Dandelion t-shirt

No need to wear plain old t-shirts this Spring. These dandelion shirts are simple and pretty, and would make a fun crafternoon project to do with your friends. Paint your own dandelion design with help from a special paint applicator you can find at the dollar store. Okay, “special paint applicator” sounds intimidating, it’s really just a common household item you might already have on hand. Read on to find out the secret tool!Welcome to Liz, our guest-poster, who designed this project. I saw it on her blog and emailed her immediately to ask her to share how to make it!

Paint a Dandelion Blowing Shirt

by Liz, My Messy Desk

It is such an honor that Heather asked me to be a guest blogger! I’m an Army wife and Mom to two wonderful boys. And I love crafts…all kinds of crafts. I am also afflicted by a serious case of “I can do that….for cheaper!” So of course, Dollar Store Crafts is right up my alley! The project Heather asked me to write about is a cute blowing dandelion shirt a couple of my ladies made at my March Craft Day event. Who can resist blowing a dandelion in the summer? One of my favorite pictures of my oldest son was of him blowing those pesky seeds off into the neighbor’s yard when we lived in Illinois. Shhh… don’t tell John and Lois!

Project Materials:

  • T-shirt, on hand or $1 and up
  • Piece of recycled cardboard, on hand
  • White, Black, and Green Acrylic or Fabric paint, on hand or $1 each
  • (Optional) Fabric Medium for acrylic paint, about $3
  • Shower pouf, $1
  • Thin-tipped paint brush, on hand
  • Paper plate for a paint palette, on hand

Total: $1 and up

About the supplies:

T-shirt: any color but white is fine, so choose what you like (reclaimed from your closet, purchased on clearance or even Goodwill like mine was).

Cardboard: Flat piece of cardboard large enough to fill the inside of your shirt (cereal boxes work perfectly)

Paint: White, black and green paint (fabric paint is great, but you can add Martha Stewart’s Fabric Medium to any acrylic paint to keep it from being stiff and un-wearable)*

Shower pouf: You can get these at the dollar store, or pretty much any other store for $1 or less. I got 2 for $1 at Wal-Mart.

Paint Pallet: I used a left over paper plate or two, but if you don’t have one, you can use a piece of recycled cardboard (the rest of your cereal box?).

*Note: Be sure you are using paints with the same curing process.

How to Make a Dandelion Shirt:

1. The first step is to put the cardboard inside the shirt, to keep paint from seeping through to the back, which is not attractive.

mix the paint

2. Next, you want to squirt a generous amount of the white paint on to the plate. If you are using regular acrylic paint and fabric medium, follow the directions for mixing on the bottle. As you can see, I added some glitter paint, but it didn’t give it noticeable sparkle, so I don’t recommend the extra step.

pounce the pouf

3. Then comes the fun part – pounce the shower poof up and down in the paint and then gently pat it on the shirt where you want the head of the flower to go. I recommend starting with as little paint as possible, gently tapping most of it off on a scrap paper towel before you touch it to your shirt. You can always add more.

paint the stem

4. Next, squirt a bit of the green paint on your plate and using the thin brush, paint your stem. Perhaps you want to give it a slight curve so it looks like it is bending in the direction of the wind.

Blowing seeds

5. Next, we added some seeds to look like they were being scattered by the wind. We used two methods with the same white paint mixture:

  1. Ever so lightly sweep the poof out and up from the head of the flower, or
  2. Paint each individual seed with the thin paint brush, making little crosses. Then rinse the brush and dip it in the black paint to put a tiny stem on each seed.

Either method seems produces pleasing results, it is just a matter of whether you want fast and abstract or painstakingly real. After much deliberation, we decided that the seed band started at the same width as the head of the flower and then scattered and broadened as it moved upward. I think a few blowing over your shoulder and onto your back would be fun, too.

Now you just have to be patient while your creation dries (generally for 24 hours), heat set with an iron as directed (mine was 3 minutes on as hot a setting as the shirt fabric allows), wash and wear!

Dandelion t-shirt

If you want to know more about me and see the other fun we are creating at My Messy Desk, please check out my web site, www.CreativeInspirationsAtMyMessyDesk.com, especially my blog on the Musings page.