Shrinky Dink Handprint Craft

Shrinky Dink Handprint Craft

I remember Shrinky Dinks from when I was a child.  I loved coloring the templates in and watching them shrink right before my eyes.  It was very exciting to see.  While looking through Pinterest a craft came up using Shrinky Dink paper.  I instantly went back to my childhood and knew that I wanted to make something with my own children.  The craft happens to be a handprint key chain craft and if anyone knows me they know that I love making handprint and footprint crafts.  Your children are only little once and it goes so fast.  I love the idea of capturing their tiny hands while I can.  I knew this was something that I needed to try.

What is Shrinky Dink Paper?

Shrinky Dinky paper is a clear paper made out of polystyrene.  The polystyrene paper can be cut using household scissors.  When the paper is heated, it will shrink to 1/3 of it’s original size and become thicker.  The paper will retain it’s shape and color.

History of Shrinky Dinks

Shrinky Dinks were first invented in 1973 by Betty Morris and Kate Bloomberg, two housewives from Wisconsin.  They created it during a project with their sons.

Shrinky Dinks became popular in the 80’s and was licensed and manufactured by big toy companies such as Milton Bradley.

How do you make Shrinky Dink Art?

There are different ways to create Shrinky Dink Art.  You can purchase Shrinky Dink craft kits where children can color in the pre-made designs or you can purchase the blank sheets and children can create their own designs.

Children can use acrylic paints, stamp pads, permanent markers such as sharpies or felt tips pens to create their design.  It is not recommended to use oily crayons, or oil paints to create designs as they can burn while heating.

Once a child has finished creating their artwork, you can cut out around the image.  Once the image is cut out you place it on a cookie baking sheet and into the pre-heated oven.  Oven heat will depend on the brand of paper that you purchase, most will say 375.

I recommend leaving the oven light on so that children can watch the shrinking process.  It only takes about 2-3 minutes and is fund to watch.

Shrinky Dink Handprint Key Chain Craft

 I made this craft that I saw originally on Pinterest with my children ages 2 and 6.  They loved every part of it.

Materials needed

Clear Shrinky Dink Sheets
Multi-colored Stamp Pad big enough to fit a child’s hand.  You can also use a single color stamp pad
Optional Embossing Powder or glitter
Hole Punch
Baking sheet


Pre-Heat oven as directed on the package.  Most will required the oven to be set at 350.

Alert:  This craft requires adult assistance.  Children should not use the oven unsupervised.

Step 1:  The first thing you are going to do is stamp your child’s hand onto the stamp pad and stamp the Shrinky Dink paper.  After trying this several times, I found that a quick push down and pull up works best.  If you mess up don’t worry, you can wipe it clean with a paper towel. I messed up several handprints.

Also, the colors will darken after you bake them.  My child’s handprint looked very light on the paper before I bake it.

Step 2: I decided to write my child’s name next to the hand print with a sharpie and wrote their age.  Sharpies work really well on the Shrinky Dink paper.  Feel free to write what ever you want.  May a sweet message to a loved one.

Step 3: This step is optional.  You can sprinkle some embossing powder or glitter over your design.  Just use a little bit.

Step 4:  Cut out your design.  Leave a room for the hole punch.  After you cut out your design, punch a hole on the top or side using your hold puncher.

Step 5:  Time to bake!  This is the best part.  Place your designs on a baking sheet and then put into the oven.  Keep the oven light on and have the children watch as their designs shrink right before their eyes.  The shrinking takes about 1-3 minutes.  Designs will be hot when you remove them from the oven, please let them cool for a couple of minutes.

Baking tips

You can cover your design with parchment paper to help minimize curing.  If your designs curls flatten it with a spatula quickly after taking it out of the oven.

It is recommended that you cover your baking sheet with parchment paper.


Recommended Shrinky Dink Paper

My children enjoyed making their Shrinky Dink Handprints so much that I had to purchase another pack of paper.

When I did my project I used Grafix clear Shrink Film.  I highly recommended it.

This pack of Grafix Shrink Film comes with 50 sheets of shrink film. 50 sheets will last a very long time, even with regular use. I cut each piece into 4 pieces, then give them to my children

Shrink Film is 8.5 x 11 in size and ready to use.


If you prefer a craft kit try

Shrinky Dinks Mermaids

This craft kit comes with 10 pre-made designs that children can decorate and bake.

The designs include:

Sea creatures such as mermaids, dolphins, fish and more.

The craft kit also comes with 8 colored pencils

10 stands, to stand up your artwork after it’s baked.

You can also try:

Shrinky Dinks Jewelry Kit

This craft kit comes with 68 pieces


42 Shrinky Dink designs
8 colored pencils
4 hoops to make earrings
2 barrettes to make hair clips
Elastic string to make bracelets and necklaces
10 adhesive dots (for gluing)