Best Friend Jewelry Shrinkies Tutorial

by Rena Klingenberg. © 2003-Present Rena Klingenberg. All Rights Reserved

Best Friend Jewelry Shrinkies Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Best friend jewelry tutorial

Best friend jewelry – each friend wears half of the design.

Best friend jewelry is fun for two friends to make together – or for one friend to make as a gift.

Best friend necklaces

This project involves making a design on shrinky plastic, and then cutting it in half to make two pendants – one for each of the friends.

Best friend jewelry tutorial

The full design can only be seen when the two friends’ necklaces are together.

Best friend jewelry


  • A sheet of shrink plastic (available at most craft suppliers).
  • Permanent markers in a variety of colors (we used Sharpies and Bic markers; the colors will darken as your shrink plastic bakes – so you may want to use colors that are lighter and brighter).
  • Ruler for measuring your pendant dimensions on the shrink plastic.
  • A fine-point marker for marking the outlines of your pendants on the shrink plastic.
  • Scissors for cutting out your shrinkies.
  • A standard one-hole paper punch for making the hole at the top of your shrink plastic pendants.
  • A piece of aluminum foil, about 7″ x 11″ (17.78 cm x 27.94 cm) for baking your shrink plastic in the oven.
  • A regular household oven or toaster oven for shrinking your plastic.
  • A metal fork or plastic pancake spatula that you won’t be using for food preparation (for picking up hot shrink plastic, and flattening the plastic pieces while they’re still hot and pliable).
  • 2 jump rings.
  • 2 necklace chains or cords.
  • 2 pair of pliers – chain nose or flat nose (for opening and closing the jump rings).
  • Clear acrylic spray to protect colors from scratching off (important for shrinkies that will be worn).

Best friend shrinky jewelry

Best Friend Jewelry Shrinkies

Important: Test Your Shrink Plastic First

Before you begin, I highly recommend that you make and bake a test piece of shrink plastic according to the package instructions, so you’ll know exactly how to make your final pieces turn out perfectly.

You’ll want to find out:

  • how much your particular plastic shrinks
  • how much your marker colors darken during shrinking
  • how close to the edge of your plastic you want to punch the hole
  • whether you get better results by baking a little longer or at a slightly higher temperature than your shrink plastic instructions recommend.

After making and baking your test piece of shrinky plastic, here’s how to make the actual best friend pendants:

On a sheet of shrink plastic, use your ruler and a fine-point marker to measure and mark the outlines of your pendant design; also mark the line down the middle where the pendants will be cut apart:

Making best friend jewelry with shrink plastic


  • Use your markers to create a design that spans across both pendants.
  • Use scissors to cut the pendants out.
  • Use the hole-punch to make a hole at the top of each pendant.
  • Shrink the pendants by baking them in the oven (following the package instructions and the results from your test) – an adult should supervise this step.
  • (NOT shown – when the pendants are completely cool and dry, take them outdoors and spray them with a couple of light coats of clear acrylic. Don’t hold the spray can too close to your shrinkies, and be careful not to spray a heavy or wet layer of acrylic, or your colorful ink will liquify and run) – an adult should supervise this step.
  • When they’re totally dry, attach a jump ring and chain or cord to each pendant.

Here are four different pendant designs going through these steps:

Color, cut, shrink, and add jump ring and chain.
(Polka dot best friend jewelry by Rena Klingenberg)

Color, cut, shrink, and add jump ring and leather cord.
(Heart best friend pendants by Noreen of Crafty Journal)

Color, cut, shrink, and add jump ring and chain.
(Rainbow best friend jewelry by Rena Klingenberg)

Color, cut, shrink, and add jump ring and suede cord.
(Mouse head silhouette pendants by Noreen of Crafty Journal

More Best Friend Jewelry
Design Ideas

After we made these best friend pendants, it occurred to me that other interesting design ideas to make and cut in half for this shrinky project would be:

  • a butterfly
  • keys
  • a secret code
  • a secret map
  • the two friends’ names or nicknames
  • a quote or verse.

best friend jewelry shrinkies

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  • Marcy says:

    Great idea! We are looking for creative projects to do at my daughters birthday party, this is perfect for a small group of 11 year old girls. Can’t wait to try it. Thanks.

  • How fun are these! Thanks for joining TTF!

  • Annie says:

    Too fun! I remember the old days of going to Claires with friends and buying BFF necklaces–but this is so much more fun and personal! I’ll remember this for when I have a daughter. Thanks for sharing!

  • My daughter is going to *LOVE* this idea!

  • These are too cute! My daughter would love to make them, thanks for the great idea and for sharing at Mix it up Monday 🙂

  • Crystelle says:

    How fun for two BFF’s to make together! Thanks for sharing!

    hugs ~ Crystelle

  • BeColorful says:

    My daughter would have been all over this when she was younger. A great idea. Thanks for sharing.

  • Megan says:

    Aw, I would have loved this project as a teen!

  • That is a really cute idea. It is a fun take on the metal hearts broken in two. It is even more special because it is designed by the best friend. Thanks for sharing on Artsy Play Wednesday on Capri + 3.

    : 0 ) Theresa

  • Very cute idea! thanks so much for sharing on Craft Schooling Sunday, appreciate your joining us on a regular basis!

  • Kymm says:

    Love these. My daughter is so into the best friend jewelry right now. I can’t wait to try this with her. Great idea!

  • Congrats! Your adorable shrinkies project collection was picked as a favorite by our Bowdabra Designers this past week in the Bowdabra Showcase! Keep up the great work!

    We will give you a Facebook/twitter shout out and pin to Pinterest!

    Stop back in on Sat-Thur and share with us again!

    Susie @Bowdabra

  • Julie says:

    The mouse is adorable. Thanks for sharing at Mom’s Library.

  • These are soo stinking adorable.. I have to try this with my daughter who has 2 besties and can’t give bff jewelry to one without the other!
    Thanks so much for sharing with the Pink Hippo party!
    Amie @ Pinkapotamus

  • Kelli says:

    I am so out of the loop when it comes to shrinky dinks and this post makes me feel like I am REALLY missing out! Thanks – I should definitely get my shrinky dink in gear!

  • Michelle says:

    Love shrinky dinks! We used to make these all the time growing up. I’ll have to share this with the kiddos 🙂

  • Kelly says:

    Sophia, my 9 year old daughter would absolutely love these! She totally digs bff stuff and crafts—totally something she’s gonna want to try.

  • Tulip says:

    I remember making those when I was young! They look great. Thanks for sharing at Mom’s Library!

  • oooohhhh my daughters would be all over this! it would a unique birthday gift too.

  • Marilyn says:

    I LOVE shrinky dinks and what a fun way to make BFF jewelry. I’ve got to remember this one….brilliant! I’m so glad you shared this at Loving Valentines Day!


  • Paula J says:

    Hi Rena! What a great idea! My daughter and her friend had “real” BFF necklaces, but they didn’t last long…these are a great alternative. Their more sturdy and the fact that they can make them is the best part 🙂 Pinned!

  • Amanda says:

    Cute!! Thank you for sharing such a wonderful idea!

  • I remember making shrinky dinks when I was little.
    I didn’t know you could buy the plastic sheets at the craft store, thank you for telling us that. This would be a good project to do with my Grandboy, he loves making jewlery for his Momma.
    I’m stopping by from Friday Fascinations hop and I subscribed to your blog via email and I’m following via Twitter, Facebook & Pinterest.
    Have a great weekend!

    With Smiles,

  • Shell says:

    What a fun project and super cute! Definitely going to try making them.

  • You are so clever … these are delightful! I am visiting you from over at Pamela’s blog.

    Kathy M.

  • Mel says:

    This is such a cute idea, thanks for sharing

  • Jessica says:

    What a great idea! I could see this being a fun activity at a “tween” party..well as long as they don’t fight over who is each other’s BFF!

  • Just found you on A Humble Creation – so cute!

  • These are so cool! My daughter would flip over this idea! How fun! thanks for sharing at Monday Funday! 😉

  • Donna Wilkes says:

    I used to love shrinky-dinks. i did not know they were still around and now grown-ups make beautiful things from it. Love the friendship pieces.

  • Amy says:

    I have an unopened package of shrinky dink plastic and this is the perfect project to try it out! So cute!

  • How fun — even better that the besties can design and make their own! Thanks so much for sharing on Busy Monday!

  • becolorful says:

    This takes me back. 😀 I wonder if my bff still has hers? 😀 Thanks for sharing.

  • Bren says:

    I LOVE this idea! What a fun craft this would be with kids! Thanks for sharing!

  • Shana Sutton says:

    This would be such a great idea for a birthday party! My girls will love it.
    I remember i used to make ShrinkyDinks all the time when i was growing up.

  • Glenda Cates says:

    Thank you for sharing as I will be letting my son and his friends make there at his Birthday party.

  • Lisa Ehrman says:

    Wonderful idea for BFF’s everywhere 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  • Jann Olson says:

    Shrinkies are so fun and this is so cute!

  • Oh my! This looks so cute! Pinned and tweeted.

  • Cathy says:

    These are so cute and would be so much fun for the kiddos.

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