Shrinky Ornament How To and Template (and IF)

[17 Dec 2008 | By | 14 Comment(s) | 25,318 views ]

For my IF this week, Santa (who was flying a few weeks ago) is now hanging out on an suncatcher ornament. What a rambunctious little scamp :) (ok, stretching the theme again, I admit it!) This is done as a faux ‘shrinky-dink’, using the plastic lid from a to-go box (#6 plastic) and sharpie markers. See below for the ‘how-to’. This would be great to do with kids, for personalize ornaments for the grandparents!

Close upFinished, next to original template
And the drawing, colored in Photoshop, just for fun:

If you want to make your own, here are some quickie directions. [I have very detailed directions, ideas and experiments in my Shrinky Dink Test Lab from earlier this year. Oh, and I did an instructable too if 6 pages of experiments are too much for you, it’s most of the basic info in one place.]

If you want the Santa template for your own use, you can download it as a pdf here! (Wanna cheat and have it colored for you? See the bottom of this post)

Here’s how I did it (and do see the pics of the process below):

I sketched out an ornament design at about 3x the size of the final ornament. Then I used black sharpie to trace over the lines for my final design (you could skip this step though). Then took my #6 plastic lid (must have that 6 in the recycle triangle impressed in it), and taped it to the drawing. I traced over the inked drawing with the black sharpie.

I then cut out the circle, and punched a hole (using a typical office hole punch) in the top for hanging.

Then I turned it over and ON THE BACK colored it with colored sharpies. (This way, you don’t have to worry about smearing the black ink). I left the things that would be white as clear. (One hack – I didn’t have a peachy sharpie for the face, so I used orange and just smeared it out while it was still wet, so it was very light.)

Then into the 225 degree toaster oven on a sheet of parchment paper. Almost immediately the circle started to shrink/warp. Give it time, and it will flatten itself back out again.

When flat and shrunk, I removed it and pressed down to make sure everything was flat.
Just add a cute ribbon, and it’s ready to go! You can optionally seal these, but it’s not really that necessary if you’re just going to hang it on a tree once a year.
Another idea I had was spray painting the back (the colored side) white, so the clear parts actually show through as white.

Pics of the process here (click through for larger)
Shrinky Santa Tutorial
1. Sketch, traced over with Sharpie, 2. Trace on plastic with sharpie, 3. A view of both, 4. Cut out circle, then hole punch it, 5. Turn over, and color, 6. Finished coloring, ready for baking, 7. Into 200-250 degree oven, 8. Starting to warp/shrink, 9. All Shrunk!, 10. Purdy, aint it., 11. Close up, 12. Finished, next to original template

Again, if you try this just for fun with the kids, this is all you really need, but if you want to really do something that you don’t want to accidentally mess up, you may want to read my Doodle Earrings instructable, which has alot of the ‘gotchas’ — and/or the ShrinkyDink test lab.

Are you lazy and just want cute ornaments without all this work? Go buy Printable Shrink Plastic Sheetsfrom your local craft store, and print this (lightened) colored version out on them! (Click through to download from Flickr)
Santa- Lightened to 50%, Suitable for Shrinking

All the Shrinky Dinks Test Lab Posts
Faboo Shrinky Bracelet
Shrinky Wine glass markers

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14 Comment(s) »

  • Crafting with Cat Hair [] :

    I must try to make Shrinky Dinks again. This one is just too cute!

  • [] :

    Oh how cute, I love Shrinky-Dinks! I’ll be linking.

  • Eric Barclay [] :

    You rock. I’m going to do this with the kids.

  • Peter Breese [] :

    Fantastic Dot! Looks like loads of fun.

  • indigene [] :

    So cute and what a great post!

  • yoon see [] :

    Yeah, thumb up. I am going to do it too with my fush….

  • yoon see [] :

    Sorry with my fish…when I am bored, they accompany me!!!
    Sunny again because of your post!

  • Amy C [] :

    such a fab idea this is great.
    Love the fake shrinky idea as our recycling dosnt accept #6 plastic.

  • ValGalArt [] :

    YOU are so rambunctious! You really are the most fun :) i love everything you do and I am sorry I haven’t participated in your wonderfulness but I have been dealing with family health problems and had to attend to that but i’m always impressed with all that you do :)

  • Gin [] :

    Hi there,

    We don’t have ‘Sharpies’ for sale around here, can you please tell me what kind of pen they are so I can substitute?

    Ta, and keep up the amazing and inspiring work!!!

  • Dot [] :

    Gin, Any kind of permanent marker will work! just one that you can write on the plastic and it stays!

  • Gord [] (elsewhere) discussed this :

    Make your own holiday shrinky-dink. The holiday spirit must be getting to me, excellent article tho –

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