T-Shirt Painting

T-Shirt Painting for Kids

T-shirt painting is great for a kids birthday party. There can be lots of reasons for wanting to give all the guests at your child's Birthday party a custom T-shirt.....

Maybe you are taking them all on an outing and want to make it easy to keep track of who your guests are, maybe you are looking for a great crafting activity for a CRAFT PARTY, or maybe you just think it will be a nice souvenir of the party that will fill your child with pride every time one of their friends show up at school wearing it.

Depending on your other party plans and budget there are a number of ways you can go about creating personalised Birthday party T-shirts.

T-Shirt Painting with Fabric Markers


This is probably the cheapest and easiest personalised T-shirts option.

You can normally find cheap multi packs of plain white T-shirts in the underwear section of a clothing shop. Fabric Pens might be a little harder to find but most craft shops will have them or alternatively permanent markers work just as well and may be cheaper.

If you want the children to have the shirts before the party starts you will have to set up a mini living room production line getting them all done, but why not save them for creating as an activity at the party.

This personalised T-shirts craft can be a really nice warm up activity for children to be doing as they wait for all the guests to arrive. All you need to do is give your children their T-shirt when they first show up and have a table ready with lots of colors of pens, then the children are free to be creative.

T-Shirt Painting with Fabric Paints


Using fabric paints for your personalised T-shirt painting craft will leave you with much more colorful shirts that stand out a lot better than if you just used pens. When using fabric paints you can also provide stencils that match any kids party theme and which can be great to help less artistic children produce something that looks great.

They won't however be able to wear them until they dry and you also need to be aware that using paints runs the risk of making a lot of mess, so prepare for this.

Choose your location carefully. If the weather is good this T-shirt craft could be an outdoor activity but if it is indoors use newspaper and old sheets to cover any furniture that would not be improved by paint-y finger prints and spillages!

Have soap and water on hand where the personalised T-shirts activity is taking place. Having an army of paint covered children marching through your home to the bathroom basin may not bode well for your wall paper. Provide aprons if possible, you can always make your own aprons by offering old shirts that should easily cover the clothes of young children.

Messy activities are worth mentioning to the parents of your guests in advance, this will ensure that children do not show up in their best party outfits and they may even be able to bring their own aprons.

T-Shirt Painting with Tie Dye

Tie-Dye T-Shirt

Using Tie-Dye for your personalised T-shirts is an activity that should perhaps be saved for the most daring among you and reserved for older children as it can get very messy. However the results almost always look great and it is likely to be a Birthday party activity remembered for a long time.

Any budget white T-shirt should be fine although some cottons are better at absorbing the Tie-Dye inks than others. You can also choose to use T-shirts that have designs printed on them as the prints will show through the ink which can look really good. 

As well as the T-shirts you also need Tie-Dye inks and elastic bands.

The Inks should come with full Tie-Dye instructions, if not they are easy to find online.

If you are doing this T-shirt craft as a Birthday party activity you need to do some preparation before the party starts as the T-shirts need to be thoroughly soaked and wet before the children fold them and apply the ink.

You should also bear in mind that the shirts need to be left to let the inks soak in and then washed separately before they can be worn.

So you need to decide if you expect the children to do this themselves at home, in which case you should prepare detailed instructions for parents.

Alternatively you could just wash the Shirts yourself, (this isn't particularly hard as you can do them all in one big load) but you will need to make sure you have labelled all the T-shirts whilst they are still dry so that they do not get mixed up.

A final Option ....... T-Shirt Printers

The easiest although probably not the cheapest method would be to have the T-shirts designed and printed by a professional company.

You can find a lot of companies making Personalised T-shirts online, so if you shop around prices might not be as high as you expect.

Many companies specialise in bulk orders so if you are buying a large number for a big party you might find after paying a set up fee the cost of the T-shirts is lower than buying T-shirts of a similar quality off the rack.

The results look really professional and the Shirts will be ready for the beginning of the party.

So T-shirt painting might be a little harder than some Birthday party activities but it's certainly one that will stand out the results can be something that your children end up keeping for years to come long after they've grown out of it.

Written by Ewan Cambell MacDougall 2012

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