Thursday, 26 July 2012

Possible copyright infringement tshirt activity

To customise tshirts in a dodgy semi-illegal but pleasing to a 4 year old way you will need:

Cheap tshirts (Tesco were having a sale today, each of the tops cost £1)
Fabric paint (ours is leftover from Christmas, so gold and red)
Wax freezer paper (I got mine from ebay)
Scalpel or craft blade
Pencil and pen
A four year old

You may like to look at the post on  sewweekly that gave me the idea in the first place. StephC's work is so much better than mine.

You need to draw your own design or in my case, for the artistically challenged, trace a picure of something your child really likes. Mia chose Zog.  She loves this book, and others by the same author: Julia Donaldson. The pictures are amazing, they are by Axel Scheffler. I like Zog, the storyline is fab, but my favourite is The Highway Rat. Mia loves the Gruffalo too.

Zog is the orange dragon, of course. I traced the picture with a pencil and then I used a blue pen to colour in the lines I would cut out with the scalpel. Put your wax paper on a piece of cardboard (this is not vital but does stop you cutting your table). Cut out the blue bits. Try not to cut your fingers. Do not allow four year olds to "help" even if they beg. Then put the scalpel way way waaaaaaaaay out of reach.

Take your iron, set it to warm, turn off the steam, put the wax paper (wax side down!) on the tshirt where you want your design to go. Check that is also where the four year old thinks it should go. Let him or her move the design about a centimetre to a "much better" spot. (You can miss out these steps if you like, my four year old is very opinionated.) Iron it. 

Put a piece of board or something inside the tshirt so that your paint does not seep through. Make your child wear an old tshirt.


Obviously you only need to paint the cut out parts but your four year old might have other ideas. Mine did.

Peel the wax paper off when the paint is dry or carefully when it is wet if you cannot wait. Leave the design to dry. Iron the design to "fix" the paint (or whatever it says on the pot of paint).

That's it.

If your child is very keen indeed repeat with another design. This is Gaston the ladybird (asleep, he sleeps on his back. I did not make my girl a dead ladybird tshirt.)

Have fun!


  1. I love it! Guess what we will be doing next week?!

  2. Love the shirts.. and what a pretty girl to wear them.. My favorite photo is the yellow tshirt.. ADORABLE!!!
    Proud you two girls had a fun "making tshirts day"..

  3. Haha! I love the ladybird t shirt, I bet she'll get a lot of comments about that one!

  4. this is a great idea! May need to add it to the Bertie Botts Boredom Jar!

  5. I've been wanting to do a freezer paper stencil project for the LONGEST TIME, but I can't find freezer paper anywhere around here. Is it just an American thing?! I never thought of checking Ebay, so thanks for the idea.
    Super cute!