DIY Tutorial, Kid Crafts, Silhouette CAMEO

Use Shrink Plastic To Add Fun Details To Your Costumes

Happy Halloween! This tutorial will show you a great way to add fun details to your costumes using plastic shrink material and the Print & Cut feature. This year, my family is ready for a puppy-powered Halloween, and I made the costumes myself.

During this project, I also learned a lot of what NOT to do when using shrink plastic. See my list of tips and tricks here to save yourself a lot of frustration and time.

Supply List:

  • Inkjet Printable Shrink Plastic
  • Inkjet Printer
  • Ribbon
  • Silhouette CAMEO®
  • Silhouette Cutting Mat
  • Hot Glue
  • Oven or Toaster Oven (to shrink the plastic)
  • Designs from the Silhouette Design Store (tagged at the bottom)

NOTE: If you’re printing on your shrink plastic, make sure it is inkjet printable. The non-inkjet type won’t work with a printer.  (Believe me, I tried!)

I’m fired up!  Let’s start this project.

Step One: Design The Tags


  1. Ungroup  the file and delete the other shapes since we’ll use the same shield for all of them.

I used a shield from this shield set (Design ID #81636) as the base for all of them.

You will need to use the Offset Tool to make the silver edge.


  1.  Select “Internal Offset” and set the distance to 0.125.
  2. Click “Apply.”

To color the edge portion that we just created, you’ll need to use the Modify Tool to divide the design into separate pieces.


  1. Select the design.
  2. Click “Divide.”

Now it’s 2 pieces!

Continue to color and design your tags as you like.


Fill the shield with the appropriate colors depending on which character you’re designing for.  Don’t forget to add line weight and change the colors if you want the outlines to show.

Just keep playing with the colors and scales until you’re happy with the results.

Step Two: Size Your Design


VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: The shrink plastic I used shrinks down to one-third of the original size so you need to make it 3x’s times bigger when you print it.

Dust off those math skills, you’ve got this! 


(Or you can use the Scale tool to automatically resize.)

One final thing to be aware of before you print your design:

As the plastic shrinks, the color will intensify. To compensate for the color change, the manufacturer recommends that you lighten the transparency of the image.

To change the transparency of your design:


  1. Select the Fill Color tool.
  2. Click “Advanced Options.”  

You’ll see the option at the bottom where you can adjust the transparency levels.

NOTE: For this design (or others like it) I’d recommend leaving the white paw print at full intensity since the red would show through if you lightened it.

Step Three: Print & Cut


  1. Add the registration marks (using the button in the corner)

For help with using Print & Cut successfully, check out this post here.

Now it’s time to figure out what size you want the final product to be.

  1. Add the registration marks (using the button in the corner).
  2. Load your inkjet printer with the shrink plastic.
  3. Send your project to your printer.


For help with using Print & Cut successfully, check out this post here.

Getting The Most Out Of Your Plastic Shrink Material


I designed another pup tag and added it to the sheet so I can minimize wasted material. You can also save a lot of material by performing a test cut. For more ideas about how to get as much out of your materials as possible, see this post here.

Step Four: Shrinking Your Plastic