Make Your Own T-shirt Design

What You Need:

  • One of your child's favorite drawings
  • Avery Ink-Jet Iron-On T-shirt Transfers (available at office supply and craft stores)
  • Cotton or cotton/poly blend piece of clothing (like tote bag or t-shirt) in a light color
  • Computer, scanner, and ink-jet printer
  • Iron and ironing board

What You Do:

  1. Hand your child some markers and invite him to draw some pictures. (You can also scan a photo, or make a drawing using a digital program.) Encourage him to draw whatever he likes and offer some ideas, such as a family portrait, his favorite animal, a sunny day, or a superhero!
  2. If it's around a holiday or a grandparent's birthday, encourage him to draw a themed picture, like a Christmas scene or a portrait of your child with grandma. There is a lot of creative leeway here, so whatever he comes up with is A-ok!
  3. Invite your child to choose his favorite drawing, and follow suit by picking your favorite!
  4. Scan the pictures one at a time.
  5. Open the image in an art program, and flip the picture horizontally so it looks like a mirror image of the original picture. Resize accordingly.
  6. Print the image onto the transfer paper and wait about 20 minutes for the ink to dry thoroughly.
  7. If the image doesn't take up an entire page of transfer paper, cut around the edges of the image so you have a small border.
  8. Using high heat, iron the image onto a piece of clothing, pressing down as hard as you can, for about a minute. Keep in mind that ironing time varies according to the size of the image, so keep the transfer paper instructions nearby if you're not sure how long to iron. Note: light-colored clothing will give you the best results, so try to find a piece of clothing in white or another light color.
  9. The transfer should last through dozens of washes but for the best results, flip the clothing inside out before each wash. Now you have a cool and one-of-a-kind piece of clothing that shows your child's boundless artistic talents!

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