Trace and customize your own shrinky charm with this free roller skate template.
Here is a craft that combines two of my favorite things; drawing and roller skates!
It's a fun activity for adults or supervised kids. You can customize your own roller skate charms with just a few basic craft supplies. When you're finished, you can attach your roller skate charm to a necklace, pin, magnet, or keychain. There are so many ways to show off your creation.
If you already know how to make shrink plastic charms, you can skip to the template. If you prefer to watch a video instead of reading, check out the video tutorial. Otherwise, keep reading for everything you need to know!
You will need:
Roller skate template
A sheet of shrink plastic, like Shrinky Dinks
Colored pencils, markers, sharpies
Oven or toaster oven
Missing shrink plastic? Don't dismay!
If you don't have shrink plastic, here are a few options:
Head over to the Dog Sweater Money shop, where you'll find the incredible shrinking kit. The kit includes shrink plastic and extra items to create a magnet, ring, pin, and keychain.
Visit your local craft store. Most sell Shrinky Dink packages for $6-12.
Skip making the charm and use the free template as a coloring page instead.
Step 1: Download and print the free template:
Step 2: Trace the template
The template includes a few roller skate sizes to choose from. Keep in mind that whatever size you pick, the design will shrink down to about 1/3 it's original size. Place your shrink plastic over the template and trace. I recommend using a bold marker, like a sharpie, to trace the outside lines.
Some shrink plastic is frosted. The rough texture picks up more pigment from your drawing materials and works great with colored pencils. If your shrink plastic is frosted, you will likely want to draw on the frosted (rough) side of the plastic. You may wish to test out your drawing materials on a small scrap of shrink plastic. There is no right or wrong way to draw on shrink plastic. It's all up to you and what effects you like best!
Step 3: Color in your design
What does your dream roller skate look like? Is it black with neon shoelaces? Bright and colorful? Covered in hearts and puppies? Here is where you get to have fun and add your personality to your skates!
As you color in your design, remember that colors will look darker after the shrink plastic bakes. That's because when the material shrinks, all those pigments get closer together and more dense. I like to use colored pencil on shrink plastic because I can control how dark an area is by the amount of pressure I apply. If there are areas that you want to be light/pale, use a soft touch when coloring those areas.
Step 4: Cut your design
This step is as simple as it sounds. Use scissors to cut around the outline of the roller skate. For kids- use safety scissors or ask for an adult's help. Tip: I find that the closer I get to the outline, the more polished the final product is.
If you want to attach your charm to a keychain or necklace, use a hole punch to create an opening. After the design shrinks, the hold will be just the right size for attaching a jump ring.
Step 5: Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Kids- ask for an adult's help before using the oven.
While your oven preheats, prepare your creations for shrinking. Get out a flat baking pan and line it with parchment paper. This will keep your shrink plastic from sticking to the pan. If you don't have parchment paper, your charms will likely do fine without it. You may just have to give the charms an extra nudge with a spatula to release them from the pan.
Lay your shrink plastic drawing-side-up on the pan.
Step 6: Bake and watch the magic!
Here is the most fun step. Turn the oven light on and watch as your creations begin to shrink! At first they will be perfectly still, then bam! They suddenly begin to curl up, wiggle and contort, only to flatten back down again. The process usually takes about 2 minutes.
Here are some tips for getting the best results.
Rather than setting a timer, it's best (and more fun) to just to keep an eye on the shrink plastic while it's in the oven. You will know they are ready when they lie flat.
Shrink plastic is still warm and flexible for about 10 seconds after removing from the oven. To get them completely flat, you can "smoosh" them with a flat heat resistant object like a plate.
Experiment with different sizes, and techniques. Use a scrap piece of shrink plastic to test out techniques.
If a piece of shrink plastic curls up on itself or doesn't want to flatten out, go ahead and put it back in the oven for a couple minutes. Often, the problem will correct itself with a second try.
Step 7: Get creative!
Now that you know how to create shrink plastic charms, the sky is the limit. Look at the world around you and you'll find all kinds of objects that would make excellent shrink charms! You can trace an ad in a magazine, a cereal box, a cartoon, a candy wrapper.... better yet, you can improvise your own designs. I can't wait to see what you make!
Questions? It turns out, I'm kind of an expert on crafting with shrink plastic. If you have any questions, leave them in the comment box. And before you ask, yes, my pup Tina really is this cute.