Mini Shrinky Ornaments

by Noreen Doll.

Mini shrinky ornaments are perfect for Advent Calendars, as well as the tips of branches on a Christmas tree.

And they would be perfect for little girl’s jewelry, key chains, backpack or cell phone dangles, or zipper pulls.

More ideas for using them are hair barrettes and package decoratiions.

And these mini ornaments are something kids and adults can make together.

Look through coloring books, childrens’ books, or magazines for pictures to trace, or encourage your children to use their creative ideas for these ornaments.

I used these mini ornaments for some of the ornaments on the advent calendar I made for my kids.

It would make a fun family time to create them together during the week between Thanksgiving and the first of December.

What You Need

Shrink Plastic in clear, opaque/frosty, or white

Colored Pencils or Permanent Markers (I like Sharpies)

Pictures to Trace

Masking Tape


Paper Punch

What You Do

1. Find a picture you want to trace or draw one on a sheet of paper.

2. Place a sheet of shrink plastic on top of the picture and use a couple of small pieces of masking tape to hold the plastic to the paper. You don’t want the plastic to move while you are coloring it.

I used opaque or frosty shrink plastic.

3. I like to trace all the lines in black before I fill in the color, because it defines the areas of color.

If you aren’t sure about how you want it, make a couple of test pieces, trying different ways and then shrink them to see the result.

4. When you add the color, don’t color all the way to the traced lines, but leave a bit of space.

The color intensifies when the mini shrinky ornament is shrunk and can make details difficult to see.

In the two photos just below, the bear on the left is colored with pencil, and the bear on the right is colored with a Sharpie.

Color before shrinking.

Color after shrinking.

Light colors will look darker after shrinking. You can see how very dark the darker one became after it was shrunk.

5. Be careful to not rub your hand over the colored areas as you work, as the Sharpie ink takes a few minutes to dry.

6. After you’ve finished coloring, let your pieces dry a few minutes and then cut them out – using a pair of scissors.

7. Punch a hole in the top using a regular size punch.  Remember, the hole will shrink as well as the ornament.

8. Place a piece of foil or brown paper bag on a cookie sheet and lay your ornament on top.

9. Bake.  Be sure an adult does the baking part!

Follow the directions on your shrink plastic package for oven temperature.

I have 2 different brands of shrink plastic.  One says to bake at 250 degrees, and one says use 325 degrees.

The 250 degree oven didn’t work very well – it didn’t get hot enough to melt the plastic very well.  When I put the plastic back in and turned the oven to 325 degrees, the ornament finished melting properly.

Don’t panic if your plastic curls up into a ball.  Leave it in the oven and it will relax flat. If not, gently pry apart any edges that are stuck together. (I use 2 forks.)

Sometimes it needs  a little help to get flat.  If it looks like a bowl and won’t relax further, remove it from the oven and turn it over.  Press down in the center if you can.

Put it back in the oven and allow it to flatten.  If necessary, you can use a spatula to finish flattening the ornament if it is almost flat, while it is still warm.

If your mini shrinky ornaments will be used for jewelry or dangles, give them 2 light coats (Very Light – as the color may run) of acrylic spray, allowing them to dry between coats.

This will help prevent the color chipping off.


Usually the plastic shrinks to about 1/4 of its original size, and is about 4 times as thick. However different brands shrink differently.

You can make an actual size ruler from shrink plastic, and then shrink it to determine the amount of shrinkage.

Or you can make a test piece before you start your actual project. For the ornaments shrinkage amount doesn’t really matter so much, though you don’t want advent calendar ornaments too big.

If the mini plastic ornament isn’t shrinking properly, relax.  Give it time to finish its job.

If that isn’t working, then turn the oven heat up a little to help it along.

Noreen Doll

Crafty Journal

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  1. Hi Noreen! What a crafty and inspiring blog you have – I love that you have your own style, and not just going with the flow, it’s lovely to see new ideas! Thank you so much for your kind comment on my blog! P.S. i think that you made the bug scoop for me! It’s genious! Have a wonderful day

  2. You are having so much fun with these shrinky projects. I am going to have to give this a try too. Thanks for sharing.

  3. So cute! I remember these from when I was a kid.

  4. Oh!! This is sooo cute!

    Thank you so very much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality!

  5. Came over from DIY. I didn’t know you could still buy shrinky sheets. I used to love making jewelry out of these. Thanks for a great memory!

  6. I never heard of shrinky ornaments before – but love the bears and Santa is pretty darn cute too! Thanks for showing us how! Maybe I’ll do with my grand daughter! Thanks for sharing your creative inspiration with Sunday’s Best – you helped make the party a success!

  7. I found you from the diydreamer’s linky party! I remember buying shrinky dink kits as a kid, but I love the idea of making our own with our children. I’ve pinned this craft idea to Pinterest, so my children and I can make them in the future. Thanks for sharing!

  8. A zipper pull! What a great idea! My son’s zipper broke just a while ago. Where do you find this plastic? Thank you for sharing! I’m visiting from Lil Luna’s link up :)

  9. Hi BeccaMarie, I think you could find shrink plastic (one brand is called Shrinky Dinks) at most craft stores, such as Hobby Lobby or Michaels. Here are a couple of online places to find it, and I think it can be found on Amazon as well.

    Have fun with your project!

  10. Tara@Tales of a Trophy WIfe says:

    I remember making these as a kid-good times:)

  11. I love shrinkadinks! Isn’t that what they used to be called!? :) Thanks for linking up!

  12. I was just talking about Shrinky Dinks the other day! Love the idea of using them in an Advent calendar!

  13. Thank you for sharing your charming project at Potpourri Friday at 2805!

  14. So cute! I remember shrinky dinks. I bet my kids would love this project. Thanks so much for sharing at Creative Thursday this week. Have a wonderful weekend.


  15. I love these! Thank you for sharing at our
    Pinteresting Party!

  16. Very cute!!!! Pinned! :-)

  17. Nice tutorial! I didn’t know you could use colored pencil — would expand the color palette a lot. Thanks so much for sharing on Busy Monday!

  18. Love the idea of using them for zipper pulls!
    Thanks so much for linking up at I Gotta Create!
    <3 Christina

  19. What a fantastic idea! Thank you for sharing this at my Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Hope to see your prettiness again on Monday. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  20. So Fun!
    You’ve been featured on DIY Thrifty Thursday at
    Hope to see you again this week!


  21. Great idea. I would like to invite you to enter my HomeGoods 50 dollar gift card giveaway. The card can be used at TJ Maxx and Marshalls as well.

    Please visit my site to enter :)

  22. Hi Noreen,

    As a child of the 80s, I lived for shrinky dinks… :) Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    Thanks for sharing at Creative Juice last week. I featured your project tonight and I will also be sharing it via all my social media outlets.

    Have a lovely evening,

  23. Thank you all.. I appreciate all your comments! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the revival of Shrink Art. There is so much you can do with it. Please come back and visit again.


  24. These are so cute! Thanks for sharing at Saturday Show and Tell. I hope you be back this week with more great stuff!

  25. We love shrinky dinks!! So fun! We appreciate you linking up to our Strut Your Stuff Saturday link party! Please come back again soon! -The Sisters

  26. I think we will have lots of these for our tree this year!

  27. So cute! Thanks for sharing this great tutorial at my party at House on the Way. Have a great weekend!

  28. I love these…they are so cute for not only the kids, but for us too :) I would like to invite you to our Christmas party/giveaway…hope you can make it Noreen!

    ~ Julie

  29. These look great! I love the idea of tracing Christmas pictures for them and they turned out spectacular! Thanks for linking up at my Some Kind of Wonderful party! These sure are wonderful!

  30. forgot about these, thanx for the memory.

  31. Great idea to use the shrinky plastic for ornaments!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  32. We’ve still never done the shrinky dink crafts yet, but you have such cute stuff. Next time we’re at Michaels I’m gonna have to pick some up—you’ve inspired me 😀

  33. Great idea! I picked up some shrink paper after your jewelry post last week. I love the idea of ornaments. I can now have mini Christmas trees decorated in themes. This is exciting, thanks for the great idea.

  34. i never thought of tracing coloring pages to create them. brilliant! thanks so much for the ideas.

  35. I remember doing these as a kid! So much fun. This would be great to share with my own kids. :-)

  36. Love this idea! I’ve actually chosen it as a winning feature on ‘Or so she says…’. Stop by the blog tomorrow to check it out and share again. Your post will also be featured on Facebook and Pinterest, as well.


  37. These are do cute. It would be a great kids project. Thanks so much for sharing at Wednesday’s Adorned From Above Blog Hop. This weeks party starts at 12:01AM on Wednesday. Have a great week.
    Debi, Joye and Myrna (The Busy Bee’s), Linda (Two Succulent Sisters)

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