Drawing Play, Textile Art

Crayon Transfer T-Shirts

This is one of my favorite methods for creating lasting textile art with kids. The crayon transfer method transfers and preserves precious drawings by your little artist, and they will be sure to love the magical feel of the transfer process.

Materials

  • Fine sand paper
  • Crayons
  • Iron
  • T shirt, tote bag, or textile of your choice
  • Fabric medium and paint brush (optional)

Instructions

1. Draw with crayon on sandpaper. Make sure to write any words in mirror image so they read correctly after the transfer. The thicker the crayon layer, the better.

2.) Transfer your drawings to a t-shirt by turning them upside down and pressing down with a hot iron for 5-10 seconds.

3. You can stop here and be finished if you are prepared to only wash your wearable work of art in cold water. If you go this route, throw the finished t-shirt in the dryer for 10 mins on high heat to set the drawings.

If you want some extra protection for high heat washing, as we did, you can paint a layer of clear fabric medium over the drawings and let it dry. After it is dry, toss the t-shirt in the dryer for 10 mins on high heat to set the drawings.

Make sure to slip in paper on the inside of the shirt prior to painting on the fabric medium so the t-shirt doesn’t get glued shut with fabric medium, which acts like glue.

I recommend taping off a frame (with painter’s tape) around the area of the shirt your drawings are in, and painting an evenly distributed layer of fabric medium within that frame. The fabric medium will change the texture of the shirt—making it stiffer—and it will look nicer if that texture change is evenly distributed.

I hope you have as much fun with this process as we did.

Try out our other methods for making textile art with kids. They are all fun and make great gifts! We have made shirts and totes with Textile stamps and markers, and a variety of other methods that can be found in our “textile” highlight on Instagram.

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