Styro Foam Shrinkies

Styro Foam Shrinkies

When Styrofoam is heated in the oven it will shrink a little and become hard like a plastic.

What you need

Clean styrofoam trays
Acrylic paint


Put your oven at about 170 degrees and increase the temperature (if no shrinkage is occurring) until it begins to start shrinking.

Paint your design with the paint on to the styro. Then cut out the ornament shape to the size you want.

If you are going to be hanging it then now is the time to place a small hole in the top before you shrink it.

Place the styro onto a oven tray and then stick it in the oven.

The shrinkage time will be based on the size of the piece and the heat of your oven.

These can be used for gift tags, name tags, necklace charms, and heaps more.

This Project should be supervised at ALL times and only done in a well ventilated area.

Looking for something safer to use ? Check out our favorite Shrink Plastic Sheets.


  1. Styrofoam definitely gives off toxic fumes when heated even at low temperatures.

  2. I’ve been making these since I discovered this trick when I was about 12. Lots of fun & many possibilities! It’s a very low temp & you literally only heat it for a few minutes, & it keeps would-be trash styrofoam trays out of the landfills! Gah, how did people survive thousands of years before everyone got so paranoid & overprotective?!

  3. use #6 plastic instead of Stryrofoam

  4. I wanted to use this project for the Girl Scouts. Unfortunately I know when styrofoam is burned/cooked it releases a carcinogenic (cancerous) gas called benzene. sorry girls;
    we’ll use the real shrinky dinks.

  5. Hmmm…does not sound like a wonderful idea when it comes to heating up styro foam. I think I will just stick with using shrink dinks and keep my brain cells

  6. this project sounds like so much fun to make . can’t wait to try it.


  8. Absolutely crazy to be telling people to heat styrofoam! It will emit very toxic fumes! Toxic to you and your children!! This should be removed from this site.

  9. This was a fun project. Was hoping for tree ornaments and got bracelet charms.Who would of thought.

  10. The project is not designed to use new styrofoam, but rather to use up a resource that is already out there. Sure it would be great if it wasn’t made anymore but in the meantime isn’t it better to recycle something that would be trash, keep it out of the landfill and help reduce the use of new materials?

  11. Using small styro coffee cups makes the cutest hats. Items can be added – like flowers, buttons, feathers, etc.

  12. hey lets not be so serious come on as long as you follow the directions and it has a warning so the person posting this is just trying to help you do something creative it is on the planet for life anyway why not make something nice out of it

  13. it is very toxic!!! i dont get why we even make it if it will never decompose!!

    (sorry this craft makes me mad >:(

  14. I thought heated styrofoam was toxic…am I wrong? Someone please respond as this seems to be a fun craft…lots of possibilities!

  15. heating up styrofoam is toxic. even just breaking a styrofoam tray like the one pictured in half releases toxins that deplete the ozone layer – and you want that floating around your house? if you care about your kids, and your future grand kids, don’t do this craft or anything that has to do with altering styrofoam. this stuff is honestly dangerous, and it doesnt matter that “a billion people” aren’t doing the craft – every single use of it adds up.

    to put things in perspective : in a landfill, a glass jar takes about 10,000 years to biodegrade. styrofoam on the other hand, WILL NEVER decompose. dont mess with this stuff!!!

  16. the guest that is worried about the ozone should not worry too much concidering theree aren’t a billion people doind this project so there’s really not much fumes from this project. great idea!(the project) this is great for people who used to have shrinky dinks

  17. You really may want to reconsider doing this craft as the production as well as heating of styrofoam will emit fumes that deplete the ozone. I see this is under the recycled area but not sure a cute craft is worth adding to the problem of global warming. Just a thought but good thing you have other ideas to do instead.

  18. Like some other guests on here, I too thoght this was a poisonous substance when heated, which is why we have to “remove all packaging” when cooking!!!!!

  19. ilovehorses says

    COOL!!!!!! LUV IT!!

  20. weird!

  21. CraftBits (Shellie Wilson) says

    It is my understanding it will only work on thin styrene trays. But I have not tried it on anything thick (as yet)

  22. anyone know if this will work on thicker styrofoam ?

  23. great idea thanks

  24. cute 🙂

  25. the shouldn’t be toxic if you heat it at a low temperature. And it does say a well ventilated area 😉

  26. cool

  27. i thought that was toxic when heated too…? any info?

  28. Doesn’t styrofoam give off toxic gases when it is heated?

  29. Perfection is sweet

What do you think of this project? Let us know!