Making shrinky dinks is always a fun experiment! And these Recycled Shrinky Dink Ornaments are such a cute way to give a piece of your child’s art as a gift!
Shrinky Dink ornaments are a great low budget present. They cost almost nothing. You can typically find permanent markers for about $1 each, and if your budget is small, just buy a couple of colors. If you have a little bigger budget, you can buy a pack of permanent markers and have a wide variety of colors, for about $15 for 24 markers.
Shrinky Dink ornaments also make a great personalized gift for grandparents, teachers, or other important people in your child’s life. I loved seeing the adorable ideas my kids came up with to draw on their shrinky dink ornaments. I’m actually going to have a hard time letting the kids give these away!
I think this one is my favorite. Little Bug Bug (who is 6) drew this picture of her shopping with her grandma. I love the misspelled words, saying “I love you, Grandma,” as well as “I love pink.” This is such a great keepsake!
How to make DIY Recycled Shrinky Dink Ornaments
You will need (contains affiliate links):
Locate, wash, and dry #6 plastic containers. You will be able to see a 6 in the recycle arrows, if you’ve got the right plastic. Do not use any other number of plastic.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees, and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Cut circles or squares out of the plastic. The larger the initial object, the more the shape will be distorted, so I recommend starting with circles that are about 4 inches. Use a hole punch to make a hole in the top of each ornament.
Trace or draw anything on the circles, using permanent markers. Remember that the item will shrink to about 1/3 of the size, so don’t make anything too small. Below is a picture of some of our ornaments before they went in the oven, and after they came out. Can you believe the difference in size?
As you can see in these pictures, the colors also get much darker after shrinking, so take that into consideration as you work on your shrinky dink ornaments.
Place shrinky dinks on parchment paper and put in the oven for 2-3 minutes. They will initially fold up, and you’ll think they’re ruined. Be patient. After about 2 minutes they will unfold and flatten. Larger shapes will take longer, so if yours don’t unfold at the 3 minute mark, don’t worry. Just keep waiting.
I recommend you hang out by the oven with the oven light on, and go more by what you’re seeing than by the timer.
Once the shrinky dink ornaments have flattened out, pull them from the oven, and allow to cool before you touch them.
Use embroidery floss or baker’s twine through the hole to hang them.
Let your kids explore their creativity with this fun, recycled activity. My kids spent hours coloring dozens of ornaments, which was definitely a win for a close-to-free craft!
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