Creative Afternoon #2

One of the things i like most about weekends - besides family time and baking, is crafting. At the moment, Alva is fascinated by elephants. Every object in the house which even remotely resembles an elephant, is an elephant in Alva's eyes. So i decided to print an elephant shirt for him. I wanted to keep it as simple as possible. One color on an unicolor cotton shirt. 

Here is the very simple step by step DIY tutorial. At the end you will find the print out templates for 3 different animal shirts. The elephant, a giraffe and a whale...Please notice that this tutorial is not suitable for kids under the age of 10. For smaller kiddos, i recommend to cut out and glue the shape yourself and let them apply the color with your assistance.

What you need for this DIY:

- A simple cotton shirt

- Textile color (I am using Marabu Textil)

- The printed out template (printed out in A4 or adjust the size of the print by playing with the % on the copy machine)

- Washable, non-toxic stick glue

- A paint brush (medium size)

- Scissors

- A piece of carton (i.e. from a cornflakes box)

- An iron (most of the textile colors are permanently fixed to the fabric only after ironing)

1. Once you have the template printed out in the right size to fit the shirt, start cutting out the elephant. Make sure to keep the "ear" and "eye" cut outs, you will need them later.

Place the carton piece inside the t-shirt, to make sure the paint will not pass on the other side.

2. Flip around the paper and apply a layer of glue to the borders of the elephant. There is no need to apply glue on the rest of the paper. It would just make it unnecessary difficult to remove the paper afterwards but make sure that all the edges, specially the smaller parts (like the tail) are covered.

Flip the ear and eye as well and apply glue to them.

3. Flip the paper and press it on the shirt. Place the ear and the eye in the correct place. Make sure that all the small parts are sticking well to the fabric in order to guarantee a clean edge for your drawing. 

4. Apply the paint to the shirt. Brush from the paper to the textile and not the other way around. Paint out the whole elephant...

5. Till it looks like this...then let it dry for a few hours.

6. When the paint is dry, gently remove the paper. This can be a bit tricky, since in some small parts, thin layers of paper will probably stay. Don't worry too much about them, since the glue is washable, they will come off later once you wash the shirt.

7. Follow the instructions on the textile paint about how to fix it permanently to the shirt. For Marabu colors, you need to place a cloth on the drawing (to prevent ruining both your iron and the drawing) and iron the painted area for 3 minutes (cotton heat without steam).

8. Wash the shirt with 30 degrees celsius to take off eventual remaining bits of paper and glue.


Templates to print out (please do not reproduce for commercial use)