Shrinky Dinks!


After a few days of deep thoughts, today is a day to have some good old fashioned fun!

It’s also the day you get to open your first envelope (the one marked January 14, 2015). Inside you will find what appears to be a mild-mannered sheet of plastic. But this in no ordinary piece of plastic, friend! It’s the exact kind of plastic you need to make Shrinky Dinks! Woot!

Shrinky Dink Instructions

Step 1: Create your work of art.
You can make anything you want, whether it’s a freehand drawing or a tracing of a coloring book page or something downloaded from the interwebs. Draw on the rough side using any of the following materials: permanent markers, colored pencils, acrylic paints, or rubber stamps using alcohol-based permanent inks.

Step 2: Cut out your designs.
After you’ve finished your art, cut out your designs with scissors or a die-cutting tool. (You can even use a standard sized paper punch if you want to make jewelry.)

Step 3: Bake
A toaster oven is ideal for baking shrinky drinks, but your conventional oven will work too.

  • Preheat the oven to 325º F (163º C).
  • Cut a rectangle shape out of a brown grocery bag. (You could use construction paper, too.) Place your shrinky dink pieces, colored side up, on brown paper and place paper in tray or on a cookie sheet.
  • Put your shrinky drinks into the pre-heated oven.
  • Watch with delight as your shrinky dinks start to shrink. Bake approximately 1 to 3 minutes. After pieces lay flat, allow an additional 30 seconds of baking time to complete the process.
  • Remove the paper from the tray or cookie sheet and lightly press flat with folded paper or a pad of paper until the pieces have cooled (approximately 15 seconds).

Helpful Tips

– Upon baking, your creation will shrink to 1/3 of its original size and become 9 times thicker.

– Occasionally, a piece may stick to itself. If this happens, CAREFULLY reach into your oven and pull pieces apart. Allow piece to complete the baking process.

– When plastic is removed from the oven, it can be shaped or twisted (i.e. a napkin ring) You have about 10 seconds before the plastic hardens.

– If, after baking, you are not happy with the shape created, you can return the shrink dink pieces to the oven. Bake until the piece re-softens and lays nearly flat. (Approx 2-5 minutes.)

– You can etch designs into the plastic AFTER baking. Use the tip of an Exacto knife or etching tool. Sweep artist pencils across the surface of scratched areas. Wipe pencil dust off. Seal with clear acrylic spray.

– Shrinky dinks will NOT work in a microwave oven.

– Do not use crayons or water-based markers.

– You are limited only by your own imagination!

Share photos of your creations with us! You can upload photos that are under 1 megabyte. If you need to make your pictures smaller, this website will help you.

Share your Shrinky Dink masterpieces below!


  1. Katie Heruth Katie Heruth says:

    #mustbenice My husband bought me yoga passes for Christmas so I get to go to heat yoga twice a week when it’s about 10 degrees outside. #mustbenice

  2. Kate Russell Kate Russell says:

    This activity put a HUGE smile on my face. Thanks!

  3. Laurie Guest Laurie Guest says:

    I’ve got to get ready to hit the road for a few days but instead of packing I went all out on turning my logo into a shrinky dink desk display. It turned out beautiful but when I put it in the over a smoke explosion happened. Don’t know why, I’ve done dinkies many times. So now the kitchen is filled with smoke and it smells like plastic. I’m loading my suitcase and taking off now. (Cuz that is what a kid would do – not worry about it!) Wonder what the husband will think happened. #failedbuthavingfun

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  4. Michelle Grajkowski Michelle Grajkowski says:

    So fun! When I opened the envelope, I thought it was a transparency sheet, so I expected to pop on here to hear a lesson on transparency! I haven’t done shrinky dinks since I was a kid! Can’t wait to try this out. I think I might wait for my kids to come home so we can do it together. Thanks for the daily dose of fun!

    • Kim Kotecki Kim Kotecki says:

      Transparency… boy, I haven’t thought about those in years. I used to love cleaning the transparencies for the teachers in school. Hope you and the kids had fun!

  5. Kimberly McCue Kimberly McCue says:

    Looks like I’ll be supplying the cautionary tale lol. I think I made my drawings too small and/or baked them for too long. Thankfully I took a “before” picture so you can see what they were intended to look like! These are some characters that I draw (starting at the top left of the before picture and going clockwise) – Spot, Kimberly, Kiwi, Irwin, Skakick, Shorty, and Broxholm. The “after” image is if you would like to see these characters in funhouse mirror vision! I tried to get Irwin flattened out but ended up snapping him in half like a pretzel (Eek! I’m so sorry, Irwin!!!). I like the idea of the shrinky dinks, though – it was a nice surprise!

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  6. Michelle Grachek Michelle Grachek says:

    I know what my 6 year olds and I will be doing after dinner. Woo hoo! I opened this envelope while on a conference call this afternoon. I was like “What in the world is this for?” I am excited for some fun with my kiddos after dinner. I think it was Jason who said at a conference a couple of years ago “Life is about experiences, not stuff” I am trying to use the new year to make mine about that!

  7. Lynn Carter Lynn Carter says:

    My daughter Rosie drew all these with sharpies. It was quite an exercise in patience to watch them convulse and curl up in the oven, and then leave them there trusting they would flatten back out! I think I will glue mine to magnets.

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    • Kimberly McCue Kimberly McCue says:

      Those are really pretty! I’m glad you took a close-up of the flowers, that one’s my favorite!

      • Lynn Carter Lynn Carter says:

        Mine, too! She draws these overlapping mums in non-standard colors on a lot of things. I’m hoping she’ll cover a boring lampshade for me, but so far she’s hesitating because of the size. This morning she took several things to school to give to friends.

    • Neato-riffic!

    • Kim Kotecki Kim Kotecki says:

      These are super awesome! I love the idea of putting magnets on them. Rosie is quite the artist!!

  8. Becky Reisinger Becky Reisinger says:

    Here are the before and after…this was so much fun. After dinner, all five family members took part in drawing anything they wanted. They loved watching them curl up and shrink. Now everyone has their own little keepsake and they are asking me to get more “special” paper.

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  9. Mary Eickemeyer Mary Eickemeyer says:

    Since it is a month from Valentine’s day, I used my sheet of Shrinky Dink to see if a heart coloring sheet could work for a craft activity that I will need in early Feb. The heart did curl upon itself while baking and I did need to gently uncurl it during the baking time. I had just enough at the bottom of the plastic sheet to make me a #mustbenice daily reminder. :)

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  10. Jackie Ward Jackie Ward says:

    I am a little behind . . . yikes. I was thrilled to open my envelope & find shrink dink paper. Way cool! I love all the stories and creativity! What a great way to begin my week!

  11. Angela Dunlap Angela Dunlap says:

    I loved seeing everyone’s shrinky dinks. It’s way cool that some of you involved others in the making of these! I’m not an artist, so I downloaded a couple templates and chose a couple winter pictures and a couple Valentine’s pictures to trace and then color. I have crayons (didn’t use those for this project though) and coloring books that I love coloring in, but I haven’t colored anything in a long time, so this project allowed me time to do some coloring – meaning I got to focus on choosing colors rather than “Oh my gosh how am I going to get everything done!” Here are before and after pictures.

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    • Avatar Sally Van Rens says:

      I too have my own coloring books and crayons, and not just for my job. I love them as a great stress reliever and gives me something to color when my son asks me to color with him.

    • Kim Kotecki Kim Kotecki says:

      These are adorable, Angela! I love the little snowman!

  12. Molly Hughes Molly Hughes says:

    Playing with our favorite storybook characters…meet Piggie and Gerald!

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  13. Allie Henke Allie Henke says:

    This was a great activity!! My main goal was to not burn anything down or set off the smoke alarm which I am really good at!! It was a success no fire department needed.

  14. Monica Deal Monica Deal says:

    I finally found time to sit down with my girls to do this (hubby and son are both sick). We had a great time! We plan to use the “Smile, I love you” as a pick-me-up when someone needs it (if someone needs cheering up, that will surreptitiously be put somewhere they will find it). I got the idea from Where’s Pokey, who by the way, has been missing since the day we put up our Christmas decorations, which could mean he won’t be found until next Christmas.

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  15. Avatar Sally Van Rens says:

    When I opened up the envelope and saw the shrinky dink paper I felt so excited. I had not done these since I was a kid. We have not cooked ours yet as we need to finish coloring them between all the after school activities, but it gives us something to look forward to.

  16. Alaina Everitt Alaina Everitt says:

    I finally made my shrinky dinks! Better late than never.
    I too, used my favorite storybook characters but they are from the children’s book I wrote for my new husband on our wedding day. Given our dramatically different personalities and that he is from Minnesota and I am from Southeast Texas, Moose and Crawfish were born. We used the book as our guest book at the wedding, a definite moment of tinkering for me!

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