Painted Shrinky Plastic necklace tutorial

Today I have a fun project for you starring my home state of Oregon: a Painted Shrinky Plastic Necklace. My project is part of a fun State Tour blog hop hosted by Beckie from Infarrantly Creative with bloggers representing 30 states! Be sure to go over to IC and find out all the details!

State Pride Tour: 30 bloggers, 30 tutorials, celebrating 30 states!

DIY Oregon Necklace

Yesterday, the tour left off with Kelly from Eclectically Vintage, who shared her Jersey Girl craft Doodled Lightbulbs, celebrating Thomas Edison’s invention of the lightbulb in her home state of New Jersey. Pretty clever, and hey, it’s a dollar store craft, too! Now let’s get our Oregon craft on.

How to Paint Shrinky Plastic: The Oregon Shrinky Necklace

Yes, you can paint shrinky plastic! I never would have thought of that. So easy!

Although I was born in North Dakota, I moved to Oregon when I was five, and have spent most of my life living here (with a few detours in Washington, Michigan, California, and Texas!). I definitely consider myself to be an Oregonian. I love the rain, the green landscape, and the mountains, deserts, and ocean all being in close proximity.

I heart Oregon socks from

I am even wearing my I Heart Oregon socks today!

Fun Oregon Fact: It’s pronounced “Ory-gn,” not “Or-e-gone.” Impress your friends! To celebrate my love of Oregon, I created a fun painted Oregon necklace. You can use this technique to create a pendant celebrating your home state, or any shape you want.

Paint shrink plastic silver - cool technique

About Shrinky Plastic:

Shrinky plastic is a specific type of plastic that can be drawn or colored on, cut out, and then baked in the oven for a few minutes, where it shrinks to 1/3 its original size, and nine times its original thickness.

I am a huge shrinky plastic fanatic. I actually have a box of about 100 sheets of Shrinky Dink frosted plastic in my craft cupboard so I can make shrinky crafts at a moment’s notice. But if you don’t have any shrinky plastic, don’t worry — you can use #6 plastic (like the kind used in clear plastic takeout containers) to make DIY shrinky plastic. Pretty cool!

And you can sometimes find half-sheets of shrinky plastic at the dollar store — they are tucked inside kids’ crafting kits. I found some keychain kits at Dollar Tree that had shrinky plastic in them.

Traditionally, shrinky plastic is drawn on with permanent markers or colored pencils. For my Oregon necklace, I tried out a new-to-me technique: painting shrinky plastic with acrylic paint. Yes, it can be done, and it opens up a whole new world of shrinky plastic possibilities. I used Martha Stewart acrylic paint for this project.

How to paint on shrinky dinks! This is so cool, I never would have thought of this! So easy.

Project Materials:

  • A sheet of shrinky plastic, $1 each
  • Acrylic paint, on hand or about $1 per bottle
  • A printout of your state’s silhouette, about 2.5″ wide/tall
  • Permanent marker, on hand
  • Scissors, on hand
  • Paint brush and/or sponge, on hand
  • Hole punch, on hand
  • A chain to hang your necklace on, $1 and up
  • Your oven or toaster oven

Total cost: $2 and up

Shrinky plastic Oregon necklace

1. Print your state silhouette

Before you start, find a silhouette of your state online and print it out. I printed mine at about 2.5 inches wide. It might help to print and cut out several different sizes so you can have options, depending on your style! You might like a small pendant, or a larger one. Remember, it will shrink to about 1/3 its original size, so don’t start too small.

Shrinky Poastic: How much does it shrink?

I tried mine in four different sizes and liked the two smaller sizes (2″ wide and 2.5″ wide), but the larger size would be great to turn into a magnet or a larger necklace.

2. Trace state silhouette on shrink plastic then cut it out. Don’t forget to hole punch in the top!

Trace the state silhouette using a permanent marker, then cut it out. If you have very detailed sections, feel free to simplify them.

Punch a hole in the top of your shape now, before you decorate or shrink it.

Tip: If you forget and shrink your shape without a hole, you can use a Dremel or drill to drill out a hole, but it’s just way easier to use your hole punch right now!

3. The fun part: paint your shape with acrylic paint!

How to paint shrinky dink plastic

The thing you need to remember when painting shrinky plastic is that the plastic shrinks but the amount of paint remains the same. That means, the paint gets way more intense as it shrinks together. It bubbles up and gets a really cool texture. It will look different when it’s shrunk than it did when you painted it, and that is the beauty of this technique — you never know what you are going to get!

closeup of painted shrinky plastic, after it's shrunk. cool texture!

Tip: Apply paint very lightly and sparingly.

You can use a paint brush, a sponge, or your finger to apply the paint to the shrinky shape. Just keep it light.

Metallic paints look super cool when you shrink them!

Shrinky silver necklace

4. Let the paint dry, and then shrink your shape!

Heat the oven or toaster oven to 325 degrees F, and lay your shrinky shapes out on a piece of paper on a baking sheet.

Put the shapes in the oven for about three minutes. You will see them curl up as they shrink. Leave them in the oven until they flatten out.

Tip: To flatten shapes completely, lay a piece of paper over the top as soon as you pull them out of the oven. With your oven mitts on, gently flatten the paper against the shrink plastic shapes. Allow them to cool, and then remove the paper.

5. Attach your charm to a chain with a jump ring.

How to make an Oregon necklace out of shrink plastic

And you’re done!

How to make a painted shrinky plastic necklace

Continue the State Pride Fun!

Next on our tour is Courtney from Sweet C’s Designs who is representing Colorado! Go check her project out and tell her Heather sent you!

Plus, Beckie’s hosting a FUN link up party on September 23rd where YOU can link up YOUR state project too!! So go get your project ready.

Shrinky Oregon Necklace