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Make a Zentangle Shrinky Dink Keychain

Have you heard of zentangle? It’s kinda like doodling but with a bit of structure and patterns (that’s a totally un-official definition that I just made up). I’ve seen some really complicated and impressive zentangle projects around Pinterest lately. There might be very specific rules about *how* to zentangle, but I wanted to create a beginner level project that has the feel of zentangle without the tediousness of it.

Ever a fan of Shrinky Dink and instant gratification projects, I put together these cute little keychains in about 20 minutes. You could also use them as zipper pulls, necklace pendants or wine glass charms!


  • Shrinky Dink (or other shrink plastic)- about $1 per sheet
  • permanent marker- on hand
  • hole punch- on hand
  • key ring- on hand
  • oven and baking sheet- on hand
  • electronic cutting machine- totally optional

Total: $1 and up


  1. Create desired shape of shrink plastic. Remember that your project will shrink about 45% once you bake it. You can either use a Cricut or Silhouette cutting machine or trace the letter/shape and cut by hand.
  2. Punch a hole in the shape. This is where the keyring/necklace will go.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees.
  4. Draw zentangle pattern using permanent marker. You can be as complicated or simple in your doodling as you’d like. Use several colors for an even more interesting appearance!
  5. Place shrink plastic on a baking sheet. You may want to put a piece of parchment or foil or cardboard underneath, though this is optional.
  6. Bake shrink plastic for 3-5 minutes. Keep your eye on the project the entire time. Don’t freak out when it starts to curl up- I promise it’ll sort itself out! Once it has finished shrinking and uncurling, remove it from the oven. You may want to put a glass on top of the plastic for just a minute as it cools down if it’s still a bit curved. The glass will flatten it out entirely.
  7. Attach keyring/necklace.

Get the kids in on the zentagle fun and let them create their own designs! These would be so cute dangling from backpacks or lunch bags too!
This post may contain affiliate links or other sponsored material. Opinions are 100% the author's.

10 Responses to Make a Zentangle Shrinky Dink Keychain

  1. I remember doing a lot of zentangle-style doodling back in high school, but I never knew there was a name for it. I love the way you translated this unique art form with the shrinky-dink medium. Brilliant!

  2. Amy* says:

    I LOVE the wine charm idea! I’ve been reliving my childhood with shrink plastic as of late and you just fueled my fire with all these great ideas 🙂 Love the Zentangle keychain so fun! Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Carla Harrell says:

    Amy – You just made me laugh out loud~I too am reliving my childhood (now 37) with shrink plastic. I am certain I am enjoying it more than my 7 year old does. Thank you all for allowing me a place to read and know I am not the only kid at heart out there. HUGS

  4. Jessica P. says:

    What a great idea 🙂 going to make these for Christmas!!

  5. Jessica P. says:

    What a great idea 🙂 going to make these for Christmas!!

  6. Pingback: Shrinky Dink Keychain {Dollar Store Mom} - Reasons To Skip The Housework

  7. Cuteness! I’d love it if you stopped by my weekly link party and linked this post up. 🙂

  8. Heather Ratliff says:

    You can also use clear No. 6 plastic (think restaurant salad containers) as the plastic to shrink. It works great!

  9. Jenni says:

    Very cute! What setting do you use on the silhouette? I’m having trouble getting it to cut all the way through the paper.

    • Breanna says:

      I actually have a cricut, so I don’t know about settings for a silhouette. I just did a little googling and found this on

      Blade Setting
      Thin materials such as vinyl and smooth heat transfer material
      Medium-weight materials such as paper, card-stock and flocked heat transfer material
      Thicker materials such as textured card-stock and pattern papers
      Thick materials such as canvas
      As it is very important to get the perfect cutting settings in order to assure a clean cut out of different paper. Therefor I am compiling a list of papers and the recommended blade settings for each paper. If you have one that is not listed, kindly let me know by emailing me or leaving a comment and I’ll add it to the guide. Kindly note this might vary a little depending on the humidity of your region. But by playing around you will get the perfect setting

      She also includes other info on specific papers/materials in that same post. Hope this is helpful for you!

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