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Permanent Marker Projects

DIY faux tie dye socks project- using permanent markers and alcohol •

You know how we love our permanent marker projects, and I think most of you do, too, right?

In fact, you might have bins and buckets of permanent markers hanging around your house like we do. Let’s make stuff!

new awesome permanent markers (very low odor!)

We made 2 projects for this post, since we can never stop at just one:


DIY shrinky plastic earrings - using permanent markers •

1. Shrinky recycled plastic earrings – Fen doesn’t have pierced ears, but her older sister does, so we made some of these to send her at the camp where she is a counselor this summer. I saved the lids to a few takeout containers (mmmmmm, burgers.) and we punched holes out of them with our trusty hole punches. Punch some smaller holes in them and marker them up. If you don’t have a habit of collecting takeout lids, Amazon sells shrinky plastic sheets.


shrinky earrings- how much they shrink after baking •
This is a reference for how much they shrink. They don’t actually change design when you bake them…


Bake them in a 350 degree oven for about 2 minutes. Watch as they curl up and shrink and flatten out again. Weird little tip: the circles turn into ovals, and you can’t control if it ends up being a horizontal or vertical oval.


shrinky earrings made with permanent markers and #6 plastic takeout container lids •


Have you ever made earrings? Easy-peasy. Grab some small needle nose pliers, some jump rings and earring hooks. All you do is loop the jump rings around the hook and the plastic, and then close it up with your pliers.

2. Faux tie-dyed dotty socks- These knee socks are from the Target women’s sock section, because I couldn’t find any good tall socks in the girls’ section. They did have some ankle socks there, so feel free to substitute. I found some similar socks here.

Roll about 4 paper towels around your hand into a tube and stuff it inside of each sock. Let your kid draw on the socks with the markers. (We just dotted ours all over.)

paper towels stuffed in socks so the ink doesn't bleed through


Keep the paper towels inside so the marker doesn’t bleed through, hang them up, and spray or drip rubbing alcohol (from an eyedropper or small drop bottle) onto the markered areas. Start off with a little alcohol, and see how much you need to achieve your desired level of ink-runniness.

DIY tie dye socks- before and after spraying or dripping alcohol on permanent marker •

When the socks are dry, remove the paper towels and pop them into the dryer on high for 15 minutes to set the colors.

DIY faux tie dye socks project- using permanent markers and alcohol •


Faux tie-dye sock project using permanent markers •

Do not be alarmed when your 3 year old wants to make his own socks and wear them as superhero socks for 3 days straight.

coloring socks

What do you think?

Written by Joanne Gonzales

Joanne Gonzales has a passion for getting creative. Whether she is making personalized DIY gifts or taking part in larger arts and crafts projects, she puts her all into making new and beautiful things.

She lives with a group of close friends and believes in the natural way of life. Joanne has built an outdoor arts and crafts gallery that overlooks the countryside in her hometown, which is where all of her creations come to life.

Art started off as a hobby, but over time Joanne has mastered her skills and sold some of her favorite pieces. She works full time as a florist and has done for many years. It helps keep her creative juices flowing and she hopes to one day open her own florist shop with a twist.


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  1. ooooh! I like! I might have to stash this for a birthday party activity or something! Question, oh queen of the permanent markers… do you know of any with circular flat heads for making dots? We had an experience with some at the Train Days event we went to but I stupidly didn’t look to see what brand they were and now I can’t find them. I REALLY want to acquire them for t-shirt making at Ev’s birthday party this fall – they were fabulous and did not wash out of the fabric

    • Ooooooh, I don’t know what those are! But they sound very cool. I couldn’t even find anything when I just did a Google search; are you sure it wasn’t all a big marker dream?

  2. I have two adorable train shirts made with these dot markers and an engine stencil. I have searched and searched and can not find them!! I might have to call the Metroparks people and just ask them, so embarrassing. lol

  3. I’ve just tried to shrink plastic from a take out container and it didn’t hold it’s shape at all. It curled up into a really interesting bow-like shape and didn’t flatten out again, but it’s very cool – I love the free lines of it, and it did retain the punched hole so I can make something out of it. Don’t know why mine didn’t work out like yours, we must use a different plastic component here in Australia 🙂

    • Oh no! Maybe you have some sort of ‘super plastic’… The stuff we used was #6 plastic, and it did curl up, but then eventually flattened down again. I think you definitely need to get more takeout food from several restaurants and test all of the tops!

    • Thanks! I hadn’t done this before with my kids- I heard at some point that the plastic won’t shrink if you have a gas oven (as opposed to electric), but that’s clearly not the case.

  4. At first I thought the socks would be cute, but you know, just socks. Then I scrolled down and fell in love with how they looked after the alcohol! I think we will add this to our “must do this summer” project list.

  5. I am so impressed that you know terms like “jump ring”! Man, you really know what you are doing with the jewelry stuff! Love the art projects. We love permanant markers a little too much over here!

  6. And I had NO IDEA you could use recylable tops to canisters to make the Shrinky Dinks. Boy, I can’t believe I bought those kits! Where were you and your blog 5 years ago??!

    • You know, we just used the plastic tops that came with our takeout food. I’ve heard it only works with the #6 plastic, so you need to look and see if the 6 is on there in the recycling symbol. The size of the lid doesn’t matter as much as the type of it. I’m thinking the Pringles lids probably aren’t the right plastic type, but you’d need to check for sure.

  7. Hi!
    When creating the earrings out of plastic lids…do you cut off the rim from the plastic top before you bake/ shrink.

    • Hi Nik! We just used totally flat plastic, so I would probably cut off the rim of the top…. unless you want to try experimenting and see what happens! If you do, let me know!

  8. Hi! In new at this and i would like to know if instead of put them into the dryer, i could just let them set at the sun or something…
    My dryer died and im scared the colours may not stay the same after i wash them.

    Thank you!

    • Hi Magdalena- I would maybe try the sun to set it- I’m sure I’ve made some where I didn’t bother setting them in the dryer first, but if you’re really worried, you might want to test it on a scrap piece of fabric first!

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