I Love to Create: The T-shirt is Your Kid’s Canvas

As summer vacation comes to an end (*pausing for applause*), us parents are always looking for last ditch efforts to keep our kiddos occupied.  Decorating t-shirts is always a favorite time-passer in our house but frankly, with 2 weeks left and counting until school starts, mama’s tired; I don’t feel like dealing with paints and their accompanying mess.  Enter the brilliance of fabric markers!

Originally, I pitched this project to my sons as a thematic one involving drawing their favorite Summertime memory, on a plain t-shirt.  I thought that it might be nice for them to wear it throughout the year as a reminder of some of the things they got to do on their off-time.  The response from my 9-year-old however, was less than positive.  It went something like this:
Tanner:  Can we draw our least favorite memory instead?
Me:  No.  Why do you ask, though?
Tanner:  Because if we could, mine would be of this project.
Ok then; it was clearly time for a Plan B.  
Since school shopping has begun and with it has come many the request for one character shirt or another (Star Wars, Sponge Bob, Halo, etc.), I suggested that perhaps, they might want to draw their own versions of one of their favorites. This actually got them really excited–praise the crafty Gods!  With a little persuasion and a pack of pens my boys created their shirts, their way: featuring Super Mario Bros. bomb guys.  It was a good compromise if you ask me!


Plain, light-colored t-shirt
Cardboard (Recycled box pieces, work great!)
Clothespins and/or Masking Tape
1. Have your child sketch out their idea on a piece of scrap paper (optional).

2. Stretch t-shirt out over cardboard; secure with tape or clothespins.


3.  Hand your little artist a pack of Fabric Markers and let him work his drawing magic, directly on the shirt.

With a little bit of time and almost no clean-up, your creative child has a wearable work of art that fits whatever his current, character fancy!
“Mad Bomb Guy”, by Tanner

“Little Bomb Guys”, by Tristan

P.S.  Want to see more kids’ projects?  Click here!