I love that kids can design and make their own t-shirts with things you likely have in your home right now. I made them when I was a kid and can’t wait for my kiddos to be old enough to enjoy the process. Currently, Maxwell does not like coloring with crayons, he only wants Sharpies. Go figure. Until then, I will happily craft with crayon and sandpaper alone.
If you’re looking for more 4th of July craft ideas, be sure to check out these:
- Paint chip American Flag
- Free printable Preamble
- Free printable “Be Brave”
- Free printable “Land of the free because of the brave”
- 23 4th of July crafts
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Materials Needed for Sandpaper and Crayon T-Shirts
- White t-shirt
- Sandpaper: The higher the grit, the more texture you will see on the t-shirt. I used 220 grit because that’s what we had in the garage. Let the kids experiment with other grits of sandpaper!
- Crayons: I think Crayola work best!
- Thin dish towel or paper towel
- Cereal box or peice of cardboard
How to Make Sandpaper and Crayon T-shirts:
Step 1- Experiment with a design
First, decide on a design. If you’re crafting with kids, have them start the design process on a piece of scrap paper. I went with super simple doodle style stars for 4th of July. Don’t forget, if you decide to use letters or numbers make sure to reverse them on the sandpaper.
Step 2- Create design on sandpaper
Once the design is solidified, use crayons to color the design directly onto the sandpaper. Go over the design a few times in crayon. The thicker the crayon the better.
Step 3- Trim the design
I like to cut the design out so I have more control over exactly where it ends up on the t-shirt.
Step 4- Iron the design
Next, it’s time for a t-shirt/ sandpaper sandwich. Place the cereal box inside the t-shirt, then the sandpaper crayon side down on to the t-shirt. Place the thin dish towel on top of the sandpaper, and use a hot iron to press the crayon design onto the t-shirt for about 60 seconds. I like to do a sneak peek and check to be sure the design transferred correctly before taking the sandpaper off completely.
Here’s a close up of a star transfer. Oh and you can use the sandpaper designs more than once. Just be sure to reapply a thick coat of crayon before using the same design again.
Bring on the patriotic holidays!
As long as you trust your child with an iron, they can make sandpaper and crayon printed t-shirts. As for washing, the crayon design will fade after each wash in the machine washing. But, I think they’re still cute even faded!
Have you ever made sandpaper and crayon transfer tees? It’s a perfect craft to beat the “I’m bored” summer blues!