s basically a DIY project where you can design whatever you want and create different kinds of artwork. Examples include keychains, charms, rings, pins, earrings, and more unique and meaningful pieces you add to your anik-anik collection. 

It was a popular craft project in the United States back in the ‘80s, but it’s making itself known again because of TikTok. Since many individuals are sharing their handcrafted shrinky dink process and results, a lot of viewers are inching to try it as well. It shows that making a shrinky dink isn’t just for kids; adults can enjoy it as well!

You could even make a business out of it! With its various outcomes, you can create a complete collection to sell. You can also try it as a hobby, drawing whatever you want, including characters. If you don’t draw well, there’s actually printable shrink paper to help you out!

Essential Shrinky Dink Supplies

Screenshots from a video of @xmaocat/TikTok

The supplies needed to make shrinky dinks are mostly at home already, except for the shrinking plastic paper sheets and a craft heat gun. Fortunately, you can use your oven to heat up your craft project. You can also recycle food plastic containers for a more environmentally friendly way of making the little things.

Color pencils or markers, a hole punch and pliers (if making a keychain), and scissors are also required. If you want it shiny, you can add UV resins too! Meanwhile, if you’re making pins and keychains, you need pin backs, keychain holders, and jumper rings. 

How to Create a Shrinky Dink?

Screenshots from a video of @pepow or moronnice/TikTok

It is designed to be simple for children, so the instructions are simple. You won’t even make a whole mess out of doing this! In just a few easy steps, you’ll have your own personalized shrinky dink.

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Firstly, you’re going to sketch out your design on the plastic sheets. Outline the edges and color them with color pencils or markers. Whatever works for you. After you’ve created your design, cut it out with your desired shape or the shape you drew. If you’re making a keychain, make a hole in the top after it. 

Once the designs are ready, you can heat them with either an oven or a craft gun. If you’re using an oven, bake it at 325 Fahrenheit for 1-3 minutes. If you’re using a craft gun, you can keep the design in place with a stick. Nonetheless, both need to flatten the piece out. 

After that, you can add UV resins or skip to the part where you put the whole thing together—adding keychain rings or pin backs. And you are done! You will now have a new little thing to bring wherever you go.

Little things, such as shrinky dinks, can make us smile. Aside from the lovely and unique designs, it tells a meaningful story and allows us to personalize our items with our own characters. Make one now for yourself! 

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