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How To Use Stencils to Make Shrinky Dink Keychains

If you didn’t already know, one of the job requirements of being a mom is having psychic powers. My mom used to always say she had eyes in the back of her head anytime I’d question how she could possibly know something, but now as a mom myself, I know it’s true—you develop a spidey sense for trouble. For example, I psychically know that as soon as we get to about 24 hours before any major holiday, one of my children will tell me they have a sore throat. I also psychically know that after months of complaining about having to get up early to go to school, my kids will wake up at the crack of dawn on the first day of summer and demand to know what activities they’ll get to do that day. By mid-July, I’ll be standing amidst the wreckage of sidewalk chalk, slime concoctions, bikes, and empty bubble containers, shouting “are you not entertained??” like a modern-day Maximus Aurelius. Believe me, I’m fighting for my life out here with these kids! 😝 So I like to keep a few crafts up my sleeve that never seem to get old. As many times as we have ever done Shrinky Dinks, my kids are immediately focused and fascinated. There’s just something about watching those shapes shrivel up and shrink down that is just magic (I know it’s science, but it’s still magical ::looking::). 

One of my favorite things to do is let my kids choose a stencil design from my cookie collection and use that to draw their outline on the Shrinky Dinks paper. PYO designs are perfect for this, since they are already designed with the intention of being colored in. Kids can trace through the lines with pencil and then use a Sharpie to really draw everything in place afterwards. (Or simply place the Shrinky Dinks sheet on top of the stencil and trace the lines right over it, if that’s easier for your child.) If you have a kid that likes to freehand—let them have at it! Give them some colored markers to fill in the design, and if you’re feeling extra daring, swipe a thin coat of glue over the finished design and then add some glitter. I usually give each child a full sheet of Shrinky Dinks paper and let them go until they have filled it up with as much artwork as they like.

This is such a cute and easy craft for the kids. We have made keychains and tiny suncatchers, and my younger daughter likes to make little stands out of Play Doh for her creations so that they can stand up. I always know that on days I let them do Shrinky Dinks, they’re going to give me the thumbs up for one more day, at least lol. If only these psychic mom powers worked for lottery numbers…

Materials

  • Shrinky Dink paper
  • Markers in a bunch of colors
  • Stencils (optional, if your child happens to be an artiste and wants to freehand a design. Not optional for me, who can barely draw a stick figure.)
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch (if you want to make key chains)
  • Parchment-lined baking sheet
  • Elmer’s glue, paint brush, and holographic embossing glitter (optional)
  • Magnets (optional, but helpful)

Directions

1.  Place Shrinky Dink paper on a cookie sheet, and put a stencil in place over it. Hold in place with magnets. Use a pencil to trace the stencil lines onto the Shrinky Dink paper and then remove the stencil; use a Sharpie to darken all of the lines. Alternatively, you can place the Shrinky Dink paper over the stencil and use a Sharpie to trace the lines directly on that way. Do whatever works for you.

2.  Use markers to color in the design. If you want to add glitter, dab a tiny amount of glue wherever you’d like the glitter to be, then sprinkle on top. Shake excess glitter back into the container.

3.  Use scissors to cut the designs out, leaving a bit of space around the edge. If you want to make a keychain or a hangable suncatcher, hole-punch a hole somewhere on the edge of your design, but not too close to the edge.

4.  Place designs on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake at 325°F for approximately 3 minutes. The designs will curl up in the oven, but they will gradually flatten back out (mostly) towards the end of the 3 minutes. Once they are out of the oven, use a fondant smoother or something similar to press them fully flat while they are still hot.

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Comments

Blair Smith - August 4, 2022

Really interesting post!
———
The Cookie Countess replied:
Hello! We’re so glad you love it! Thank you for the kind words. – Hannah

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