Shoot Along Gift Idea: Personalized Game Pieces


So it has taken a little longer than expected, but I finally have for you the final game gift promised from this post. Here’s a little project I did with my kids as a follow-up to our Tahoe vacation.

I am always looking for ways to use pictures from favorite trips or memorable periods of our life. I like the pictures not only of the people but of the details that were important to us at that moment that we could easily forget.

Did anyone play with shrinkie dinks as a kid? I remember having a Rainbow Bright set. Did you know you can get blank sheets of them for your printer? It’s almost more fun than I can handle.

We printed off a few pictures from our trip. For photos to work on shrinkie dinks, they  need to be a bit washed out to make the final color true. We had fun picking out the pics. For this project we picked out several subjects that were in transit.

We added a little hand-drawn detail with a water-based marker.

Then cut along the lines.

And then came the fun part, we popped them in the oven. It is so much fun watching them curl up and become itty-bitty versions of themselves. Note, if you have an emergency and some curl over themselves, don’t panic! Just put them back in a little longer and they should flatten. Use a butter knife to carefully and gently flatten them a bit if you need to.

We added stands and have a pretty fun final product. Candy Land, anyone?

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Deidra August 3, 2010 at 9:35 am

This is awesome. So much fun. Now I’m trying to figure out who or what I can make this for.


Beth August 3, 2010 at 10:19 am

That is hilarious! I love it! Cutest project ever!


Michelle August 3, 2010 at 10:35 am

What a fun idea, Amber!


Marlene August 3, 2010 at 10:40 am

This is SO cool! We did a “Makeyourownopoly” game last year. These would bbe great to go with that game!


Cris August 3, 2010 at 10:41 am

These are super cute! What did you use to make the bases?


AmberLee August 3, 2010 at 10:37 pm

Hi Cris, so glad you like them. I actually cheated and used play dough for the bases. But I’m headed out to get some modeling clay that will harden up and look nice once it dries.


maureen August 3, 2010 at 11:13 am

Amber you are sooo this idea and Im already thinking of fun family Christmas gifts..Thanks for sharing..


Donna C August 3, 2010 at 11:28 am

OMG SO clever I am making these for sure!


Amy August 3, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Such a good idea…my mum is obsessed with board games – she’s definitely getting a set of these for Christmas :D


Rachelle August 3, 2010 at 3:04 pm

So fun! Can’t wait to do this, another photo project – yahoo! I missed seeing you on Sunday, you were in the front and I was in the back with the loud ones!!


Heather August 3, 2010 at 3:21 pm

This is a fantastic idea! Wishing we had this idea in our heads as we took pics of our families at the recent birthday party!


Arielle C August 3, 2010 at 3:41 pm

Such a cute idea! Thanks for sharing your creativity!


Rachel August 3, 2010 at 4:35 pm

I love this idea so much! Thanks tons, I’ll be linking.


Korinne August 3, 2010 at 5:15 pm

What a wonderful idea. Did you know that you can use regular shrinky dinks in your printer too? Remember to set you printer to “draft” or “economy” to make you print lighter, it works great!


The Activity Mom August 3, 2010 at 6:54 pm

Love it! So cool!


Rebecca@RootsAndWingsCo August 4, 2010 at 9:14 am

This idea is fantastic!! We always seem to lose our marker pieces anyway, plus my kids will get such a kick out of using their own marker!! Thanks for another great idea!


christy August 4, 2010 at 5:09 pm

what a fantastic idea! I have been looking for something unique for my nephew. I think this fits the bill.


Terri August 5, 2010 at 10:16 am

This is such a fun idea! I’m definitely going to have to try it sometime.


Alison August 7, 2010 at 11:47 am

WOW!! This is incredible!! Kids would absolutely love this! Thanks so much for sharing this fun idea!!


geek+nerd August 10, 2010 at 3:47 am

These are so fantastic!


Alison August 11, 2010 at 6:56 am

I LOVE this idea!! I featured you on my blog today with a roundup of my favorite ideas:

THANK YOU for the inspiration!


Tammy@she wears flowers August 11, 2010 at 8:34 am

This is so clever! I love it!!

(Found you from Oopsey Daisy)


ana paula December 7, 2010 at 3:29 am

Hi there! I`m from Argentina and I love the things that you do, they are great.


Krista December 17, 2010 at 4:15 pm

I shared this on


April February 1, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Love this idea…just wondering what you used to stand them up


AmberLee February 2, 2011 at 7:24 am

Hi April!
Thanks so much for your note! It has been a little while since I made these, so I am not sure of the exact details, but I do know I used some kind of clay. I’d planned to snag some from an old game, but ended up going the clay rought. It might be worth while to just browse the craft store and see if you can find a clay that will dry well in the shape you sculpt it. Good luck!


boscosmom February 10, 2011 at 9:43 pm

What a great idea, I was thinking what a shame my nieces are too old for this now but then I thought “nah…with the right photos they”ll still love it”.


Esmer May 26, 2011 at 6:45 am

This is great. Where do they sell the shrinky dinks?


AmberLee May 26, 2011 at 8:31 am

Hi Esmer,
Thanks for your note! I picked up my shrinky dink sheets at Michael’s, but I’ve seen them online at Amazon too.


Sean January 25, 2012 at 5:34 am

What great ideas! I’ll definitely have to start creating some because all we do is play board games and these would be so useful!


Tammy July 30, 2012 at 4:57 pm

LOVE it! I am making a personalized Monopoly board for my husband’s bday and couldn’t figure out how to make nice personalized game pieces. I’m gonna have a pic of each of the vehicles he’s driven in his life and shrinky dink them! Fun! Thanks!!


AmberLee August 15, 2012 at 6:59 am

Tammy, you are a genius. I LOVE this idea.


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