Painted T-shirts

by Amanda Formero

Painted T-shirts

Kaboose logo

Painted T-shirts

Kids and paint… it’s a given! With summer almost here, why not sit down and design your very own t-shirt? Get creative using stamps, paint and lots of imagination!

Age: 4 and up (This project is rated EASY to do.)

What you need

  • Solid colored t-shirt or tank top
  • Cardboard, small enough to fit inside t-shirt
  • Fabric paint OR acrylic paints and textile medium
  • Various stamp shapes
  • Paintbrushes
  • Fabric paint tubes (such as Tulip paint)

What you do

1. If the T-shirt is brand new, wash and dry to remove sizing, a material used in new clothing to make it crisp. Do not use fabric softener.

2. Lay t-shirt on flat surface.

3. Insert cardboard inside t-shirt to keep paint from seeping through to the other side. Use more than one piece if necessary.

4. Choose a stamp shape and using the paint brush, paint the stamp with selected color. You can find stamps at most discount department stores or craft supply store. They are many different kinds to choose from, often an entire aisle is dedicated to different stamps.

5. Place the painted side of the stamp onto the shirt and gently press down on the stamp. Try not to press too hard or you may blur your creation.

6. Carefully lift the stamp off of the shirt and repeat if necessary. For example, we stamped a line of black spiders across one of our shirts by repeating this process each time.

7. Continue stamping shirt using whatever colors and shapes you like.

Decorating ideas:
? To write words on your shirt, you can use letter stamps as we did on our blue shirt, or write the words with tube fabric paint as we did on our yellow shirt.

? You can also use tube fabric paint to outline your shapes and give a 3D effect as we did around our star shapes.

? Use a paint brush and fabric paint to add any touches you would like. We used a paint brush to add red to the backs of our black spiders and to fill in the centers of our white stars.

8. Allow shirt to dry completely, lying flat. Follow paint manufacturer’s suggestions for dry times.

Helpful hints

? If you already have a supply of acrylic paints at home it is not necessary to spend a ton of money on fabric paints. Simply purchase a bottle of textile medium, which keeps acrylic paint from cracking and basically transforms it into fabric paint. Textile medium is available wherever acrylic paints are sold.

? If you decide to use tube paints to accent your shirts, you may wish to heat set your stamp designs first. Heat setting helps seal in the paint. To heat set, once item has dried for an hour or two, turn shirt inside out. Place a cloth over the item and iron on a medium setting. Hold iron in place for approximately 20 seconds to heat set.

? When you wash your t-shirt, turn shirt inside out and wash in cold water. Your designs will last longer if you can avoid the dryer or dry on low or no heat.

? If you personalize your child’s items with their names, please use caution in public places. We do not recommend that children wear their names on their clothing or accessories outside of home or school for safety reasons.