Instructables

Easy Pet ID Tags

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Step 1: What you will need:


  • Polystyrene plastic (#6 plastic or PS )* -it is the clear plastic often used in takeout containers (not the foam).
  • Metal hoop to attach tag to collar
  • Parchment paper
  • Coloured markers and a black fine tip marker
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Ruler
  • Toaster oven and oven mitts
*If you have trouble finding PS plastic you can just buy shrink art sheets (Shrinky Dinks) from craft stores.

Step 2: Determine shrinkage

One important thing to know when using polystyrene is that the different plastic containers do not always shrink to the same degree. Before you start cutting out the shape for your ID tag you will need to determine the amount of shrinkage. (I have also noticed that the length and width can shrink differently causing your final product to look skewed so it is a good idea to do a test run first.)

To determine the amount of shrinkage cut a small piece of the plastic, measure it (length and width), shrink it in oven (see Step 3) and then measure the end product. 

Step 3: Shrinking the polystyrene in the oven

  • Put the plastic onto a piece of parchment paper and place into a toaster oven (use with good ventilation -eg. with kitchen fan on, open a window).
  • Set the oven to 250 F (121C), and watch, first the plastic starts to curl, then it uncurls, then it shrinks .
  • The time it takes can vary, but once it uncurls and stops doing anything interesting, it is done.
  • With an oven mitt take out the parchment paper, if the plastic is still a bit curled, place something heavy on top, such as a phone book to straighten it out before it cools.
kalimo1 year ago
Very clever! I will have to make this for my pet now!
aimeee1 year ago
This is great! I should have seen this instructable before I placed yet another order for id tags. My cats have lost 4 tags already and they weren't cheap. Shrinky dink tags sound more fun to make any day. Thank you for sharing!
this is awesome! thank you.
ChrysN (author)  PadiDiver331 year ago
Thanks!
cool cheap and easy
191matthew3 years ago
GREAT idea...will try it
I agree .
cabrlamo3 years ago
I definitely need to try this. Our dog list his and I don't want to have to go to the pet store just to get one and spend the all the money!
KTea3 years ago
Exactly what I was looking for, thank you!
Loved your ibble it brought back many memories. I remember doing these in school as part of a design project, years later myself & group of friends studying art made them to order as part of a college charity drive, I couldn't belive some of the things people asked for but there were very few we could not make. They are great fun & an excellent way of keeping the kids amused on a rainy day, so much better than watching tv or playing on computers (I was so proud when they were growing up that my boys were among the few these days who actually read books). So glad you reminded me of them I have a whole basket of keys needing tags. :-)
ChrysN (author)  Nostalgic Guy3 years ago
Yes, it's a great activity for kids!
I do this for my naughty cat who loses tags! I sand the plastic and use coloured pencils then coat with a clear nail polish to seal. I did find the kits in the pet store but didn't want to pay $6 when I could buy a whole packet of shrinky-plastic at the craft store for the same price... Great instructable and cute kitty!
ChrysN (author)  sarahschmara4 years ago
Sealing it with clear nail polish is a great idea, thanks for the tip!
Oo very nice. I am so saving this for when I'm getting a new kitty or kitties.
mikeasaurus4 years ago
The results look great!
Kitty looks happy with new bling
ChrysN (author)  mikeasaurus4 years ago
Thanks, he does like his bling.
NutandBolt4 years ago
Great idea, good timing my cat lost her collar the 3 time last week so I might give this a try and make a few adress tags for her :-)
Ninzerbean4 years ago
Great idea! I just changed my phone number so this is very timely.
bptakoma4 years ago
These are great -- I've done them for visiting dogs and hook them on the collar with lanyard clips. Just in case a furry guest bolts from the dog park... And of course, once they have a "temporary" tag, they won't roam away.
Scott_Tx4 years ago
Neat.
kcls4 years ago
Nice! Kind of like "shrinky dinks". Great instructable.
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