I love pins, button, badges, brooches, or whatever else you want to call them. This week we’re making Mental Health badges out of shrink plastic! This way you can send people messages without having to open your mouth! I’ve included a printable design template to go along with this tutorial. Very exciting.
Now, even though Shrinky Dinks are known for being a kids craft, they’re not all that easy. I think they’re mainly marketed to children because there’s something really magical about making larger things miniature. The things you can do with Shrinky Dinks is fairly extensive. You can make jewelry, keychains, magnets, BADGES, buttons, and MORE, I’m sure.
Real talk though, this craft was kind of a pain to work out. Tracing can be tedious and nerve racking. Even though tracing can be kind of annoying, it is a great way to practice being mindful. Tracing involves focus and requires little to no thought, so it’s easy to get lost in “the zone”. The baking process was also stressful, but that’s in part because I have issues with hot things. I totally burnt the crap out of my finger.
Fear not, though! With a little patience and lowered expectations this can be a very rewarding activity!
Shrinky Dinks Paper
Mental Health Badge Design Template
Colored Pencils, Markers, or Paint
Super Thin Black Sharpie or Micron Pen
Super Glue (if you don’t use the glue that’s linked, make sure whichever glue you use works with metal)
DIY Shrinky Dink Mental Health Badge Tutorial
1. Print out and trace design template. I used the “rough and ready” (I think it’s a slightly inappropriate name, but whatever), just because it’s the only kind I’ve used before. The rough side makes coloring easier I think. I use my 03 Micron pen to trace the designs since Sharpies or any alcohol based inks bleed a little on the shrinky dink paper. You’ll trace and color on the rough side of the paper. Note how the image is backwards- when you flip your shrink paper over, the image and text will be going the right way.
2. Color the designs. I used colored pencils. When these guys shrink in the oven, the colors become MUCH darker and saturated looking. It’s easy to control how saturated the image is with colored pencils, compared to markers.
3. Cut the designs out. It’s really hard to make nice, smooth circles with the shrink plastic so don’t kill yourself trying to do it. Personally, it drives me a little nuts, but this is a battle I just have to let go.
4. Time to bake! I set the oven at 325 degrees. Cover a cookie sheet with tinfoil and place the cut outs a couple inches apart. They move around while they shrink so they need wiggle room. You might not be able to bake all 6 on one pan. Place them rough side facing up. Bake for 1-3 minutes, or until completely flat.
5. Pull them out of the oven and you might want to use another pan or spatula to keep them flat while they cool.
6. Once they completely cool, we want to paint the back side. I just used some white acrylic paint and put two layers.
7. Once the paint has fully dried, use some super glue to attach the clasps.
If you or a loved one you know battles with any Mental Health Issues, please do get the help you need. If you need to talk to someone now, you can talk to one of the many fantastic therapists at Better Help by CLICKING HERE.
This post was created with the help of Grammarly.