(re)capturing the fun & wonder

Painted T-Shirts


For B’s birthday party, we had each child tell Tomas what they wanted
him to paint on a t-shirt, and then they got to color in their

Click here to see our slide-show

Products and techniques we used:

I bought 5-packs of plain white Fruit-of-the-loom t-shirts in
small, medium, and large. Accounting for one shirt per child, with a
few extras just-in-case. I ended up not needing the extras for the
party. I also bought new sponges and cut them into two inch squares (measurement is not important here).

I wrote down the children’s names as they arrived at the party and had Tomas all set up to take their orders, one at a time. He used regular paint-brushes to sketch the outline of the designs for the kids using Speedball Fabric Screen Printing Ink — I bought the 32 ounce tub, and barely made a dent in it — we have
plenty black ink left over for many, many more fabric painting projects.

While Tomas worked on the next painting, I set the previous t-shirt out with a sponge, water, and paints for it’s owner to get creative. We let the drawings dry for a few minutes before getting started on the coloring. We used the Jacquard Textile Traditionals Exciter Pack — I bought two sets, but only ended up using one. Because this is a bit messy, I was the one to handle the tubes of paint. Next, I dampened a sponge, and added the child’s color of choice. The child was the allowed to paint any way they wanted. As the day wore on, the children added more, and more colors.

The important thing here is to let the kids pick their colors and not stress over the pictures looking the way we (the adults) thought they should look. Some kids liked their pictures without any color, so opted out of the painting. That was totally o.k.

It was so nice to see the pride the children took in their creations.

Lastly, I sent an e-mail to the parents with instructions for setting the color — we wouldn’t want to lose our pictures in the laundry! If I’d been better organized I would have sent the instructions home with the kids. I also sent them a link to an online photo album of pictures we’d taken throughout the day. I’ll admit I was especially lucky here; one of my best friends hijacked the digi-cam and took a bunch of shots while Tomas and I were pre-occupied with the t-shirts. I also had several parents pitch in with taking care of Little T (who turns ONE in a week), and an incredible Dad who played a round of Hoops with the boys.