Shrinky Dink Business Card Hangtags/Keychains
Confession: I never carry business cards. Yes, I have a business, and yes I know I need to, but I just don’t. I find business cards boring, time consuming, and I know they just get chucked. So I’m always dreaming up ways to market, brand, and package my handmade products in a way that will be memorable and hopefully stay out of the trash.
A very creative friend of mine recently made a beautiful pair of earrings from Shrinky Dinks, and it got me thinking about the possibilities of this craft I enjoyed as a child. While researching on Pinterest, I found another maker who had used Shrinky Dink to make business cards, and they were absolutely adorable, and was thrilled to see that I could use my ink jet printer to make my own. I came up with the idea to turn them into keychains as a way to create useful product that just so happened to be my business card.
So, off to Micheals I went, my phone preloaded with a 40% off coupon, to find some Shrinky Dink sheets. I was surprised to find three different types of Shrinky Dinks; a white, and frosted package of 10, 8 x 10 sheets, and one package specifically for printing with your ink jet printer that had only 6, 8 x 11.5 sheets. I considered buying them, but they were also white, and I really wanted the frosted glass look, so I decided to take a chance on the frosted pack. It was the right decision, especially considering the printable sheets came with a much higher price tag.
My OLFA Splash Quilting/Sewing kit had all the essentials needed for this project. It was easy to line up the sheets on the mat and cut them evenly, thanks to the bright white lines and frosted ruler. Any OLFA 45” Rotary Cutter works best, and for this project I used my cutter with the split blade cover and loved it.
I got lucky with the key rings since a friend of mine had a bunch she was no longer using. There are loads of places to find them online.
Once I was ready with my supplies, I started to work designing a simple and clean business card with only the most important facts on it. My logo, my slogan, and my website. I used a 2 x 3.5 template from Picmonkey to design my simple business card, and imported it over to Avery template 5371, which was the perfect size. While designing my card, I added a very small black circle to the centre top so my punch holes would be evenly spaced.
The first time I made some, I was so impressed; the font was clear and easily readable, and the back looked very clean and interesting. Plus, they were super fun to make, so I dove in and made a big batch for my next collection of bags, and wrote this tutorial to inspire you to create your own.
KEEP IN MIND:
Shrinky Dinks shrink to 1/3 of the size you cut out. They will curl and dance in the oven, but come out mostly flat.
1 Package of Shrinky Dink Frosted Ruff N’ Ready Creative Pack
12 x 18 OLFA True Blue cutting Mat
OLFA 45” Rotary cutter
OLFA 6 x 12 Frosted Advantage Ruler
Regular size paper punch
Key chains with or without jump rings
Needle nose pliers
Sandpaper or nail file
Computer and Ink Jet Printer
Baking Sheet and clean paper
2 Pieces of Card Stock (optional for keeping Shrinky Dink cards flat during baking)
STEP 1 DESIGN
Choose your business card design file, or design a new one using your preferred design software. I use Picmonkey for most of my graphic designing. I recommend adding a small circle to show where you want to punch them out. Then pick a business card template, I chose Avery 2288, and import and prepare to print your design. I found that the business card template from Avery was perfect size. NOTE: You don’t have to change font sizes or make your print darker, because it will darken slightly when it shrinks and it’s surprisingly readable in its mini form. A simple, black font design is best. I experimented with script and bold font, and a little colour, and I was not happy with the result. It looked muddy and busy.
STEP 2 PRINT
You’ll notice that there are two sides of the Shrinky Dink paper. One frosted, and one smooth. Make sure you print on the frosted side. Adjust your printer tray to fit the sheet, and print one at a time. The ink dries quickly. NOTE: the 1.5” shorter paper will result in two cards that will be cut off. Trim them off in the next step and discard.
STEP 3 CUT
Once you have your sheet printed, you’re ready to cut them out. Doing one sheet at a time, line up your sheet on the OLFA Cutting Mat so you can see the lines from the mat through the frosted sheet. I found this to be the best way to make my cuts as strait as possible. The OLFA lines are very easy to see through the frosted sheets. Be extra cautious and take your time while cutting. Keeping your fingers away from the edge, gently apply pressure to the ruler when you cut with your rotary cutter. TIP: Each business card is 2” exactly wide on my horizontal layout. It was very easy to use my 6 x 12 OLFA ruler to line up at the 2” mark and make perfect cuts. Trim off any excess so they are all the same size.
STEP 4 PUNCH HOLES
Using a standard size paper punch, punch out the small circles you added to the business card. The standard size shrinks to a hole small enough to put string or a jump ring through.
STEP 5 SHRINKY DINK TIME
Set your oven to 325 degrees. Line your baking sheet with some clean paper – I used regular printer paper – and lay out your cards. You can fit up to 10 on a regular sized baking sheet, but you must make sure they are not touching or close together, otherwise they will stick to each other. TIP: you can lay some card stock over your Shrinky Dink business cards to keep them flat, but typically, they flatten nicely on their own. When your oven is preheated, carefully put in your baking sheet full of Shrinky Dinks and set the timer for 3 minutes. Be sure to turn on your oven light and prepare for a fun show! When your timer goes off, using a protective oven mitt, carefully pull your baking sheet out and let them rest for a few moments. Then you can take them off the sheet and put in your next batch. Repeat until you have all of your adorable mini Shrinky Dink business cards!
STEP 6 SAND THE EDGES
You’ll notice that the edges are very sharp. Using a nail file, or a fine grit sandpaper, file down the edges of your card until they’re slightly rounded. They’ll look and feel great, but might be a little dusty so it’s good to give them a quick rinse with water and buff from a towel.
STEP 7 ATTACHING KEY RING
Now you’re ready to attach to a key ring. I found key rings that had jump rings attached, but you can simply slide a regular key ring through the hole. Use a pair of needle nose pliers to open and crimp the jump ring.
Now you have the most adorable and unique business cards that become useful key chains! Your customers will love this little key ring, and they’ll always be carrying your business card with them. That’s what I mean when I say useful, and beautiful. I hope you are inspired to create something really cool with Shrinky Dinks and OLFA!