The Story of a Mom, a Wife a Small-Business-Owner-Hopeful (Happy Baby Designs) and a Craft Lover, trying to be present (not just exist) in my life with my children, my husband and myself. Follow along with me as I chronicle my crafting and business endeavors, my true life and some mommy moments along the way .

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Kid's Art on a T-shirt

Several months ago, I was working on ideas for handmade children's gifts. I was trying to come up with some ideas especially for older kids and something that would be great for boys and girls. So I came up with the idea of using children's own art to put on a T-shirt for them.

Since my children are too young to draw anything other than scribbles, I enlisted the help of my friend, Alyssa...or more accurately, her son, James to be my guinea pig.

She sent me several pictures that he had drawn and colored (he's 5 and quite the budding artist). I chose this picture that he had drawn of their pet chihuahua.

And I turned it into this...

I feel like I must explain that I was not going for an exact replica of his drawing. I was instead looking for a drawing that I could create an abstract representation of on a T-Shirt. There are lots of great mediums for creating an exact replica, but that's not the look I was going for here.

Here's what I did: (Sorry I don't have any "in process" pictures. Not sure what I was thinking)

- I bought a plain T-shirt at Target (I think it was like $5).
- I printed the picture on my computer (depending on the size of the actual drawing, you might need to adjust the size).
- Cut out the BASIC SHAPE of the drawing. It's best to use fairly simple drawing and don't worry if you don't include every aspect of the drawing (remember, we're going for abstract representation). For example, I did not include the arms and legs or eyes, although they were in the original drawing.
- Find a fabric to use for your basic shape. In my case, I used a black, cotton fabric with white paw prints. Iron your fabric onto some Heat 'n Bond. Then trace your shape onto the fabric and cut it out.
- Next, iron your shape onto your T-shirt (make sure to prewash your T-shirt and fabric just in case there's any shrinkage). Sew around your shape on your machine or by hand in order to secure it to the T-shirt. I just sewed a straight stitch in black all the way around. You could get creative here and use a contrasting thread color or a zig zag stitch. Use your imagination!
- Depending on the details of the original drawing, you will likely need to embellish the basic shape that is already attached to the T-shirt. To represent the collar around the dog's neck, I used blue and red felt which I hand stitched on using embroidery floss.

And that's it! Here's a side by side of the original drawing and the finished T-shirt.

And here's the happy artist who is VERY PROUD to be wearing a T-shirt that was designed by him!

This would make a great birthday present for kids, or even for moms, dads and grandparents who would be equally as proud to wear their children's and grandchildren's art! Get your child involved in making the T-shirt by having them pick out the fabric and embellishments. Kids love to see their art displayed...what better way than to wear it!

***As always, I don't mind if you borrow my ideas, but please only use them for your own personal use, not for resale. And if you do borrow my idea...send me a picture!***

Linking up here...

Sumo Sweet Stuff
It's So Very Cheri
Keeping It Simple

The Girl Creative



  1. What a beautiful proyect, great idea!
    He's a very cute and talent artist!


  2. I really love this idea! What a fabulous drawing and your t-shirt is a great representation of it! It looks great. My kids would absolutely love to have t-shirts with their own artwork represented.. this is firmly on my to-do list!

  3. I like it!!!
    that's very good thinking!!!

  4. Love your blog! I am following you from Marketing Monday.


  5. what a neat idea! and i am sure kids would be so proud to wear their own artwork and show it off!

  6. Cool idea! I love using my sons art for stuff (my party button)! Thanks for linking up to Mad Skills Monday!

  7. How precious! I love seeing you happy in your role as homemaker, a very important job! Lezlee


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