Draw on Your Shirts (Typography and More)

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About: Hi. I'm Ellen, PhD student by day and sewer/crafter/maker by night. I believe anyone can be a maker, so I post videos on YouTube about what I make and how I make it to offer some help. I believe that if you...

Liven up your wardrobe by adding all sorts of designs to your clothes! This DIY project is super simple and only requires a few basic tools. And you can go as crazy as you want with your designs.

You can watch the video or read the steps here, whatever you prefer.

What you’ll need:

- A plain shirt (a light color works best)

- Fabric marker

- Frixion pen (disappears with heat) or other removable pen/chalk

- Iron

- Ruler (optional)

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Step 1: Get a Shirt

Start by getting a shirt. I just pulled white tank tops out of my closet. Non stretchy fabrics are the easiest to work with, but mine are stretchy and still turned out great. Also, light coloured shirts will show off your design the best.

Step 2: Draw Your Ideas

Get out your sketchbook and start drawing some ideas. I’m going for some nice typography on my first shirt and a rocket on my second.

Step 3: Draw an Outline on the Shirt

Put some paper or cardboard inside the shirt to protect the back from any ink.

Grab something you can use to draw on the shirt that can come out later. I’m using a Frixion pen, that disappears with heat, which is great because it will disappear when I iron it the shirt. You can also try a pen that disappears with water or over time, or some tailor’s chalk.

Draw a rough version of your design onto the shirt. My fabric is stretchy, so drawing a line is next to impossible. If you have the same problem, you'll have to make dots in stead of lines. It takes a bit longer, but it works.

In case of lettering, like mine, it’s helpful to draw a grid to get the letters all lined up.

If you want, you can try it on now, just to make sure that you like the positioning and the size of your design.

Step 4: Draw With a Fabric Marker

Grab your fabric marker and start drawing.

If your fabric is stretchy, you're again stuck with making dots in stead of lines. But it will be worth it in the end!

Step 5: Iron the Back

To set the ink into the shirt, iron the back of the fabric. Make sure the ink is dry first, because you don’t want to get any stains on your ironing board.

Step 6: Make More Designs!

And you're done! I found it to be pretty addictive and quickly made a second shirt with a rocket design. I'm pretty sure more shirts will be upgraded in the future :)

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    6 Discussions

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    KVSBUNNY

    2 years ago

    uh huh! gonna try this one for sure

    thanks!

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    abolimangire

    2 years ago

    I feel it's a great way to upcycle any old garment. and you have a great handwriting! cheers

    1 reply
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    apapercraft

    2 years ago

    Looks great! Never knew about Frixion pen before. Thanks for sharing! =)

    1 reply
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    Crafts with Ellenapapercraft

    Reply 2 years ago

    Yeah, I kind of found out about those pens by accident. They are sold as 'erasable pens' and I used them for a while just for writing. But it turns out that they're erasable because of the heat caused by the eraser, which makes them perfect for fabric/sewing projects as well! They can leave a white haze when you use them on dark fabrics though, so it's a good idea to test it first :)