Amy’s Free Ideas


Make a t-shirt or sweatshirt with their own design. One way to do this is to buy a T-shirt at a discount store (hundred yen store), and draw on it with permanent markers or paint on it with fabric paint. This is an especially good method for younger kids that might have trouble making a nice design--tape an area with an opening to the T-shirt. Let them squeeze out dribbles of different colors of paint. Once it has dried, pull off the tape for a nice straight border around random dribbles. Another option would be to let all their friends dip their hands in paint, and put their handprints on all of their friends’ T-shirts. Once dry, let them sign their names next to their handprint. It becomes a fun memento of all their friends at camp.

Another idea to decorate T-shirts is to tie-dye them. Have the kids squeeze the shirt in various places, and wrap rubber bands around the bunch. Then take those bunched up places and dip them into containers of fabric dye (buy at craft stores and mix according to package instructions.) These dyes can stain clothing if it splashes onto what the kids are wearing, so encourage them to be careful, and provide garbage bag aprons for them (cut arm and head holes. Optional--cut a slit up the back, and tape it shut once it is on the kid.

Note: when red and green are combined, or if yellow, blue, and red are combined, it turns brown. So you may want to warn kids against those color combinations unless they want brown.

You can make a design on the computer, then print it onto special paper, and iron it on to a T-shirt or canvas bag. Follow package instructions. Depending on whether the T-shirts are light or dark colored, you will need to buy the appropriate iron-on transfer.

My son designed the t-shirt in the photo shown above (left) for a friend. He designed it on the computer, then ironed it on.

You can use a craft kit like the one shown above, which are sold at craft stores. This kit enables you to transfer photos onto the T-shirt.