Tutorial: Make a Shirt With Glittery Kid Art
My kids are such prolific artists. Every day they bring home about ten drawings from school. I want to keep some of it, but most of our kid art doesn't get the rock star treatment it deserves. So, this week I decided to create a fun t-shirt my son could wear that featured his own art, all glittery and shiny!
In addition to doing tons of cool drawings, my five year-old son has recently begun to write. I love that little kindergarten writing, and I wanted to incorporate it into a craft so we could remember it. I combined some of his drawing and writing with Tulip Shimmer Sheets to make a very simple iron on project.
I usually have a few kid-sized t-shirts on hand because I pick them up at the dollar store whenever I see them. This is also a great project for a stained t-shirt because you can cover up the stains with iron-on glitter.
- T-shirt, $1 or on hand
- Tulip Shimmer Sheets, $14.99 for 4 sheets (or, $3.75 per sheet)
- Permanent marker, on hand
- Piece of tissue paper or paper towel (to use as a pressing cloth)
About the cost: Yes, its an investment to do this project, but you will be able to get several designs from one package. At this price, each glitter sheet costs about $3.75, so even if you are using one full sheet for a t-shirt, $4.75 is a great price for a shiny, happy, custom t-shirt.
To keep this project much cheaper per piece, I suggest the following: cut each sheet into half or even quarters before you give it to your child. If you do this, you reduce your costs to $1.87 (for half a sheet), or 94 cents (for a quarter sheet). Now that's what I call Dollar Store Crafting!!
If you use the quarter-sheet method, you will get 16 quarter-sheets, and you can do this craft with 16 kids for about $2 per person (if you get t-shirts at the dollar store). Could be a fun project for a classroom or scout group.
How to Make a Shirt with Glittery Kid Art
1. Cut sheet to desired starting size. Instruct child about the proper use of permanent markers (important if the child is young!) -- tell him the markers are only for writing on the shimmer sheet, not for writing on the table, chairs, or themselves. Protect your table surface with newspaper, if desired.
2. Let child draw a few simple pictures or write his name or other desired words on the shiny plastic side of the shimmer sheet. This protective plastic sheet will be removed before you iron the sheets. Remember: the drawings themselves will NOT be transferred to the final design.
What to draw on your shimmer sheets
Simple line drawings and silhouettes work best. You might want to discuss with the child what they are going to draw before they start. In my case, this shirt was going to our 2 year-old son who is a huge fan of guitars. I told my 5 year-old what I wanted, and he drew to order.
For words, it can be a little bit tedious to cut out all the letters, and then to peel the protective cover off of them, so you might want to keep it to one or two words! Also, for a thicker "font", use a jumbo or fat permanent marker to make the line a bit thicker.
3. Cut around all the black lines. Use small, sharp scissors to cut out inside lines. Nail scissors work well for this!
If you don't want to cut out ALL the lines, you can do what I did with this drawing and just cut out the important features so most of the image is filled in with glitter.
4. Figure out the placement you want on your t-shirt. While you are doing this, heat up your iron!
5. Carefully peel the protective sheet off each piece. The pieces will curl just a bit when you have removed the plastic.
6. When you are finished preparing your cutouts, cover them with a "pressing cloth." This can be a thin dishtowel, a piece of scrap fabric, or even a piece of paper. I used tissue paper because I wanted to make sure the letters had the right placement and didn't get bent when I put the pressing cloth over them.
7. Iron according to the package directions (at the appropriate temp for the fabric, press down for 40 seconds).
8. Remove the pressing cloth, and you're done!
We tried to draw guitar strings on the guitar with a permanent marker after the fact, but it didn't really work. So, just make sure you cut out any line details you want to keep.
Tulip Shimmer Sheets Review
This product is really fun to work with, and there are lots of ways you can use it. The thing I love most about it is how simple it is to work with, and the level of glitter is amazing!
Once it's ironed on: The final product is really pretty and sparkly. My boys LOVED this shirt so much that we had to immediately make one for each of them. The iron-on material is soft and pliable on the t-shirt, and feels kind of like it has soaked right into the t-shirt.
- Easy to work with
- Very sparkly
- You can draw right onto the plastic coating, so no reversing of the image is necessary (like with some other iron-on transfer materials)
- You can cut it with scissors, craft punches, or die cutters
- Comes in a bunch of fun colors
- The main con for me, really, is the price tag, but I came up with a money-saving tip earlier in this post, so if you follow it, the cost becomes very reasonable.
- Packs of 4 sheets have only one sheet of each color, so if you only want one specific color, you can't get it by itself.
Overall, I recommend this product. It is a blast to work with, and a VERY easy way to add glitter to textiles with no mess or stress.
Buy it at I Love To Create's Online Store: Tulip Shimmer Sheets
Disclosure: I received this product from I Love to Create as part of a paid campaign with The Blueprint Social. The project idea and opinions expressed are my own.
Full disclosure policy.