When I was in college, a stray cat in our neighborhood gave birth to a litter of kittens in a duffel bag in my friend’s closet. Once the four kittens were old enough, we divided them among a few of our friends and two became my sweet cats, Hogan & Arinna.
I loved to dress them up and always made them personalized ID tags from a Shrinky Dink Pet ID kit that our pet store in Atlanta sold. I bought, decorated, and baked so many of these pet ID tags over the years because my outdoor cats would frequently lose their break-away collars and come home with bare necks.
Fast forward twenty years. We were ready to welcome our first puppy into the family and like any new mamma-to-be I started purchasing all the “essentials”. The only problem was that the Shrinky Dink Pet ID kit no longer existed! I searched the internet and sadly, it was just nowhere to be found. However, a few blogs provided me with some ideas (because clearly I am not the only person who remembered these fun tags so fondly!) and my 8-yr old daughter and I took this on together as a project.
We had such a blast making these Shrinky Dink Pet ID tags together! They came out sooooo stinkin’ cute that I wanted to share our process. Given that the dog population in Boulder may be equal to the human population here, I figured some of you might be interested as well 🙂 .
This picture shows the before & after – first, how the tags will look when you print them on paper, and then how the tags themselves come out after cutting, baking, and shrinking. Adorable, right!?
And, as you may have guessed, the main photo above is our new puppy Goji! He is sporting one of his many personalized ID tags! And the collage below is Goji and a few friends showing off their new ID tags as well.
D.I.Y. Shrinky Dink Pet Tags
Shrinky Dink ink jet paper
Scissors (regular or with decorative edges)
Template or design program
Clear coat spray paint
12mm key rings (or larger for larger tags)
- Create and design your own Pet ID Tags or choose a pre-designed template.
– Option 1: Design. We created ours in a program called PicMonkey. We made 2” circles for small pet tags and 3 ½” circles for larger Pet IDs. We had a blast creating and designing our own tags. We learned that you have to fade the color to 50% so that when the tags are baked and shrink, the color will be appropriate. (If you don’t fade the color, the finished product will be too dark after baking/shrinking).
–Option 2: Template. You may also choose to skip designing and simply use a template by downloading one such as this to your computer’s desktop. Open the file and simply type in your pet’s name and your phone number. Easy peasy!
- Print your creations on Shrinky Dink printable inkjet sheets.
- Cut out with regular or decorative-edge scissors and punch a hole in the top-center.
- Bake according to package instructions; flatten slightly and let cool.
- Seal both sides of the Pet ID tag with clear-coat spray.
- Attach a key ring to Pet ID tag and then attach to your pet’s collar or other items such as a pet carrier, harness, or leash for identification.