How to Make Shrink Paper Christmas Ornaments

shrink paper christmas ornaments for kids
Shrink paper is a fun craft supply to work with. Sometimes called shrink film, Shrinky Dinks or Make It Bake It, the plasticized paper shrinks when baked in the oven and is a creative way to make Christmas ornaments with kids. 

By using a Cricut to cut out large shapes, it becomes easy for kids to color the shrink paper and add their own designs before baking them to shrink down. If you don't have a Cricut, you can still make these creative ornaments by cutting out large circles from the shrink paper and punching a hole before shrinking them down.

How to Make Creative Shrink Paper Ornaments



PRO TIP: Every time you open a new package of shrink film, make a ruler by marking out 1 inch and half-inch marks down the length of one side of a sheet of shrink film - then shrink it. 
Want something 2 inches in diameter? Use your new ruler to "measure" against a regular ruler. If your shrinky ruler says 5, you will need a piece of shrink film 5 inches long to end up with a shrunk 2 inch object. 
how to measure shrink film paper
Store your shrinky ruler in the package with your shrink film.

Step 1: Measure it
Use your shrinky ruler to determine the how large you would like your ornaments. For my finished ornaments that are 2.5 inches across, I cut pieces that were: 6 inches tall and 5 inches wide.
How to make shrinky dink shrink film crafts

Step 2: Sand it
Use a fine grid sanding block to rub over the surface of the shrink film to remove any shine. This will help your coloring medium stick. I did this while it was on the cricut mat. Once sanded, you can cut out your ornament shapes using your Cricut (my ornament images came from the Joys of the Season Cartridge)

Step 3: Decorate
Allow your child to decorate the cut outs with permanent markers, watercolors or color pencils. Do NOT use crayons, pastels or anything with a wax base because it will melt instead of shrinking with your shrink film. We chose sharpies for the color quality.
creative shrink film crafts to make with kids

PRO TIP: Tape your shrink film shapes down to scrap paper to make coloring easier. Don't forget to write their name and date on the ornament in sharpie as well!

Step 4: Shrink it
Set your oven and bake the colored shrink shapes following package instructions. Do not worry if your shrink film looks like it is melting, warped or totally destroyed while shrinking. It may look crazy for a bit but will flatten out (unless it curls up and touches itself. Then use a chopstick to un-stick it or a spartula to flip it over like I did)
how to use shrink film to make christmas ornaments

Allow to cool completely before moving on to step 5.

Step 5: Hang them on the tree
Add an ornament hanger or a piece or gold ribbon and hang on the tree or give as a gift! 
Creative shrink film Christmas ornament crafts

Shrinky Dink or Make It Bake It Christmas Ornament craft tutorial

About the Author:

Carissa Bonham is a lifelong crafter and mom of two creative boys. The owner and lead writer at Creative Green Living, she won the Craftys Award for the "Best Craft Blogger" category in 2016. 

Her creative pursuits don't stop at crafts - she is also the author of the hardcover cookbook, Beautiful Smoothie Bowls (Skyhorse, 2017) and several ebooks. Her projects have been featured in magazines like Kids Crafts 1-2-3, Capper's Farmer and Urban Farm Magazine. Follow her on PinterestInstagramTwitter or join the Creative Green Living community group.
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  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Love this idea! I've yet to use shrink film... must go try some ASAP!

  3. Ornaments are so important to me because they do tell a story.


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