activity one of a kind tshirt

One of a Kind T-shirt

It's super cool to sport a shirt that shows off your preschooler's own personal style. Designing this unique, wearable art fashions your child’s design and small motor skills too!

WATCH OUT!

Only an adult should handle a hot iron. Also, fabric crayons look very similar to regular crayons. Keep them in a separate container so they don’t get mixed together.

MATERIALS - click to buy
  1. Fabric crayons - Available at here on Amazon, your discount or variety stores.
  2. Pre-washed white or light colored t-shirt in your child’s size, made of at least 50% synthetic materials like this one. The higher the polyester content, the brighter the colors will be. Remember, fabric crayons don’t work well on 100% cotton fabrics.
  3. White, letter-sized paper. Printer paper like this is our choice. Don’t use construction paper as it’s too porous and the designs will be blurry.
  4. Clothes iron like this example, set at the hot or “wool” setting with no steam - For adults only!
  5. Ironing board. We like to use a table-top ironing board like this one. It makes it easy for our young ones to grab a chair and watch the transformation.
  6. Optional: Clothes dryer
  7. Optional: Large, non-slip cutting board
  8. Optional: Wide, removable tape such as painter’s tape or masking tape found here.
HOW TO
  1. Skilly Spark: Let’s look at this t-shirt. It doesn’t look too special, does it? Do you think you can make it into something unique?  Chat about what kind of drawing would look and feel good on it. What designs, shapes or colors would you use? How can you make it especially your own?
  2. Let your child practice their special design on a few pieces of paper.
  3. On a solid surface like a table or a large cutting board, hold or tape the shirt down so that your child can draw directly onto the t-shirt. Use as many different colored crayons as needed to make the desired drawing or design. Press hard so that the crayon marks are heavy and dark. The colors might look a bit dull when first applied, but they will brighten up when they are ironed.
  4. When your child is finished, be sure to brush or shake off any crayon dust before ironing, or it will become part of the permanent design.
  5. Now, put the t-shirt on the ironing board with one piece of paper under it, to protect your ironing surface. Then place your 2nd paper on top of the fabric, covering your little one’s designs completely to protect your iron.
  6. Press the iron over the picture for 1 to 2 minutes, following your fabric crayon’s directions. To avoid smearing the design: Do not roll it over the paper like you would when you usually iron a garment. And be sure to not let the paper move.
  7. When you are finished with the iron, to set your child’s drawing a bit more, put the t-shirt in the dryer for a few minutes on high heat.  
  8. Let the t-shirt cool at least an hour, then wear it with pride!
  9. Your child's picture will stay on indefinitely, even with washing. Just use warm or cool water in the gentle cycle without chlorine bleach and air dry.

 

Keep the fun going
  • Make a matching set-- use light colored bottoms, like shorts or pants to go with your top!
  • Keep customizing. Adults, if your child's vision calls for it, use sharp scissors to add fringe to their shirt’s sleeves or hem, maybe add a v-neck or cut off the sleeves … What do you think?
  • Gift it! Transform cloth tote bags found here online or from your local dollar store into holiday or birthday presents with your little one’s art. Or, use fabric squares and make throw pillows for super cute souvenirs.
  • Flip it! Ask your young one to draw their design directly on the paper. Then, turn it over and iron it onto the t-shirt. See how the design is reversed?

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