Shrink Film Keepsake Keychains

Apr 16, 2018 | Christmas, May, Teacher Wisdom | 43 comments

Make these shrink film keepsake keychains with your students using Shrinky-Dink paper! We share how on Simply Kinder.

I am obsessed with these keepsake keychains!  Aren’t they adorable?  And they make an easy gift for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas (or the holidays).  And we share the directions below so you can make these too with your class!

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Make these shrink film keepsake keychains with your students using Shrinky-Dink paper! We share how on Simply Kinder.

What you need:

Make these shrink film keepsake keychains with your students using Shrinky-Dink paper! We share how on Simply Kinder.

We started with these fun notes to our moms.  Here’s how we made them:

  1. Prep the film.  Cut the film into rectangles and round the edges so they are not too pokey.  We cut ours 5 1/2 by 4 inches.
  2. Draw the blue and red lines with Sharpie on the shrink paper.
  3. Have students use a black Sharpie to write a letter.
  4. Punch the hole.  At first, I did the hole as far in as I could, but then I had trouble getting the keychains to go on them.  So do the hole closer to the edge of the paper.
  5. Bake them (see directions below).

Make these shrink film keepsake keychains with your students using Shrinky-Dink paper! These fun names will preserve how they wrote their name when they were first learning! We share how on Simply Kinder.

I love preserving student handwriting during kindergarten.  They are just so cute in how they write their names and these keychains are just too fun.  Here’s how we made them:

  1.  Prep the shrink film paper.  We drew 3 sets of lines per page with blue and red Sharpie markers.  The distance between the top line and the bottom line is 2 inches.  (See supply image).    If students have longer names you may want to turn the page horizontal and do 2 sets of lines per page.
  2. Have students write their names in black Sharpie marker.  I had them start about an inch in to give me room for later.
  3. Cut them out.  I cut them to size for their name.  Round the corners, so they are not too pokey when used.
  4. Punch the hole.  At first, I did the hole as far in as I could, but then I had trouble getting the keychains to go on them.  So do the hole closer to the edge of the paper.

Make these shrink film keepsake keychains with your students using Shrinky-Dink paper! These fun names will preserve how they wrote their name when they were first learning! We share how on Simply Kinder.

To bake them is so simple; I actually made a bigger deal out of this than I originally needed to. Of course, follow the directions on the package for your shrink film, but here is what we did.

  1.  Preheat oven at 300 degrees.
  2. We used a cookie sheet with tin foil on it.  It’s our crafting pan.  (I put parchment paper for the photo, but the directions said parchment not foil so both worked for us).
  3. Place on cookie sheet and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Some took 2 minutes, some took 3 and there was no rhyme or reason why.
  4. Remove from the oven and let them cool.  We pushed a towel over them when they came out and cooled so they were super flat.

Check out our Facebook video to see them actually shrink and keep reading for our tips, tricks, and FAQ!  (Be sure to like, comment, or share the video so your friends see it).

Tips and tricks and frequently asked questions, don’t make the mistakes I made.

  • They will curl, as seen above.  This is where I made the mistake. I freaked out and took them out and tried to flatten them.  Nope.  Let them keep cooking because after they curl, the flatten out on their own in the oven.
  • The directions said to seal them.  We did this on some and ruined them.  We used Modge Podge and it distorted some of the marker images.  I think this kind of sealing is more appropriate for painted projects.
  • Sometimes they will curl over and overlap.  Watch them. If that happens and it does not correct itself, open the oven and flatten it out super quick.  The moment the heat escapes the oven they start cooling.  This will happen on longer item and random ones.  Just watch and fix if needed.
  • You can over cook them.  Don’t do that.  LOL.  Whoops.
  • Give yourself a couple days to do these just in case you need to redo one so you have time to have the student rewrite their name.
  • We ordered SANDED shrinking film.  It came with a frosted color. We used the same pack of shrink paper on all of our projects.  You can also use clear. Either way, clear or frosted they will still look adorable!
  • We wrote on the shiney side, not the frosted side.  We also cooked them that way too. So frosted side down at all times.

I also want to start by saying these are not the easiest project in the world – especially if they don’t work as planned. I would suggest giving yourself a couple days time to redo any that don’t cook well and I would test out cooking them before you decide if this project is for you.  That being said, after 2-3 practice runs I was able to get them to work perfectly.  Stick with it, play with cooking times, and remember they cool very fast so open the oven, fix fast, and close the oven if they do not come out flat.  Check all the FAQ above for more tips and tricks.

Make these shrink film keepsake keychains with your students using Shrinky-Dink paper! These fun names will preserve how they wrote their name when they were first learning! We share how on Simply Kinder.

There you have it.  An amazing keepsake and gift your families will love!  We love to showcase our readers photos too.

Mrs. Hornsby shared these in our group here.  She picked up the the paper on Amazon from the above links, the keychains from Hobby Lobby, and added some keychain charms.  There are lots of options for keychain charms and they are not too expensive, click here to check some out. I feel like it really finished these little gifts well.  Thanks for sharing!

Maybe you are thinking these will make an amazing holiday gift?  We have some other options too!

Directed Drawing Calendar

Your students will love these directed drawing calendars.  Each month has a fun picture that is easy to draw and fun to color.  The calendar is editable too so you can use it year after year!  Click here to check it out.

Handprint Calendar from Simply Kinder. This no-fuss calendar will be a perfect gift for your families. It's editable so you can change the calendar year after year and it's one page per month so there is no fumbling with matching the backs of months to the front to get the order right. It's also super simple with no titles or poems so you can easily do your own handprint ideas or use the samples provided.

Or maybe you LOVE doing handprints?  We have the same calendar but with handprints.  You will want to start this one super early though!  Click here to check it out.

A fun Mother's Day Craft for preschool, kindergarten, and first grade students. You can pick whether they do the Mother's Day Craft, or Mother's Day Directed Drawing to go in the center to the O.

A fun Mother’s Day Craft for preschool, kindergarten, and first grade students. You can pick whether they do the Mother’s Day Craft, or Mother’s Day Directed Drawing to go in the center to the O.  Click here to check it out.

Shrinky Dink Father's Day Keychain dads will love. Print the template, color, cut, bake, and put on a keychain! The perfect Father's Day give for preschool, kindergarten, and first grade students to give their dads. Free Father's Day printable template from Simply Kinder.

And don’t forget dad!  Here are some Shrinky Dink Father’s Day Keychain dads will love. Print the template, color, cut, bake, and put on a keychain! The perfect Father’s Day gifts for preschool, kindergarten, and first-grade students to give their dads. Click here to get this free Father’s Day printable template from Simply Kinder.

Five Shrinky Dinks Keychain Projects

We have so much more for those Shrinky Dinks!  Click here to check out all of our ideas that make keepsakes!

43 Comments

  1. Sue MacAvoy Sweet

    I think I have read through all of the comments, and I saw the dimensions for the name (2″ blue lines, with red dotted lines), but I was wondering about the size that you precut the “Shrinky Dinks” paper so that it looked like “composition paper” – for the “Dear Mom” notes. I love this idea, and I hope I am not asking the same question that someone else already asked (and was answered), but I just don’t see those dimensions anywhere, and I don’t have time to play with it and still get them done before I have to send them home on Friday. THANKS SO MUCH!!!

    Reply
    • Jennifer @ Simply Kinder

      Hi there. We have the dimensions listed above right under the photo. Here they are again. “Prep the film. Cut the film into rectangles and round the edges so they are not too pokey. We cut ours 5 1/2 by 4 inches.” Have fun! Jen

      Reply
  2. theresa polashek mullvain

    might be an awesome way to preserve a parents handwriting too. thinking recipies hand written

    Reply
  3. Sarah Newton

    Did you use sharpie on the frosted side or clear?

    Reply
  4. Mary Kroll

    Hi Jennifer,
    My little one is now 19! But I am wondering if I could send the sheets through a printer/copier and get the same outcome…..
    What do you think?
    Thank you so much.

    Reply
    • Jennifer @ Simply Kinder

      Oh I am not sure. I think they have shrinky dink paper that can be printed on. Worth a try IMO. =)

      Reply
  5. Cassandra Atherholt

    So what kind of sealer did you end up using? I do this with handprints for Father’s Day and it always smears.

    Reply
    • Jennifer @ Simply Kinder

      No sealer. Since it’s marker, it does not shrink the same as paint. =) They are on that page permanently. =) Hope that helps! Jen

      Reply
  6. Jodi

    Hi! I was curiously, do you have the kids write on the smooth side or the sanded side? Also when you heat them, do you put them sanded or smooth side down? I am havin my second graders do these Andy the 2 that I have done have curled horribly. I had them write on the smooth side and cooked them smooth side up. Just wondering if I did it wrong. Thanks for your help and the cute idea!

    Reply
    • Jennifer @ Simply Kinder

      Write on the smooth side, not the frosted side. Cook with smooth side up. So they stayed frosted side down for both. It takes a little practice to get them to work, you have plenty of time though to get them done. Good luck! Jennifer

      Reply
  7. Megan

    I do not see the dimensions for the names but not the note. Can you tell me what those were? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Jennifer @ Simply Kinder

      Hi there. In the supply picture we show what they look like. ” Prep the shrink film paper. We drew 3 sets of lines per page with blue and red Sharpie markers. The distance between the top line and the bottom line is 2 inches. (See supply image). If students have longer names you may want to turn the page horizontal and do 2 sets of lines per page.” Hope that helps.

      Reply
  8. Lynn

    You can do the same with clear plastic take out salad boxes. It’s a good way to reuse plastic that would be thrown away/recycled. I haven’t done it, but several friends told me about it.

    Reply
  9. Sarah Fleek

    so is each name on a 5 1/2″ X 4″ rectangle? The video you show where you prep it, looks like the names are on a smaller piece of the paper.

    Reply
  10. Nikkol

    Hi Jennifer,
    I LOVE this idea and want to try it with my third graders! My only question is how many of the letter keychains did you fit on one sheet of film? I saw the dimensions for the name keychains, but not for the little “Dear Mom” letters. Thank you!

    Reply
  11. Nikkol

    Hi Jennifer, I LOVE this idea! I saw the dimensions for the name key chains, but would you be able to tell me how much space you used for the cute letter key chains the children wrote to their moms? Thank you!

    Reply
  12. Dara Barnett

    What were the dimesnions you all used for the Mother’s Day Note? Which side do you write on? After baking the note, did anyone think it was too big to be a keychain?

    Reply
  13. Keri

    The shrink film you linked to is “sanded”, which is why the completed projects have an opaque finish. They look awesome that way, though, so it was a happy mistake!

    Reply
    • Jennifer @ Simply Kinder

      Thank you so much for this! I did not intend to order it and really didn’t even realize I did. I added the sanded color to the post above to help others decide what to do. =)

      Reply
  14. Christieann

    OMG! I am a shrinky-dink fan from way back! Thanks for this!!

    Reply
  15. anne

    Did you use a full sheet for the letters? Cut it in half?

    Reply
  16. Kim Johnson

    These are so cute; I love kinder writing! Did you use the clear sheets or frosted?

    Reply
    • Jennifer @ Simply Kinder

      I just learned this and changed the article to reflect – we ordered a SANDED color which is the white color everyone is seeing apparently. =) There is a direct link in the materials needed to our exact purchase. Clear will look adorable too! Hope that helps! Jennifer

      Reply
  17. Lauralee Boling

    How sturdy do you think these will be if Moms really use them on key chains?

    Reply
    • Jennifer @ Simply Kinder

      They are extremely sturdy. I have only had mine a few weeks, but others have said they have had their shrinky dink projects for over a year and they still are strong! Hope that helps!

      Reply
  18. Sarah Fleek

    Can you clarify the curling part? One part you mentioned to leave it alone if they curl as they will fix itself and then you mentioned to open the oven up quickly and uncurl them. Thank you..this is such a cute idea!

    Reply
    • Jennifer @ Simply Kinder

      Hi there. So the longer ones may curl just because of the dimensions. Usually they flatten out but if they don’t just open really fast and flatten and close. Sometimes when they came out too I would take a flat plat and just press it on there. (Not really necessary but it made me feel better that it was truly flat. LOL). Hope that helps! Just watch them, allow the to flatten on their own, and if not then intervene. =)

      Reply
  19. Sue

    Awesome!! So why aren’t they clear? I think we are all wondering how you got them to be white?

    Reply
    • Jennifer @ Simply Kinder

      I’m so sorry. Apparently I ordered the sanded film (the link was listed so if you ordered from the link I said I used you got the frosted ones). I did not intend too but they came out looking great! Clear would look great too! (I thought I was ordering clear and I was actually annoyed when I was creating these they were frosted! LOL)

      Reply
  20. Heather aka HoJo

    You are a GENIUS!!! Love this. Thank you for sharing! =)

    Reply
  21. Meagan

    Maybe I missed it but did you brush white acrylic on the back so it’ll be white?

    Reply
    • Dana

      Hi Meagan. We only used sharpies on them!

      Reply
      • Rachelle

        So they just turned white on the background? It looks clear in the first picture but the finished product looks white I’m confused

        Reply
        • Jennifer @ Simply Kinder

          We used the same shrink paper on all of our projects (I only ordered one pack of it). It must be variation in them. Apparently I ordered the Sandy color too. If you want my exact paper it’s in the link above too! Hope that helps! Jen

          Reply
    • Jennifer @ Simply Kinder

      Hi there Meagan, we did not put anything on the keychains except sharpies. The film I ordered is not clear, it’s like a murky color. (I ordered clear but this is what came so we went with it). Hope that helps! Jen

      Reply
    • Sheryl

      Hi! How many key chains did you get out of one piece of paper? Thank you!

      Reply
      • Jennifer @ Simply Kinder

        I was able to get 3-4 depending on how I laid them on the paper. Hope that helps. =)

        Reply

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