Paint a T-shirt!

FunLab Mom hints: T-shirt painting is a great way to pass an afternoon together with your kids. We have a few suggestions that can make the process work better, meaning that the fabric paint only ends up on the T-shirt!

1. Wash and iron your T-shirts before starting. This is important because washing removes sizing which will impede the paint from adhering to the fabric and ironing will insure that the designs come out better.

2. Set up a work area. Protect your table with an old towel or a ALEX Toys® Drop Cloth .

3. Dress your kids in old clothes or use a smock to keep things clean and avoid accidents.

4. Keep a clean damp rag on hand. Small mistakes can be removed immediately by carefully rubbing the area with a damp cloth.

You will need:

100% Cotton T-shirt Masking tape fabric paint
Cardboard Stencils brushes
Sponge shapes 3-D outliners fabric markers

Step 1: To get started, set up your work area so that all your stuff is organized.

Step 2: Cut your cardboard so that it is the size of your T-shirt and slip in between the two layers. Then turn over and pull fabric tight. Secure with masking tape. This is important for two reasons. The paint will bleed through to the back of the T-shirt if you do not block it with the cardboard. Second, the T-shirt should be held tight so that your image comes out okay.

Step 3: Pick your design. You can use sponges or pick a cool image from the FunLab image archive.

For sponges: soak in cold water and then completely squeeze out excess water leaving the sponge damp. Use a paintbrush to apply paint to one of the sides. Gently, apply the sponge paint side down to the T-shirt. Not happy with the sponge image? No problem. Use a paintbrush to fix imperfections!

Use the 3D paint tubes to add details.

For images: you can use any image to create a great T-shirt. Print the image on white paper, tape the paper to the cardboard, slip the cardboard inside the T-shirt and tape as described above. Use the image as a guide for copying the image.

For Stencils: if you have a stencil that you would like to transfer to your T-shirt remember to tape the stencil down so that it does not move while applying paint. Paint from the outside towards the center in order to avoid bleeding under the edges of the stencil. After the paint dries, peal the stencil from the T-shirt. You can use a blow dryer to speed up drying.

For experts: go crazy with your own ideas. Jazz up your T-shirt using fabric markers and fabric spray paint.

Step 4: Remove the cardboard carefully from the T-shirt. It is important not to wait too long because you do not want the cardboard and T-shirt to stick to each other while drying

Step 5: Your T-shirt is now completed. Let it sit until completely dry. Wear and have fun showing off your creative adventure. Remember that it is important to clean your brushes and close your paints so that you can use them for another T-shirt!

FunLab Fact: Did you know that you can make fabric paint by combining acrylic paint with fabric medium?

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