T-Shirt Art Project - Rainy Day Craft Project To Do With The Kids
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T-Shirt Art Project - Rainy Day Craft Project To Do With The Kids

Rainy day projects are a must if you have kids. It's a great way to share quality time together. Making crayon art t-shirts will keep the blues away. Use new laundered cotton shirts or scour flea markets and thrift shops for large shirts to use for night wear. This is a great project to make matching shirts for a family or group.

Finding ideas to pass the time with the kids when it is raining outside requires having a bag of tricks up your sleeve. This technique was used by my Brownie Troop many years ago to make placemats for our mothers as Mother's Day gifts. Mother kept this gift over 50 years.

Here is the list of items you need for the project:

  • Crayola crayons (not all crayons are made the same)
  • 100% cotton t-shirt or a cotton synthetic blend in light colors
  • Freezer paper or waxed paper
  • An iron
  • A piece of cardboard to insert in shirt 

Years ago there were no such things as fabric crayons. Regular Crayola crayons are used here. There's just something about their wax formula. Prewash shirt to avoid shrinkage and remove any sizing. Place the cardboard into the shirt to create a steady surface on which the child can draw. A coloring book will provide inspiration. If your child isn't creatively inclined, you may use a permanent black marker to outline a picture or letters to be colored by the child. A steady hard coloring action will produce the best results.

Once the shirt art is completed, use a gentle brush to remove any stray crayon chips that aren't part of the design. Set the iron to a cotton setting without steam. Leave the cardboard inside the shirt. Cover the design with a sheet of wax paper or freezer paper with shiny side down. Firmly press each section of the design to melt the crayon into the fabric without moving the iron back and forth. This should only take about 10 seconds for each area. Be careful not to scorch the t-shirt fabric. Carefully check to see if all of the design is pressed in.

Credit: http://artfulparent.wordpress.com/2008/02/17/we-test-run-crayon-transfers-on-t-shirts/

If the design is not heavy enough, you can go over it with another layer of crayon and repeat the ironing process.

Another method being used is to transfer crayon art from a white sheet of paper onto the t-shirt by pressing. Use synthetic blend t-shirts for this process. Freezer paper works well for this although any white paper will do. What is neat about using the transfer method is that you can run off copies of pictures through a printer for the kids to color.  Day Care, classroom, or scout troops can create group t-shirts using this method.

Using the transfer method, remember that the artwork is a mirror image of the final print. Any lettering will have to be done backwards. Make sure that the coloring is done heavily so that enough of the crayon wax will melt onto the fabric. Always prewash the t-shirts to remove sizing and avoid art shrinkage. Press the same as above only the transfer paper takes the place of the wax or freezer paper. Your finished t-shirt will resemble this picture.

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Comments (4)

I remember making these as a kid.

Ranked #3 in Arts & Crafts

Great idea, I'll give it a try.

My kids just returned from sleep-away camp, one of the craft prjects was designing their own tee shirts, with your instructions they can do it at home...keeping them busy. Great article...voted up

Ranked #2 in Arts & Crafts

These are always fun to do. I can use this when the grandkids are a little older.