This week is all about vehicles and transportation. This is a topic that can go so many directions depending on your kids’ interests and ages – here are a couple activities that we did for the week:
  • we pulled out our transportation-related books
  • checked out transportation books from the library
  • wrote out sight/vocabulary words
  • we set up train tracks around the house
  • made roads around the house with painters tape to make roadways for our die cast vehicles
  • read transportation books
  • watched the movie “Cars”
  • looked at maps and drew our own
  • painted transportation t-shirts  
  • watch trains at the train station
 The project for today’s Messy Monday is a two color printed vehicle t-shirt – here are the supplies that you’ll need:
  • plain t-shirts – any color, cotton or a blend – they don’t have to be new
  • Avery Label Full Sheet sticker paper – this will be your stencil (you can also use freezer paper too, but I think that the sticker paper works better – especially with more than one paint color
  • acrylic craft paint (I don’t use fabric paint, but you can)
  • x-acto knife
  • stencil brush
  • parchment paper – or computer paper
  • iron
Once you have your supplies, this is what you are going to do:
  • Draw or have your older kids draw a vehicle design (if you aren’t the drawing it yourself type, you could also print out something from the Internet or trace shapes onto the sticker paper or do initials by printing a big letter in a fun font on the sticker paper). Keep your design simple. Sketch or print your design onto the sticker paper – I drew an old Ford pickup.
  • Adults only: put something (magazine, cardboard) under your sticker paper – using your X-acto knife, cut the t-shirt design out of the sticker paper. This is a lesson in negative space – you are cutting out where you want the paint to go. I cut out the inside for the first painting step, make sure that you save the inside if you are doing a second color.
  • Peel the backing off of the sticker paper and position on the t-shirt – press down really well so the paint won’t seep under the sticker paper
  • Place a piece of paper under the front of the t-shirt – this will keep the paint from soaking through to the other side of the shirt
  • Using your stencil brush (or a stiff brush) apply the paint to the t-shirt – use a quick, tapping motion – my kids love this part – do at least two coats

  • We did two colors on our t-shirt, but you can just do one color (here’s how I did t-shirts with one color)
  • Let the first color dry for an hour or two
  • Make additional cuts in the sticker paper (the part that was initially cut out) for a second color of paint – this is where I added details and little lines with the X-acto knife 
  • Position this sticker over the first coat of paint
  • Apply paint in the same tapping motion that was used in the first application of color
  • Let dry for at least an hour or two
  • Carefully peel off the sticker paper
  • Turn inside out and put a piece of paper between the layers and iron the back of the t-shirt to set the paint – iron should be medium-high – rub back and forth for about a minute to set the paint and make it permanent
  • Keep t-shirt inside out and toss in the dryer for an additional 15 minutes on high
  • Wash on cold cycle – inside out, by itself – just for the first washing
  • Dry in the dryer and wear!
I like the vintage/worn look that the second color of paint gives the t-shirt print. This is a great family-friendly project – simple, fun and great results every time!
    I’m linking this up to some fun parties this week.