This was a really fun project I did with Marshall and Jeff at the beginning of May. I gave them to my Mom and my Mother-in-Law as Mother’s Day gifts and they thought they were adorable! You can find other versions of this step-by-step tutorial and they helped me through, but I had a few thoughts to add so I’m going to share what worked for me.
I originally wanted to do these using Marshall’s handprints but he was not having any part of that! I think it would be super cute that way, but I really love how these turned out. Also, I have never had any experience using Shrinky Dink plastic before this project, so I had no idea just how much they would shrink in the oven. I love my finished product, but I will say I think it would be cuter to wait until your kids are just a little bigger to do this, that way your keychain isn’t so tiny.
Shrinky Dinks have been around for as long as I can remember, and I was excited to finally play around with them. I was actually pretty amazed at how hard they get after popping them in the oven. These make great gifts, and you’ll probably have leftover plastic to draw on. My husband and I had fun making little extra stuff on the side while we were doing this project. He made a guitar keychain for me, and I traced a gigantic Morty (from Rick and Morty) to stick on our shelf!
- Shrinky Dink Plastic (Crystal Clear). You can find it at most craft stores. I bought an off-brand version for about $4.
- Gloss Acrylic Paint. Hayley from GreyHouseHarbor.com writes that it’s important to use GLOSS paint, not just any acrylic paint, otherwise it won’t stick to the plastic very well. I didn’t experiment with that, I just took her word for it.
- Mod Podge (Gloss)
- Paint Brush
- Split Ring Keyrings
- 10mm Jump Rings
- Hole Punch
- Parchment Paper
Paint your child’s foot, making sure not to use too much or too little paint. Firmly press their foot onto the Shrinky Dink plastic and carefully remove without smearing the paint. This might take a few times, but that’s okay! You can easily wipe the paint off of the plastic and try again.
Let the paint dry COMPLETELY.
Write whatever you want on the backside of the footprint using a Sharpie. I found that some of my writing came off after coming out of the oven so make sure you write thick and let this dry completely as well. I wrote my son’s name and the year, but you can personalize it however you like.
Cut the footprint out and punch a hole. I found that the heel of the foot was the best place for this.
Line your baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 325°F. Once the oven is preheated, put 2-4 footprints on the baking sheet PAINT SIDE UP and stick them in the oven for anywhere from 1-3 minutes. Don’t worry when they start to curl up! That’s totally normal. You’ll know they’re done when they start to flatten back down. They might not get as flat as you’d like, in which case you should use a spatula to press them down. This is why it’s suggested that you do a few at a time so you can keep an eye on them easier and flatten them out before they cool if need be.
Once they have cooled, you’ll see that they are incredibly thick and durable! Coat the keychain with Mod Podge. I read that you should only cover the painted areas of the keychain, making sure to avoid the clear parts. However, I actually found that the ones I completely coated (even the backside) have held up better. The sharpie and the footprints have remained almost perfect after a month of wear and tear, whereas the ones where I was careful to only cover the painted areas already look a little dingier. As time goes on, I’ll edit this page with an update on how they’re holding up.
Loop the jump ring through the hole you punched, and attach that to the keyring. I didn’t need pliers for the jump rings, but you might.
And you’re done! These are so cute, cheap and easy to make and I hope you found this tutorial helpful. If you make your own footprint keychains, be sure to tag me on Instagram @mymomtasticlife to show me your creation!
I want to say thank you to Hayley from GreyHouseHarbor.com for this awesome idea! Go check her out by clicking here.