Mug Makes*! Shrinky Dink Leaf Garland

* Mini Mug helped, too!

With my current schedule, I am lucky enough to have the time to volunteer at Mini Mug’s school. The other day, I volunteered in art class and they made leaf rub prints. These are Mini Mugs…

So I thought why not use them and make a garland for the season. Using ink jet Shrinky Dink paper (bought at Michael’s) and the below PDF, plus small scissors, a hole punch and string, this is an easy and quick project to decorate for Thanksgiving.


Leaves for Printing.pdf

Step 1: Printing

Following the directions on the Shrinky Dink package, print the leaves, as many as you’ll need for the length of garland you want.


You’ll notice that the colors are muted. They will become more saturated when they shrink.

Step 2: Cutting 

After letting the prints dry for a few minutes, it’s time to cut. Using small scissors that will make it easy to get around the curves, cut out your leaves. A tip is to go slowly around the curves, and not force as the shrink paper may tear. A small tear will disappear when they have been baked, but try to avoid them where you can.


I found it easier to rough cut each leaf from the page and then do the detailing.


Then you’ll punch your holes. If you don’t have a hold punch you can cut a small “+” with a craft knife, and then cut the triangles out to make a small square. It’s much easier than trying to make a small circle with the knife.


Step 3: Baking

Again, following the directions on your shrink paper, bake the cut leaves. I used our toaster oven, but the regular oven works just as well.

I placed them on a piece of thin cardboard, rather than foil. When they start to shrink they curl a bit. Don’t worry, they flatten out, but I found that with the foil, they sometimes took the foil with them while curling, and didn’t flatten properly.


Step 4: Stringing

Your final step is to put them on the string. I laid mine out, about 2 inches apart (at the holes) and then cut the string with extra to spare.


I used a needle to make the stringing easier, but it’s not necessary if you don’t have one.

Starting from the back, thread your string through the hole.


Pull it to the approximate place on your string. You’ll be able to adjust them once they are all strung on, but placing them as close as possible helps.

Now you’ll pull thread the string through the back again.


And pull it so the string is wrapped around the top.



Continue until all your leaves are on your thread. If you need to adjust your spacing, you can gently move them along the string. It works better if you go slowly, as to give the string some slack.


Now you’re ready to hang!




There you have it – an easy project that you can do before the holiday, with the help of Shrinky Dink paper and Mini Mug!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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