Painted Tee Shirt Designs for Boys
Boys and Painted Tee Shirts
When boys are babies, it is easy to plan out designs to paint on their little tee shirts, but they grow up fast and it is not long before they want to wear big boy clothes with no hint of anything that could be mistaken as babyish or girlish.
Staying ahead of the game means thinking older than the boys are but not too old, and paying attention to their interests and finding a way to put a new twist on them. That's been an interesting mental exercise as well as fun stuff to do for our little guys.
The examples shown in the photos below were created for a baby boy and a bigger boy. Oh Boy! was fun to paint in vibrant colors, and the airplane under the sun was created while thinking of how high this little guy might fly.
The planet project turned out to also be a study in impressionistic art, and after its completion I learned that in spite of the fact that I took the idea from a NASA graphic, my oldest grandson decidedly knows that Pluto is no longer considered part of our solar system.
Painting tee shirts is a craft that's been around for a long time now, but they are still a lot of fun both to make and to see the kids enjoy.
"Oh Boy!" was an extra project just because I was in the mood to experiment with Doodle Art on tee shirts. This one turned out okay--it is definitely bright and fun--but now that I have more experience with using this method to make them I'm planning some summer projects.
This airplane isn't something the little guy wearing it will really recognize, but his sisters will think it is cute stuff and such. A simple drawing, some bright bold colors, and a little time were all it took to produce a tee to smile about.
Sulky transfer pens make creating original iron-ons a simple task. They are reusable which makes investing in the pens and taking the time well worth it to me.
Mixing colors for more grown up designs is easy when you are prepared with small cups, water, and a stir stick (a bamboo skewer works well for small amounts of craft paint).
Oftentimes a design will blossom as you paint it. I did not intend for this solar system to be exactly like it turned out, but am very happy with the outcome.
Supplies and the Method
To make a shirt like one of mine to give to a little boy you know will require the following supplies:
• A blank tee shirt
• A drawn design
• Sulky Iron On Transfer Pens
• Craft Paint
• Textile Medium
• Fine tipped paint brushes
• Clean Paper to insert in shirt
• Clean Paper to use when heat setting paint
Make the Iron On Transfer
After you have the correct size tee shirt you can size your drawing to fit it, remembering that you do not want to crowd the top, bottom, or sides. You also want to consider how well you will be able to center the design. Tip: design it to go on an angle and the centering does not have to be absolutely perfect.
If your drawing’s lines are too close together the transfer will blend them when heat is applied. Tip: read through the tips in Painting Doodle Art Tee Shirts. In that Doodle Art hub you will see that the drawings can be intricate. Just think through the needed white space as you create your design.
Should the transfer lines overlap in some places there is nothing to worry about. You can use the painting process to divide them again. A second layer of paint may be needed in those places, but you may want to do that anyway for more intense coloring.
Once the drawing is complete you are ready to go over the lines with the Sulky Transfer Pens. If the design includes words or letters you will need to flip it before doing that to them. Reversing it can be done in a number of ways, including on a computer.
You can scan the design or take a good photo of it to download. Use a graphics tool to flip it over and print a copy. You will then be ready to use the transfer pens to make the iron-on.
As you go over the drawing keep in mind that you want to go as lightly as possible rather than making heavy handed lines. It is when you iron the design on that you will see a heavy handed application, and besides, it is easier to draw with a lighter touch.
Once you finish applying the transfer pen, give it a close check to make sure you have covered all the areas you need to transfer and to add any small details that come to mind as you look it over.
Finish the Painted Tee Shirt
Place the tee shirt on your ironing board with a clean blotter paper (or cardboard) under the front. Position the prepared drawing in the correct place--remember the centering tip from above. Iron on the design according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Carefully lift and remove the transfer and set it aside to cool. You can file this paper for later use since the Sulky Transfer Pens make your design reusable. (How nice is that?!)
Allow the shirt to cool for a few minutes before moving it from the ironing board. Keep the blotter paper inside the shirt and check its position before beginning to paint.
Making sure your work surface is clean, the next step is to set up to paint. If you will be blending paints have supplies mentioned above available. Give some final thoughts to your paint colors and have fun painting your original design!
An important painting tip is to go over the drawing’s lines with black paint using a fine tipped brush. The black lines make the graphic elements jump out to greet you. An example of a simple black-lined painted tee shirt transfer can be found in this Thanksgiving tee shirt hub.
Allow the paint to dry according to manufacturer’s instructions and use a fresh blotter paper over the painted design to iron it. Generally, a high heat for about 10 seconds will set the paint. Pick the iron up and place in each section rather than sliding it as if you are pressing wrinkles out.
Allow the shirt to cool completely before moving it. Now’s the time to wrap it in tissue paper, package it up, and give it to your special little guy. No--wait on that. Take a picture before wrapping it up so you can write your own hub to show off your unique painted tee shirt!
Kids Can Make Tee Shirts Too!
Don't forget that with a little supervision, kids can make their own tee shirt iron ons. If your kids enjoy drawing (or need to learn to) then you may have found just the right summer/holiday project to give them a creative outlet and keep them busy!
It's been a lot of fun to see my grandchildren's art work this week via text pics. Their drawings and paintings would make amusing tee shirts. I would not miss the opportunity to make these with them if I could have it, then, as they grew older, I would enjoy watching them make their own from start to finish.