Tutorial: Shrinky Dink Pendants (yes mine may be a Dauntless Train from Divergent)

I have been blown away by how many of my crafty friends that have never made shrinky dinks. For goodness sakes what kind of childhood did these people have?!! Are you one of them? Well if so shrinky dinks are super awesome sheets of special plastic that you draw on, cut out, and then bake in the oven (yes in the oven) and then they shrink before your eyes. Magic you say, I think so. What was a thin flimsy vellum like sheet gets transformed into hard plastic. It’s pretty cool. So fun to do with kids but that’s a whole other post altogether.

Today I want to share with you how to transform any image you like into a totally awesome pendant. Will it shock any one that I picked an image from Divergent one of my favorite YA book series to make into a pendant? I’ve gushed about this book series many, many times. But one images that is repeated throughout the books is that of the trains. The fearless members of the Dauntless faction jump on and off the moving trains as a part of every day life. (More on the book below.)

  • To make your own pendant first find (or make) an image you like. It will shrink to about 1/3 of the original size. If you want to make your own Dauntless train necklace, you can find the image I used here.
  • They do make shrinky dink paper that you can print on but I used the regular stuff and it printed fine (not perfect mind you but good enough for my liking). Draw or print onto the rough side of the shrinky dink paper.
  • Partially trim around your image leaving a large margin around the area where you want the pendant to hang from. Punch a hole then trim leaving a generous margin around the hole. 
  • Bake in the oven on a cookie sheet lined with a brown paper bag at 325 F for about 3 minutes (I had to bake it a bit longer I could tell it was still shrinking). It will go all crazy on you and sometimes it looks like it’s going to fold onto itself but then somehow it uncurls and goes back to normal. Let cool for 30 secons and use a clean spatula to remove. If you want you can press your creation with a potholder or the spatula if it needs to be flattened.
  • After it’s completely cool paint a bit of mod podge to the back to seal the ink.
  • Add a jump ring, chain, and any other accessories (like ribbon) and you’re done. 
  • Wear with pride!

And if you’re curious about this Divergent book I keep on raving about here’s the description from goodreads. Seriously it’s one of my favorite books. If you liked The Hunger Games you definitely should check Divergent out.

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.


  1. I LOVED shrinky dinks when I was a kid. We had the kind that you coloured in first. I also LOVE Divergent so this was an all-around happy post for me today.

  2. I love the Divergent series! I can’t wait for the next book!

  3. Yep, I’m one of them… never tried shrinky dinks… Sad day. But thanks so much for introducing me to the Divergent series! I’ve been sharing them with everyone I know.

  4. I’ve never even made one shrinky dink…ever…I think maybe it’s because they are called shrinky dinks and it sounds…well…never mind…

    ANYWAYS, they look fun. I should totally give them a try.

    ps–My sister in law is reading the Divergent series and loves it to.

  5. Shrinky dinks are one of my alltime favorite crafty projects!!! I’ve never thought to print on them. I feel some serious craftiness coming on! Finished Divergent a few weeks ago, can’t wait to start the next one!

  6. Shrinky dinks are so much fun!

  7. Very neat! I know I have a few sheets of Shrinky Dinks around here somewhere, I might just give it a go!

  8. Lovely pieces.

  9. What a neat idea!

  10. Ok. That’s pretty awesome! I’ve just started using shrinky dinks with one of my sons. We’re still trying to figure out how to get them shrunk without curling into a permanent ball!

  11. Thanks for the tutorial. I loved shrinky dinks as a kid!! They are indeed just a little bit of magic! I’ve purchased my paper and am ready to give it a try. I think I’ll draw on mine and see what happens. Your tutorial gives me confidence! And my daughter loved Divergent. I will have to give it a try, too! Have a great day!

  12. Oh how I love shrinky dinks… and Divergent.

  13. Soooo COOL Marissa!!! I still haven’t read those books yet… sigh.. I have to do that!!

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer… From Dream To Reality! xoxo

  14. I just saw your post, I have used shrinky dinks for years, but I have not heard about Divergent. I will have to check it out. I was intrigued by your name. Mine is Merica, pronounced like Teresa. So how do you pronounce yours?

  15. What a cool necklace.


  16. Love shrink dinks! And yours is so awsome!!! Thank you for sharing and have a happy day

  17. So cute! I loved these as a kid! Thanks for linking up to Show Me Your Plaid Monday’s

  18. I had come across a thing the other day saying you could recycle using no6 plastic will shrink just like shrinky dink. Like those clear food containers. Don’t thin putting through a printer would work but sanding it then rubber stamping or using opaqu markers may work. Just an FYI

  19. I have never made shrinky dinks in my life. I keep seeing them pop up on Pinterest and they look intriguing. Perhaps I will have to look into them.

  20. I made shrinky dinks with my nephew over Christmas..but it was a store bought set!
    I am co-hosting a link party today called Tell Me Tuesdays! I’d love for you to come check it out and link up!!
    Beth @ The First Year Blog

  21. I’m really confused by this sentence: “They do make shrinky dink paper that you can print on but I used the regular stuff and it printed fine.”

    Regular stuff? Keep in mind that your primary audience is people who aren’t familiar with shrinky dinks.

    • I’m sorry you’re confused with that line I’ll try and explain. And thanks for the tip about my blog audience but I think most of my audience is familiar with the stuff ;)

      There is regular shrinky dink paper/film i.e. it’s just called shrinky dink and there is also shrinky dink paper/film that is designed to be run through a printer. I used the regular kind and ran it through a printer and it worked. I did not buy the printer specific kind but I was still able to print on it.

  22. Hi,
    Great image and tutorial! Thanks for sharing! I also loved Shrinky Dinks as a kid. We Grandma always got the kind that was pre-printed that you colored in.

    When you say shrinky dink paper, is it a particular brand? I use PolyShrink, but I’ve not seen a kind that specifically says “Shrinky Dink.”

    You can see the pendants I made at my blog: http://hightechtreasures.blogspot.com/2013/02/shrinky-dinks.html

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