Introduction: Ink Blot T-shirt

Picture of Ink Blot T-shirt

Make a t-shirt in the style of a Rorschach ink-blot. The resulting design will be essentially random but laterally symmetrical.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

You'll need:
- a t-shirt; either white or light-colored
- a piece of corrugated cardboard, roughly the size of your t-shirt
- t-shirt paint; black or other dark color
- thumb tacks or a stapler

Crease the cardboard lengthwise down the center.

The thumb tacks need to be flat. Push pins won't work. Staples might work if you don't have tacks.

Step 2: Setup

Picture of Setup

Insert the cardboard into the shirt, taking care to keep it centered. Tack down the shirt along the outer edge and near the crease at the top and bottom. Try to keep the shirt straight and pulled tight without stretching it. When you fold it, the shirt should not gap or pull away from the cardboard too much.

Step 3: Apply Paint

Picture of Apply Paint

Slop some paint on the shirt. A few blotches and splatters should do. Try not to intentionally draw a design.

Step 4: Fold the Shirt

Picture of Fold the Shirt

Fold it in half. Close it firmly but don't overdo it. You want it to spread a bit but not to smudge too much. Don't leave it too long. A few seconds is plenty.

Step 5: Open and Let Dry

Picture of Open and Let Dry

Open the shirt again and leave it to dry. The paint will probably bleed through to the cardboard and stick. You should be able to peel it off if you're careful.

Step 6: Variations

Picture of Variations

You can make a multi-colored design by repeating the process, letting each layer dry.

If you use a smaller piece of cardboard, you can create several separate designs on the shirt (front, back, sides).


WUVIE (author)2016-09-15

I just love this idea. We live in an area where one can purchase all-you-can-stuff clothing into a plastic bag for anywhere from two to seven dollars. This would be a superb project for an entire classroom, costing very little to the teacher and/or students. Thank you for sharing

lets all take a walk made it! (author)2015-08-02

I used acrylic craft paint instead of fabric paint. I was a little afraid to go crazy with the paint, but I like how it came out so it doesn't matter!

bajecat (author)2013-01-23

Just cover the cardboard in plastic wrap or wax paper and the tee shirt will come off easily

McGrep (author)2012-03-22

Fun idea. My shirts are still drying, I'll post 'em up later.

I used some binder clips instead of pins/adhesive spray and it turned out just peachy.

feistydonut (author)2012-01-03

That is such a great idea!

ilpug (author)2011-12-17

I see a bull or some kind of large angry animal. I must do this, because of the simplicity and the large amounts of boring monochromatic shirts I have.

Jsquared24 (author)2011-09-22

That actually looks like the dog that rorsach killed when he was finding that pedophire murderer!!

Jar Sqwuid (author)2011-08-03

It's a goat!

bloodyflail (author)Jar Sqwuid2011-09-22

*gasp* it totally is!

gallius (author)2011-09-22

I was immediately enthralled by this idea, and ventured forth to replicate it with a female compatriot of mine. The only problem I ran into was that I let the paint sit for too long, and ended up with some cardboard stuck on the inside of the shirt. Other than that, the results were pretty awesome:

doze (author)2011-09-22

I see a spider or a bug but I can totally see the bull

Foxtrot70 (author)2011-09-22

If all you see is a bunch of ink blobs and stray lines. What does it mean? OMG!!! I am brain dead or have no imagination or, BOTH!

mootheflyingcow (author)2011-06-05

hmmm.... dare i say it. I see two girls one cup.

mvieke (author)mootheflyingcow2011-09-22

Definitely: 2 girls 1 cup

uhomeniuk (author)2011-04-01

i see a guy sitting in the middle with two chicks facing each other drinking from glasses atop the guy's head

kkristjánsdóttir (author)2011-03-29

I see a happy fish-man coming out of the ocean.. What does that say about me? :P

Rskate2 (author)2011-03-21

If you turn it 90* clockwise it looks like a motorcycle riding along side a still pond. Pretty COOL!!!

scolon (author)2011-03-17

it looks like a spider

Nyxi (author)2010-12-26

:) I was making this for a 16 y/o boy and bought the "neon green" soft fabric paint by tulip from Michael's . Avoid this color unless you're into glitter. I learned the hard way

Paris121 (author)2010-12-25

Made a few for Christmas presents. Can hardly wait to see how they like them. I'm making one for me next! Thanks for a great project!

Whales (author)2010-11-10

HOw well does this hold to washing? would it just depend on what paint you used?

pinkpanther (author)Whales2010-11-30

It would be best to use acrylic or fabric colors since they won't fade away or get spoilt due to washing. Also, after the paint has dried, iron it on the reverse after 72 hours to ensure the color is fixed well, but this is optional.

Natreerose (author)2010-07-20

Just made one! Looks pretty cool :)

Natreerose (author)Natreerose2010-07-22 boyfriend modeling my ink blot tee (he's aaalll mine, ladies) ;)

It looks like a mustache..Oh wait i wasn't looking at at the shirt.

Allonsy (author)2010-11-14

oh, sorry, here it is.

Allonsy (author)2010-11-14

a much simpler way is to just put a piece of card paper or cardboard in the shirt, randomly splat the fabric paint on and fold it roughly in the middle. no need for all the pins and stuff. here's mine.

FreakQueen (author)2010-07-26

i see a cow!

pyrorower (author)FreakQueen2010-11-13

So do I!!

duckythescientist (author)2010-07-26

Wonderful!!! Hint: doublesided tape (the clear, thin kind) works well instead of tacks and spares the shirt from the holes.

... does anyone else see pedobear?

I hope you aren't referring to me.

Another alternative is to use remount spray, which basically turns whatever you spray it on to feel like the sticky part of a post-it note. Don't spray too much onto the card, or it will transfer onto the inside of the shirt and bind grime to the fabric.

HOMEsplice (author)2010-07-11

I see a bull.

Whales (author)HOMEsplice2010-11-10

I see two Mew-two's looking at each other while flying up.

shikaku (author)HOMEsplice2010-07-26

100% a bull. but thats still a sweet design dude. and awesome concept

Yep, now I see it to :D

CaseBoy (author)MichelMoermans2010-07-12

so do i.

gilleseg (author)HOMEsplice2010-07-12


sweetdollymom (author)2010-08-25

If you cover the cardboard with clear vinyl contact paper it shouldn't stick but if it does it will peel off easier and you can continue to use it over and over

skimmo (author)2010-08-22

looks like an angel!

Jduval01 (author)2010-08-11

Love this I am definitely going to try this.

Squash (author)2010-07-26

I see two mermaids swimming upright. Cool Idea!

Heldraug (author)2010-07-23

Dude, that looks nice. Neat idea indeed. I'm giving it a shot.

Xenel (author)2010-07-12

I see some evil beetle

bad ass pope (author)Xenel2010-07-22

Yep, evil beetle all the way!

nerakaizitel (author)2010-07-21

This is hilarious! I saw the little alien flexing his muscles too! Great idea.

st.paul (author)2010-07-12

i see two shapely woman eating peppers...with spoons. anybody a psychiatrist and wanna explain that? cool instructable too

imshanedulong (author)st.paul2010-07-13

Hmm... I explain that as; You are a pervert with a craving for peppers. Just kidding! After you mentioned it I kinda seen it to.

omnibot (author)imshanedulong2010-07-13

Hmm .. sounds like a case of light sycophancy

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