Here's a fun, easy summer activity: decorate tee shirts with fabric pens. We are calling these our "Official Summer of Fun T-Shirts." (I know, it's cheesy, but I'm putting on my brave get-through-the-summer face.)
Making tees wasn't some grand idea I thought up and planned. It all came about because my son (age 4) recently said,
Mommy, I need you to knit me some space shoes.
Yup. You read that correctly: he wanted me to knit him space shoes. Aside from the obvious question, "what in the world are 'space shoes'?", I have not picked up a pair of knitting needles since I was 10 and decided that I hated knitting and purling. I didn't even know he knew what knitting was.
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There was a bit of a tantrum when I informed him I was unable to fulfill his request. Nevertheless, we came to a compromise: we would make space tee shirt together.
Upon hearing our fashion plans, Kiddo (age 8) decided to get in on the action. He chose birds as his subject matter. I love how in the top photo you can tell exactly what subjects my boys are currently obsessed with!
I purchased some plain white tees at a neighborhood store and fortuitously I had a package of fabric pens buried in our art supply cupboard. I was worried that since the markers were several years old and sat unused in the box, they would no longer work. But they did! Hooray!
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At first it was tough for my older son to get used to drawing on fabric. (See end of post for our eventual solution!) He got rather upset, actually. I explained that he had a choice to either exercise patience and keep trying or not do it at all. Sometimes he does give up, but I was really proud of him that he decided to see it through. He's very proud of his creation.
Now, I realize that since my 4-year-old did not do his own drawing, only his brother's shirt is officially "kid-made". The 4-year-old was upset by his inability to make a perfect circle so I drew the planets according to his instructions. It was still easier than knitting him some space shoes.
The older child decided that his brother's space shirt needed a message on the back. In case you are wondering (as I was), Eris, Ceres and Makemake are dwarf planets. Don't forget about them!
We made more tees and discovered an trick to allow the kids to draw on the fabric without it bunching up and causing frustration. Clip the shirt to a piece of cardboard with a couple of binder clips. If the fabric is stretched taut it will stay (relatively) flat.
This was my first time making tees with the kids, even though I know it's a common craft idea. Have you made tee-shirts with your kids?