Today I am joining a fantastic group of bloggers on the closing day of the 100 Acts of Kindness Challenge. This week was all about showing kindness to friends so I’m sharing some DIY Gifts with Shrinky Dinks that you can make with recycled materials or store bought items.
The 100 Acts of Kindness Challenge, hosted by Kristina at Toddler Approved and Megan at Coffee Cups and Crayons, has been in full swing and sooo much kindness has come from it! It’s gone in 4 phases, so click below to see the previous weeks’ challenges.
- Week 1 Kindness Challenge for your family on Toddler Approved
- Week 2 Kindness Challenge for strangers on Coffee Cups and Crayons
- Week 3 Kindness Challenge for your community on Toddler Approved
- Week 4 Kindness Challenge for your friends on Coffee Cups and Crayons
So here we are on week 4, the last day of the challenge, and I’ve got an easy and fun tutorial to make DIY gifts for the friends in your life.
I made these with my daughter last year when she was 3.5. I did some of the work and she did some of the work but it goes to show you that kids of all ages can participate!
We made the heart keychain looking thing for a neighbor’s daughter to use as a zipper pull. She would come over to our house a lot as a Mother’s Helper and my daughter just loves her. She wanted to give her a Valentine’s Day Gift so I had her color on the heart and tell me what message she wanted it to say, then I wrote it around the perimeter of the heart.
The friendship bracelets were just a whimsical idea that I had, I didn’t have anyone in mind. We ended up giving them both to the same little girl so she could give one to her best friend. The bookmark ended up pretty tiny but it was made for LalyDad.
You could personalize any of the DIY gifts for your friends or make them together and exchange them when they’re all done!
Shrinky Dinks DIY Gifts Tutorial
(I added affiliate links in case you want to check out the materials)
#6 Plastic container lids (pictured above on the left)
Store bought shrink film (Brands include Shrinky Dinks, Graphix and Polyshrink) (pictured above on the right)
Cookie cutters (optional)
Shallow baking pan or oven safe wire rack
If you are new to Shrinky Dinks, I’d really recommend reading through my Shrinky Dinks Tips and Tricks post first. This isn’t hard, but you might as not repeat mistakes I’ve already made!
Preheat your oven to the temperature on the shrink film package, or 325 if you do not have a package.
Draw out your shapes using the permanent markers (or trace using cookie cutters, if desired). Keep in mind your piece will shrink at least 50%, probably more. In the picture below we used the big heart for the keychain, the smaller one for the best friends charms and that leftover rectangle at the top for the tiny bookmark. I’d recommend making bookmarks bigger. 🙂
Cut them out with your scissors, making sure not to leave any super sharp points. They don’t have to be totally rounded, just snip the very tip.
Punch your holes with the hole punch. Keep in mind they will shrink too.
To make the Best friends charm you can cut the two halves apart now.
Decorate them with the permanent markers as desired.
Place a double wide sheet of parchment paper onto your baking sheet, with half hanging off. Place your pieces a couple inches apart, you may need to bake them in batches. You can reuse the parchment in this case. Fold the parchment over the pieces like a book and fold the two open sides over each other to kind of hold the top piece down.
As I talk about in my Shrinky Dinks Tips post, you may wish to place a wire rack or something over them, but not actually pressing down on them.
Bake in the oven until they stop shrinking. Depending on the size of your pieces and other factors, this could be 3 minute or more than 10.
There will be some crazy action, they will curl and move around and you may freak out. Just wait, don’t touch anything. Unless they curl so much that they stick to themselves, this is all just perfect. The parchment and wire rack should help prevent that. They will uncurl and flatten out as the shrinking continues.
When it looks like all the action has ended, and they look relatively flat with no more crazy curled portion, remove them from the oven. Take the rack off, move the pieces still in the parchment to your counter or heat proof surface and press down on them with your oven mitt to help them flatten more as they cool.
Now all that is left is to accessorize by adding the jump rings (you may need pliers, some people sue their fingers), key rings and ribbons.
Wrap those DIY gifts up and spread the kindness! If you like this idea please do pin it!
Be sure to check out the other Kindness Challenge ideas or for more shrinky dinks ideas, head to my Shrinky Dinks Gallery page.
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