Saturday, 24 November 2012

Scribble Initial Shirt

I recently came across this Scribble Initial T-Shirt Tutorial and thought it would make a great after school activity. Not because we aren't busy enough, but with the end of the school year getting closer I find that everyone is just a little worn out. A quick activity that produces a feeling of satisfaction and pride does wonders to help everyone to be patient and tolerant with one another. As does a swim in the pool after the school day!

I already had a few plain white t-shirts in the cupboard ready to be tie dyed, so I re-purposed them with a note to myself to replace them later! I followed the tutorial from Aesthetic Nest, replacing the freezer paper with contact (I didn't have any freezer paper and always feel good when I use what I have, rather than buying something specifically for a project!).

After some collaboration with the children we decided to use Cooper Black in 700 for the older children and 600 for Eli's smaller sized shirt.

We traced the letters on to Contact, cut them out, peeled off the back and stuck the outline or 'frame' of the letter on to the shirt. A piece of cardboard was placed inside the shirt so that the artwork did not seep through to the back. Then it was scribble time! Eli was delighted and scribbled away. Zoe decided to scribble in a very orderly fashion, while Lily (not pictured) coloured in block sections. We used Crayola fabric textas which worked fine, though any scribbling done with great excitement did have a tendency to move the t-shirt fabric around (the thicker the fabric the better). Gentle scribbling would be my recommendation! We did four shirts and the textas seem like they would be good for at least another round.

After heat setting the initials with the iron (and then letting each child wear their shirt until it was time for bed) I tossed them in the washing machine with a load of whites putting my full trust in Crayola and their assurance that the colours would not run. Guess what? The colours did not run. Phew!

This is a great activity that is quick, looks great, is cost effective (t-shirts for us ranged from $4 to $8. We already had the Crayola fabric textas, though I'd like some more! When the next person asks me what one of my children might like for their birthday I'm going to suggest them!) and my kids loved it. I loved it because it was no mess, no stress, can be prepared in advance and whipped out in 'times of need', took care of everyone from the ages of 2 to 10 years old, and we also have another great gift idea for others!

Zoe's interpretation of scribbling. It reminds me of fireworks!


  1. Love it!! What a great idea ... I've also seen something similar with white canvas sneakers (the cheapy sort you can buy at K-mart, etc). Scribble or draw on them, even use glitter glue. I've been meaning to do this with the girls ... must get organised!

  2. the shirts look great! thanks for sharing :)

  3. Silly question. What site did you use to print the letters? I used microsoft word and I could not get bigger than 70..which is way to small.

    thank you


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