Skinamarinky Shrinky Dink

Happy 2018! Whew what a whirlwind the past few weeks have been. Both of our kids were home for the holidays so it was an extra special year. Lots of food, laughter and conversation…makes my heart so happy. Our daughter is an elementary school teacher in Australia and she is spending part of her ‘summer’ holiday with us. She’s quite the crafty girl too so together we can turn what was once a contained craft room into an epic explosion of creative sprawl. The projects creep onto the kitchen counter, then cover the dining room table and gradually, bits of crafty goodness spread from room to room on the soles of our shoes and shirt sleeves. It’s always so much fun.

This visit, my daughter and I became obsessed over Shrinky Dinks. Yep…that wonderful 1970’s creation that allows you to color a picture on a sheet of polystyrene plastic, pop it in the oven and watch it ‘magically’ curl, shrink and flatten into a hard plastic mini version of the original creation. So cool… and addicting! There really should be a warning label on this stuff because it is serious craft crack. One of the best things about Shrinky Dinks is that they give you a perfectly good excuse to sit and color for hours and coloring is so relaxing… and fun…and you can chat and laugh and eat and drink while you’re doing it. Seriously, what a perfectly wonderful way to spend an afternoon (or two…).


Shrinky Dink Coloring and Lunch
The perfect bad-for-you, fond memory inducing, coloring-all-day lunch:
Peanut butter and jelly on white squishy bread and Cheetos.
(Don’t forget to wipe your fingers)


General Shrinky Dink Tips

Of course, being the curious craft happy gals we are, we had to experiment with the Shrinky Dinks before settling on our preferred method. Here’s what we discovered.


Coloring Images


Image from Kaiser Colour: Hello Hipster Colouring Book

Google ‘coloring images’ + topic (i.e. cats) to get a ton of image options to re-size, print and color. My daughter found some really fun adult coloring books and we resized the images and printed them out on our printer. You can also draw your own images but remember, you will need to trace everything with a Sharpie AND cut out the image so don’t get too detailed. Your image will shrink by about 65% (finished item is 1/3rd the size of the original)


Coloring Mediums


Shrinky Dink Charm Making Supplies
Supplies For Shrinky Dink Charms

We tried various permanent markers, including Copics, but in the end we liked the look of colored pencils the best. The coloring done with markers turned very dark when baked, making it difficult to see details. No matter what medium you use, the colors will darken when baked. We got the best results when using light to medium shades.


Tracing Your Image


Coloring and Tracing Shrinky Dinks
Colored Pencils and Ultra Fine Sharpie


An ultra-fine black Sharpie was our favorite product for tracing the images. For crisp, clean tracing lines, we found it best to color first then trace. Coloring after tracing often erased or smudged the Sharpie lines. And yes, you really do need to trace your image.


Cutting and Punching Holes

Get yourself a nice little pair of micro tipped scissors. We love LOVE love the Cutter Bee’s. The Shrinky Dink plastic can tear so go slow and be careful turning corners.

A 3/16″ hole punch was the perfect size for running wire, cord or jewelry findings through. For ribbon, go bigger. For thread, go smaller. Just keep in mind; the hole will shrink to 1/3 of it’s pre-baked size.


Shrinky Dink Shrinkage


Shrinky Dinks Shrinkage
Finished Product is 1/3rd of The Original Size

Your finished Shrinky Dink will be ABOUT 1/3 of it’s original size so a 3″ tall original image will be about 1″ tall after baking. Each ‘batch’ of Shrinky Dinks may shrink a little bit differently (probably due to slight differences in the oven temperature or baking time). Bottom line, if you want two Shrinky Dinks to match in shrinkage (like for earrings), make sure you bake them in the same batch. (Yep, we learned this one the hard way.)


Baking Your Shrinky Dinks



Watching the Shrinky Dinks bake is kind of magical – no matter how old you are.

We found that your really need to use a solid cookie sheet rather than a perforated (holey one) and parchment paper rather than aluminum foil. Every hole or wrinkle under your Shrinky Dink will leave a mark on your piece so it’s best to have a smooth baking surface. When you take your cookie tray out of the oven, immediately press a flat item (like a book or a stamping block) onto the top of each piece to insure it is flat. You only have about 10 seconds to do this so be quick.



Finished Shrinky Dink Projects

Shrinky Dinks make the perfect charms. We used ours to make earrings and wine/charms but the possibilities are endless. My daughter came up with over 100 different image ideas for earrings that coordinating with her schools curriculum – too fun! I wish I had a teacher like her in primary school.


Shrinky Dink Earrings
Tip Note: See how the kitty’s are slightly different sizes? They were baked in two different batches.


Shrinky Dink Kitty Earrings


Secure the jump rings to your Shrinky Dink Charms then use this type of earring clasp, for quick and easy change-out. One pair of earrings with an endless array of options – Sweet!


Shrinky Dinks Wine Charms
Wine/Cocktail Charm Supplies: 22 gauge craft wire, crimp beads (large enough for two pieces of wire), 6 mm jump rings and coordinating crimp beads (large enough to fit two pieces of wire through)


And now for a little refreshment after a long day of coloring. Hey! Coloring is hard work… I got a callus and Ashie has a cramp in her thumb! I think a recovery beverage is in order don’t you?


Shrinky Dink Cocktail Charms


Fun Comment Question:
When is the last time you used Shrinky Dinks and what did you make?

Answer in the comment section below and don’t forget to subscribe at the top right side bar. Cheers!


  1. Veronica | 15th Jan 18

    I don’t remember these from the 70’s! These are darling. Are all of materials available from places like Michael’s or Joanne’s or best purchased on-line?
    This looks super fun. Thank you!! Love, love, love.

  2. Tania | 13th Jan 18

    I love Shrinky Dinks and actually, you reminded me that I have some!!


  3. Maria Conti | 13th Jan 18

    That was supposed to be Happy New Year!

  4. Maria Conti | 13th Jan 18

    What fun and with your daughter 🙂 <3

    Thanks for the inspiration and Happy to you and your whole family, Hugs M

  5. Vikki | 13th Jan 18

    That looks like so much fun and I do remember them from the 1970s. Pour another drink, I’ll be right over.

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