Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Shrinky Dink Drink Tags

I'm gearing up for my upcoming MOPS year.....starting in September! I know, I know. I'm getting a SUPER early start. But, I'm so excited about all the crafts I have planned that I wanted to do a tutorial right away! We'll be making these drink tags in September, but I thought it'd be fun to show YOU how to make 'em now--they're SO useful & handy, especially with the summer months upon us! I use mine ALL the time. It keeps my girls from getting their water bottles mixed up on our outings, picnics & parties!

Gather your supplies! I have lots of shrinky dink material in my stash--some are "rough-n-ready" which is really just a translucent sheet that's smooth on one side & "rough" on the other. It's the easiest to use--just because it's ready right away without any prep work! I also have it in shiny black, white, cream & brown.

You'll also need scissors, a ruler, permanent markers &/or colored pencils & a hole punch. Optional supplies: sandpaper (if you're using shrinky dink sheets that are smooth you'll need this!), decorative scissors & decorative punches.

Before I explain the steps I wanted to explain why I have so many photos in my tutorials. Well, put simply, I LOVE taking pictures! The many photos doesn't equal MANY steps. I just want to make it easy to understand as well. So anyway....The first thing you'll do is sand your shrinky dink sheet if you're using the smooth stuff.
And now you'll measure. The tags start out as 2 1/2" x 8", so cut that size from your sheet. They shrink to 15/16" x 3 1/4".

Now you can use your straight scissors to round the corners (so they're not so sharp & poky)...

...or use your decorative scissors to creative a funky edge!

I LOVE the large scallops, but there are tons of different decorative scissors to choose from. I'm not sure how the smaller detailed decorative scissors will work on the shrinky dink material. I haven't tried that yet.

I used my mini hole punch (1/8" I think) to make decorative details on my tag.

Once again--as in most of my tutorials--I will let you learn from my mistakes. Once the tag shrinks in the oven, those tiny holes will be pretty much too tiny to hang from your bottles. SO, use your regular ole hole punch (1/4" I think) to punch a hole at the top.

If you're using the "rough-n-ready" sheets, here's a handy tip for writing names. Write the name on the smooth side with a dry erase marker.
Then, turn it over to the rough side & trace the name with your permanent marker or colored pencil. This is so that the finished product will look all schnazzy-like on the smooth glossy side.

Decorate your tag in whatever way you wish. You can write the names horizontal or vertical--or however you wish!

Next comes the baking part! I like to set my shrinky dink creations on parchment paper--on top of the cookie sheets before baking. It prevents the tags from sticking to anything. I have also heard that some people lightly dust their pieces with baby powder to prevent them from sticking to each other when baking. I've never done this. But, in September, when I have 30 ladies making this craft for EACH of their kids, I might reconsider.

Here's my hot shot from the oven-cam. Follow the directions that come with your shrinky dink sheets. I used to use a toaster oven to make mine. But, I burnt up my toaster oven a few months ago so that's not an option anymore. I kinda cheat now & just turn the broiler on in my gas oven & watch it bake. It doesn't take long at all, so keep an eye on it at all times. Never leave a shrinking shrinky dink unattended.

If you've never made shrinky dinks before, this part will definitely freak you out. I can just see all the newbie shrinkers faces now....HAHA!!!! Ok, I'm mean. The tags will curl & bend & twist. That's normal. If you were sitting in a burning hot oven you'd probably react the same way. Eventually they will flatten out. That's when you take 'em out. I always pop 'em off the cookie sheet (careful! They're hot!!!) & place them on a hard flat surface & tap them real quick to completely flatten them out (in case they have a bit of curl left in them).

Ta-da! They're done.

I made two tags with the "rough-n-ready" sheets & wrote names on both sides so you could see the difference in the shiny & rough side. They're both cute, but I like the finished name to be on the shiny side. It just looks more complete & finished.

Now you'll want to loop a rubber band through your hole punch. I use my little girls latex hair elastics.

Warning: Fuzzy photos ahead.

Pull the rubber band through the hole...

...loop it back through itself....

...& tighten.

Now you can tie on different colors of 5" lengths of ribbon if you want. Completely optional. My girls love the ribbons.

Now strap the tags over water bottles & you'll never be confused again! We used to have so many random water bottles lying around that would go to waste. Not anymore!! Just don't forget to take your tags off when you recycle your water bottle. The tags are reusable & fantastically useful!!Clicke HERE to find lots of ideas, patterns, trivia, & kits to purchase from the Shrinky Dink website! Did you know shrinky dinks were first sold in 1973?

And you'll be seeing some new Shrinky Dink handmade goodies soon at WhiMSy love!


  1. What a great tutorial and love your blog. Thanks for stopping by to visit me!

  2. I recently came across your site, and I have to tell you that I love it! Great craftyness! I love all of your ideas, and I really like your music too! I am gonna have to buy me some shrinky dinks and mess around with them!

  3. Those are soo coool!
    I remember my Barbie shrinky dinks...
    You've taken them to a whole new level! That is an awesome idea for tags for drinks!! I'm forever askin' "whose is this?!!" LOl
    happy Tuesday!

  4. Ok Nikki this is a totally awesome idea and tute, I love the piccy's, now just gotta find myself some shrinky dink UK side.

  5. This is such a fantastic idea!

  6. Brilliant! Wouldn't it be cute to do name tags on the bottom of wine glasses at a dinner party??? Love the new tutorials!

  7. you are awesome! I have gotten stuck on you blog purusing all your fabulous ideas since i linked over from the mops site... so exicted to use some of your ideas! will you be at the mops convention this fall? you could seriously be a speaker! :) hope your friday is treating you great!

  8. I like the tag idea, since you are doing it in September, Moms may want to use them on their kids backpacks too!!!

  9. This is a great idea!! Thanks for the tute. Hope you have fun teaching all of this to the masses in September!!

  10. I got your link from Kara, a fellow NY state MOPS-er. This is a great craft! I'm lobbying to use it for our first meeting.

  11. Love, love, love it! Thanks for sharing your creative brain!

  12. just found your blog and I love it ~ especially this tutorial. Will definitely be making some of these. Thanks!

  13. First off...THANK YOU for posting this tutorial. I am the Creative Activities Leader for my local MOPS group and I found a picture of this idea elsewhere (not yours, but someone else's), so when I went to do some research, I typed in some key words in my Google search and I couldn't be more pleased that I found your site! Our theme for the month of March is Staying Healthy While We Parent, and so I thought these would be a cute craft to go along with that in hopes that the moms will drink their water!

    So, I'm getting long-winded here...please, if you don't mind, I would love to pick your brain a bit to see how this activity went and if it was easy to do with your MOPS moms. We have 40 moms in total. E-mail me at heidilynneboos@hotmail.com or stop by my blog and I would love to ask you some specific questions!

    These are so adorable and I am now so excited to do these for our next meeting!

  14. We are doing this at our next MOPS meeting!! Where did you get the elastics?? Thanks!

  15. Did your project in MOPS last fall and used mini clip keychains from oriental trading and used them for diaper bag tags/backpack tags. I just blogged up your idea on my blog and linked to your site on the bottom. :) The backpack tag craft will also be printed in a local new local magazine in Aug and Sept issue for a back to school craft! Thanks for the super cool idea.

  16. Ok so I pride myself in being pretty dang crafty, I never buy anything that I can make on my own... and I didn't even know this shrinky dink stuff existed! How can this be?! Nevertheless, I shall scour my local craft joint for some of this stuff, I'm super excited :) *side note* peep the time stamp... it's 4:45 a.m. my time and I've been clicking about your page for about two hours now. I love it... all of it! What I wouldn't give to be able to stay at home and craft! **jealous**

  17. What a great Idea. Martha stewart could would even enjoy this idea. I love to find out all of the ways people use Shrinky Dinks for normal everyday unique use. I like your idea about making sure you use a BIG whole punch. I am sure people tend to forget that ALL parts of the shrinky dinks Shrink. Even the holes.

  18. I love this idea and hoped to use it at our MOPS meeting this month. I was doing a trial run today and about 50% curled up on themselves and stuck. The ones that worked looked great, I'm just looking for some ideas to help get more to work properly. I'd love any suggestions you might have! Thanks so much!


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