Shrinky Dinks DIY Butterfly Ornaments

Jill Staake

I’ve been enjoying finding new ways to turn favorite photographs into Christmas tree ornaments this year. On a wander through my local crafts store, I found a real blast-from-the-past: Shrinky Dinks! When I was a kid, we loved coloring these in, cutting them out, and watching with wonder as they shrank down in the oven. Turns out Shrinky Dinks have been updated for a new generation, and you can now buy special Shrinky Dinks paper made to go through your inkjet printer. I used some to create these butterfly ornaments – here’s how I did it.

DIY Butterfly Ornaments

What You Need:

  • Shrinky Dinks Inkjet Paper (1 sheet per butterfly)
  • Photos and Inkjet Printer
  • Scissors
  • Toaster Oven or Traditional Oven
  • Aluminum Foil

What To Do:

  • Choose photos that show a clearly defined shape if you want to cut along the outline. Follow the directions in the package of Shrinky Dinks to make your photos the right size (remember that they’ll shrink up to 70%), and to fade them to about 50% transparency. They will darken up when they shrink. My butterflies went from about 8 inches to 2 inches after shrinking. Print your photos on the special paper, making adjustments to your printer settings as necessary per the instructions.

SHORTCUT: If you like the butterfly images shown here, you can access and print all 3 ready-to-use pages by clicking here.

DIY Butterfly Ornaments

  • Cut out the butterflies, leaving a small section at the top where you can punch a hole for hanging.

DIY Butterfly Ornaments

DIY Butterfly Ornaments

  • Preheat your oven to about 300 degrees F. I liked using a toaster oven, but I did have to do these one at a time. You can do more at once with a larger traditional oven.
  • Lay the butterfly on a piece of non-stick aluminum foil (or a piece cut from a brown paper bag) and set it in the oven. It will take 2-3 minutes to shrink to size. If you have a window, watch carefully so you can remove the finished ornaments before it burns. NOTE: In the middle of the process, your paper will curl up – DON’T PANIC! This is what’s supposed to happen. The paper will flatten out as it finishes – that’s how you’ll know it’s done.

DIY Butterfly Ornaments

  • Remove the ornament carefully and lay it on a flat surface. Use a magazine to press it flat for a few seconds while it cools. Repeat with the other butterflies.

DIY Butterfly Ornaments

  • Use a string or ornament hook to create a hanger for your ornament. You can also use a paint pen to write a message on the back (I wrote the butterfly’s names). I also used the gold paint pen to “gild” the thickened edges for a more finished look.

DIY Buttterfly Ornaments

TIP: Add some glitter with a thin coat of sparkle Mod Podge or other glittery paint.

This would be a really fun project with birds or flowers from the garden as well. Have fun Shrinking!

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