To me, nothing reminds me more of arts and crafts time at school than making things in shrink plastic. The satisfaction of covering the sheet of plastic in your own designs and then seeing it shrink in the oven is one that I have actually yet to recreate in my adult life. It’s one of the most versatile crafting materials, as you can make just about anything from it – key chains, charms, brooches, you name it.
So, because we know that you’re all a very creative bunch, here are a couple of ideas to get you started with making shrink plastic (or Shrinky Dinks) doohickeys. If you haven’t tried it, it’s tonnes of fun. If you have, get ready to feel nostalgic.
Writer and crafter Cthuliz (love that name) was inspired by this dinosaur necklace tutorial (which in turn was inspired by a Tatty Devine necklace). She made her own Parasaurophus template, based off a an illustration of a fossil. It’s a really cool idea, and the result is very impressive. Be aware though – it’s not the easiest to make.
Have a go at Cthuliz’s template, or search for an illustration (or image) of a fossil that you’d love to make into a necklace.
Craftster Nooo got her inspiration from teh bestest kittehs in teh wurld, and made a whole bunch of Shrinky Dink LOLcats charms. I absolutely adore these, and I may have a crack at making them myself – I can never resist the “I haz a flavor” kitteh.
You can take after Nooo and make moar creashuns of the LOLcat kind, or adapt your own favourite meme into a charm tag. Just… perhaps shy away from making a Slenderman one? Maybe?
Right in time for the new series of Doctor Who, I found One Geek Girl’s amazing Tenth and Eleventh Doctor-themed charms. The fact that there’s even a fish fingers and custard charm on the Eleven bracelet makes me very happy indeed.
Suggestions for other Doctor charms: jelly babies, Bessie the car, a Weeping Angel, Adiposes, … Really, there’s a lot of options you can go for here.
Our Nerd Home (which is an awesome blend of geek culture and home decor) has this lovely tutorial for DIY shrink plastic cameo necklaces. Again, lots of options you can go with. And it would make a lovely handmade gift to a fellow geek.
I found this Super Mario Brothers -themed tutorial on Doodle Craft. These were made with shrink plastic for printers, which is a very easy way to go about if you don’t have faith in your drawing skills. I think these ones would be ideal for making into key chains. That way, whenever you successfully open your door, you can let out a little Marioesque “Ya-hoo!”
You can get plenty of different kinds of shrink plastic sheets on Amazon. And these kits at Hobbycraft are ideal for getting kids into creating with shrink plastic – as I said, you’ll feel very nostalgic…