February 7, 2011

Valentine T-Shirts

I made these cute Valentine t-shirts with my kids last year – here’s a re-post sure to get you thinking all things hearts and Valentines.
Here are the materials you’ll need:
  • plain t-shirts – any color, cotton or a blend – not washed  (I got mine at Target – $3 long-sleeve with a pocket for my son and $5 short sleeve for my daughter)
  • Avery Label Full Sheet sticker paper – this will be your stencil  (you can also use freezer paper, but I like using the sticker paper because it sticks to the shirts)
  • acrylic craft paint (I don’t use fabric paint for painting on clothing – I like the results from acrylic craft paint)
  • 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 your Valentine design – my daughter wanted a ballerina throwing magic hearts and my son didn’t get a choice – I drew a dump truck dumping out hearts. (If you aren’t the drawing it yourself type, you could also print out something from the internet or trace heart cookie cutters 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.
  • Adults only: put something (like 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.
  • Peel the backing off of the sticker paper and position on the t-shirt
  • Place a piece of paper under the front of the t-shirt
  • Using your stencil brush (or another stiff brush) apply the paint to the t-shirt – use a quick, tapping motion – my kids love this part
  • We did one color on each tee, but you could do multiple colors
  • Let dry for 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
  • 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!

There you have it – Valentine’s (and Any) Day T-Shirts! I think we’re going to make this a tradition and also make birthday shirts this way too. FUN!

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Cleaning With Kids, Make It