DIY T-Shirts

  • Kids
DIY T-Shirts
  • Written by
  • Dyani Van Basten Batenburg

Reinvent your wardrobe

School holidays are on the doorstep, which means it’s time to pull on the thinking caps and muster up a few entertainment ideas to keep the kids out of trouble. With the weather still playing the unpredictable card, stashing a couple of indoor and outdoor activity options up your sleeves never goes a miss. So, why not get creative and tee up some painting!

Freeze! That’s My T-shirt

This is a fun DIY t-shirt stencilling activity that’s destined to put a proud smile on many a face.

What you’ll need
  • Freezer paper (available at supermarkets)
  • Stanley knife or scissors
  • White cotton t-shirt/s
  • Stencil designs i.e. star, butterfly, heart, your hand (click here for some free stencil designs to print off!)
  • Acrylic paints – variety of colours
  • Paint brushes or your hands!
  • An iron (you’ll need a hand from mum or dad)
How to…
  1. First, take your freezer paper and trace your stencil design onto it. Because freezer paper has two sides – shiny and dull – trace onto the dull side
  2. Then, using a blade or scissors cut out your stencil design. Leave extra paper around the edges of the design.
  3. Now, take your t-shirt and lay it on a firm surface or ironing board. Turn your iron onto medium heat and nicely ask a parent to iron your stencil onto your shirt. Iron it shiny side down.
  4. Taking your paints – and possibly head outdoors – paint within your stencil design with your chosen colours. Be as creative as you like and use either your fingers or a paintbrush – your choice!
  5. Leave the paint to dry, then carefully peel away the stencil paper to reveal the design silhouette underneath. It’s not uncommon for freezer paper to come off in one piece – or 20 – but don’t worry, it will all eventually come off.
  6. Finally, call a parent back again and ask them to press your stencil design with the warm iron.

You’re done! Wear it at once or give it a wash – great work!

Click here to download the stencil designs!


Bleach Spray T-Shirts

What you’ll need
  • A plain black cotton tee
  • Bleach
  • Cardboard
  • Stanley knife to cut out your stencil
  • Adhesive vinyl (for your stencil)
  • Empty spray bottle (i.e. window cleaner)
  • Stencil design ideas e.g. owl, skateboard, galaxy
  • Paper towels
How to…
  1. Trace your chosen stencil design onto a piece of adhesive vinyl and gently cut out your stencil using your Stanley knife. Press onto a chopping board and secure surface when doing this.
  2. Next, head outdoors or into the garage – somewhere with space around you – and lay your t-shirt out on a flat surface.
  3. Take your cut-out stencil and gently peel off the backing paper and press the stencil onto your t-shirt. Press it down firmly.
  4. Then, gently peel the transfer paper up, making sure the stencil stays attached to your shirt. With the transfer paper removed – you’re ready to bleach.
  5. Now, measure approx quarter cup of bleach into your spray bottle. Set the nozzle to fine mist.
  6. Place cardboard in between your t-shirt – saves bleach sinking into the back of it.
  7. Gently spray a very light coat all around the stencil – less is more, aim for one or two sprays max. Straight after, blot the whole area with paper towels.
  8. Then give it two minutes to let the bleach work. If you don’t get the bleached results you want after two minutes, give it another spray – then blot with paper towel.
  9. Finally, hang your t-shirt out to dry – do not get it wet! Once fully dry, wash it once individually to be sure you don’t bleach your other clothes!

You are done! T-shirt bleached and ready to rock!

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