Children love to create their own unique works of art
– as testified to by any parent whose fridge and walls are covered with their
child’s masterpieces. As well a pictures
and paintings, children particularly enjoy creating something which can be used
or worn and so, we’ve put together our guide to a fun fabric printing project for you and your
Before you begin, work with your child to decide what
kind of design he or she would like on the T.Shirt. It can be helpful to draw the design onto a
piece of paper before starting on the T.Shirt.
You will need
- A plain T.Shirt (these can be
picked up inexpensively online or in discount stores)
- Fabric paint (see below)
- Paint brushes
- Printing tools (see below)
- Freezer paper
First things first, you’ll need to decide what kind of
paint you’re going to use. There are a
number of options available which include:
These are an effective (and effectively mess free) way
of painting onto fabric. Perfectly sized
for little hands, crayons allow your child to draw their design directly onto
the fabric. Most children are familiar
with crayons for regular painting and so will feel comfortable using
these. Baker Ross do a great and inexpensive pack of
12 crayons in different colours.
Similar to fabric crayons, fabric markers are a
convenient and relatively mess free way of drawing directly onto fabric. Many packs of fabric markers, like these from
Amazon, contain different colours
and are great value.
Fabric paints are usually sold in pots like these from
Clever Baggers and, are a great way of
producing vibrant designs. Unlike
crayons and markers, these paints usually need to be mixed and so, are a little
messier than other methods.
Most modern fabric paints, markers and crayons are
non-toxic, however, there are still brands out there who use toxic ingredients
so it’s always a good idea to check that your chosen brand has the AP Certified
non-toxic seal as not all packaging lists the ingredients.
The right tool
for the job
Now that you’ve chosen your paints, it’s time to
decide which tools will work best for your design. When it comes to tools, the sky really is the
limit – many common household items work brilliantly for fabric printing
including Lego bricks, bottle tops, buttons, coins, and, hands and fingers.
Now that you have your paint and your tools, it’s time
to get started!
First, make sure that clothing and surfaces are
protected and clear a space for your work.
Place a piece of freezer paper inside the shirt and
then iron on top of the shirt in order to stabilise the shirt for printing and,
to stop the paint seeping through to the back of the shirt (and the surface
that you’re using). Make sure that the
paper is shiny side up before ironing.
Mix your fabric paint or gather your markers or
crayons and place them in a tub for easy access (this also reduces mess in the
event of spillage). Keep your paint-brushes handy, making sure that you have a
separate one for each colour of paint.
Grab your painting tool and colour it with your marker
or dip it into your fabric paint, making sure that the whole surface is
covered. It’s a great idea to use
different tools in different colours for a fun and interesting effect.
Press the tool firmly onto the shirt and hold it for a
moment to make sure that the paint is transferred onto the fabric. Repeat with different tools in different
colours to complete your design.
Once your design masterpiece is complete, leave to dry
for a good couple of hours. Once
perfectly dry, iron inside out to seal the paint – your shirt is now ready for
your child to wear – and to show off to their friends!
Once your child has got the hang of printing using
tools, try some new projects including:
Using fabric transfers
Sewing patches and sequins onto fabric