Saturday, May 24, 2014

Crayons + Sandpaper + Shirt + Iron = Wearable Art!

It's Scott from Brick by Brick. I love to repurpose materials—use materials in ways different from their intended purpose. 

We repurposed sandpaper and an iron for wearable art!

Recently we had field day at my school. In preparation, I was handed a bundle of white t-shirts. They said, "You can decide how to decorate your class's shirts." And in my mind, I heard "good luck."

I wanted to do something that wasn't too difficult or involved. And I wanted to do something that the kids had a large part in doing. I did an online search for "quick and easy decorating kids t-shirts" or something similar. And I found lots of great ideas - especially on this post from Putti's World.

I jumped from that post to this one about using kids' drawings. I knew I had the idea that I wanted.

I bought some sandpaper. I wanted one that was relatively smooth but would still give some texture. 

The kids drew pictures. I cautioned them before they started - everything will be opposite. Don't write words or the letters will be backward. "Unless you write the letters backward," said one girl. And that's right. If you want words on your shirt, write the letters in mirror-image.

Sandpaper drawing (Brick by Brick)

Tip: Go over the design to make the crayon marks as dark or vibrant as possible. Lighter drawing will not transfer as well.

I did the ironing. I put several paper towels in a brown envelope and slide that inside the shirt. Then I laid the drawing facedown on the shirt and covered it with two paper towels. I began to iron.

Ironing shirt (Brick By Brick)

Or better, I began to press. Don't move the iron around as you would to smooth wrinkles. Hold the iron down with pressure for about 30 seconds. Then reposition the iron and repeat. Believe me, I developed a technique after doing 18 shirts. The first ones were okay but not as vibrant as the latter ones.

Tip: Use the high cotton setting. And no steam!

T-Shirt (Brick by Brick)

After using the iron, carefully peel the sandpaper from the shirt. I think they turned out great. The only thing on the shirts was the work of the child. Each one was unique and really great! 

These could be a great year-end project. You could also iron drawings on fabric to make pillows, wall art, or other items. 

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