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Paint a T-Shirt for a Valentines Day Gift: Holiday Project 1

Updated on May 7, 2016
RTalloni profile image

Robertatalloni means creativity. Whether in writing or in more typical art forms artistry (and a bit of fun) must be part of the work.

Painted Tee Shirt for Valentines Day
Painted Tee Shirt for Valentines Day | Source

A T-Shirt is the Perfect Canvas for Painting a Valentine’s Day Design


No matter the season, making up grandchildren’s packages is always fun. Valentine's Day is certainly no exception and a painted t-shirt is a neat way to send OXOXOs. For play time or nap time a snuggly t-shirt can send a loving message to your special little one.



It's delightful to buy gifts that we know they will enjoy, and sending quality toothpaste is a good idea when we send sweet treats, but when I can tuck in something I’ve made especially for them I feel like I have reached out across the miles and given them a real hug.

This holiday is a great time to say "I love you" to family and friends through a thoughtful gift so I'm sharing the first of my painted Valentine’s Day t-shirt projects here and launching a short hub series on similar projects.

If you have a special little girl in your life, like one of my precious granddaughters, you also might enjoy adding an easy-to-make personalized gift to her Valentine’s Day package. Paint a girl’s t-shirt and create a smile! ♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡


A Sweetheart of a T-Shirt Embellished with Paint for a Precious Little Girl's Valentines Day Gift


The first step in the project is to obtain a t-shirt suitable for the craft in the correct size. What a shame it would be to go to all that trouble only to find it will not fit the girl you designed it for!

It seems obvious to say that the t-shirt you choose should have no commercial embellishment, however, that may not always run true. A screen print design might be such that you would want to add to it, as well as an embroidered design.

In this case I found a blank t-shirt with a tiny little heart pocket on the front. That one petite pocket inspired several potential ideas so I decided to let my choice of paint help focus my thoughts on one design.


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Non-Toxic FabricMate Dye Ink Markers are supple, yet sturdy with a solid tip base.
Non-Toxic FabricMate Dye Ink Markers are supple, yet sturdy with a solid tip base. | Source

So Many New Paint Products to Use on a T-Shirt--How to Decide?!


One of the reasons I like to start a new project is because it drives me to the store and the web to take a look at new paint products. That’s a lot of fun all by itself! New colors, new tools, new methods--what a wonderful dilemma!

Deciding to use paint pens was not an easy decision because having tried it in the past I found it difficult to manage the pens on stretchy t-shirt fabric. However, the appeal of FabricMate Dye Ink Markers won the day as these dye pens have a solid but flexible tip and they do not require heat setting.


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The heart shaped pocket seemed to grow embellishments!
The heart shaped pocket seemed to grow embellishments! | Source
Layering color was a matter of not adding a new color to the first too soon, yet not letting it dry out too much.  With a little practice it was easy.
Layering color was a matter of not adding a new color to the first too soon, yet not letting it dry out too much. With a little practice it was easy. | Source
Embellished Valentine's Day Heart on a Tiny T-Shirt.
Embellished Valentine's Day Heart on a Tiny T-Shirt. | Source

Designing an Embellishment for a Little Girl’s Valentines Day Gift T-Shirt


This pale pink girl's t-shirt seemed to call for a vibrant pink and red design. As you look at the picture of my project let your mind wander outside the box and think about what you would have done differently.

With a neon pink Q T PI on the pocket a flourish of curlicues seemed to want to grow right out of it, as if happy seeds had been planted in it. Using red to highlight most of the design and some black to highlight the letters and symbol for pi played up the pocket nicely.

Project Tips:

• Before beginning your project wash and dry t-shirt using no fabric softener.

• A word about the color black. This color can be your best friend for a project like this. Using a fine tipped marker to barely outline small sections of a design with black can make it pop. It took me a while to become convinced of this fact, but there’s no getting around it. No other color does the job like black.

• Slide a sheet of card stock paper inside the shirt before beginning to draw and paint your design so that the paints and/or dyes do not bleed through to the opposite side.

• Let paints and/or dyes dry before adding colors or you may get unexpected blends of color.

• Designs can be drawn onto the shirts or created free hand. When placing the "Q T Pie" begin by centering the T in the area (pocket in this case), then adding the Q and Pi symbol on each side.


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Imagination is your best creative resource!
Imagination is your best creative resource! | Source

Want to Paint a T-Shirt for a Little Girl, but You Need Help with How To Plan the Design?


Check out this list of inspiration points:

• Old craft books from your library or new ones from the store.

• Beautifully printed fabrics.

• Framed art designs.

• Posters and greeting cards.

• Web Images



However, there are two really important reasons not to copy other artist’s work and I mention them here in order of their importance--it is unethical and it is illegal. Work ethically and you won't have to worry about the legalities. Besides that, you want to create something that is unique for your little girl!

Trust your creative instinct. Don’t be afraid to experiment on an old t-shirt before you begin your project. Take the time to practice with the paint you choose to use. Don’t let a supposed mistake deter your work, just work it into your design. Most of all, enjoy the process and have fun.

Oh yes! Take pictures so you can make your own "How To Paint a Valentine's Day T-Shirt" hub (and be sure to let me know so I can link it here).

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Do you paint tee shirts as a creative outlet?

See results

Any Time can be a Great Time to Make a Painted T-Shirt Gift!

Dye Sticks for Painting a T-Shirt:

Use Fabric Crayons!

❥ Have You Ever Painted A T-Shirt To Use As A Gift?

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    • RTalloni profile image
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      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      teaches12345:

      Thanks so much for letting me know that this painted T shirt series is helpful to you! I hope you enjoy using the paint pens as much as I did. This one was a lot of fun to create. Appreciate your visit!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I am glad I came across your hub because I was looking for methods of design for t-shirts. I will have to pick up the new fabric pens to do the work. Your photos do give the idea justice. Thanks for sharing. Voted up!

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      alocsin:

      Appreciate your visit and input on this paint a t shirt gift project. Thanks!

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      This is a creative craft for all ages. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      formosangirl:

      Thanks very much--glad you like this project!

    • formosangirl profile image

      formosangirl 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      Great idea. Looks like fun. Voted up and interesting.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      SanneL:

      So glad you like this--I hope you have a lot of fun experimenting with your t-shirts and that we get to see some of your work in a hub or two!

      Appreciate your coming by to check this out and that you let me hear from you!

    • SanneL profile image

      SanneL 5 years ago from Sweden

      I love this fun and creative idea!

      You have inspired me to go out and buy inexpensive t-shirts and make them into unique, stunning and expensive looking designs.

      Thanks for the inspiration!

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      sofs:

      Doing this for little ones is the most fun, but the right design for a "big one" could be a fun surprise. Maybe sleep shirts would be the place to start. Let's see, how about a slogan for a geek-- "sleep.com" with a screen saver design that has "nite, nite" floating on it? :)

      If you do a project I hope we get to see it! Thanks much for stopping in!

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 5 years ago

      I have always painted my kids clothes with the favorite animals.. (It has always been animals).. but after they grew up .. I don't do this anymore... maybe I should try just this once..and see their reaction.. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • RTalloni profile image
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      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Movie Master:

      Thanks kindly for letting me know how much you like the idea. Maybe we'll get to see your project??? :)

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      I love this idea, I will have to get some markers and give it a go, thank you for the inspiration and voting up

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      picklesandrufus:

      Thank you for coming by, as well as for your generous comment!

    • picklesandrufus profile image

      picklesandrufus 5 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

      Good information and great idea. Thank you for sharing!Will pass this idea on to others as well.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      VirginiaLynne:

      Hope we get to see it here! :) Thanks bunches for visiting this Valentine's Day t-shirt hub and for letting me hear from you!

    • VirginiaLynne profile image

      Virginia Kearney 5 years ago from United States

      I have some of those markers. I'll have to start a project! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      BkCreative:

      So glad to hear that this was helpful to you. There are some fabulous fabric dye/paint products to choose from. Sure hope to see your project in a hub (and to link it here). Thanks bunches for all your input!

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      I was wondering what fabric paints to buy because I vow to do creative projects this year - one is decorating a duvet. You've answered my question. Thanks so much. Rated up and yay!

    • RTalloni profile image
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      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      anglnwu:

      Thanks kindly! So appreciate your visit and input on this painted t-shirt project.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      randomcreative:

      Thank's much for stopping by and letting me hear from you!

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 5 years ago

      Totally neat idea. What a way to show love with the care you put in designing the shirt yourself. Rated up.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      This is such a great, simple Valentine's Day project! Thanks for including so many photos.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Thanks much, PageC. These are fun projects--hope you get to enjoy the craft again. :)

    • PageC profile image

      PageC 5 years ago

      Excellent hub. I've done Holiday shirts and they were lots of fun. What a great idea for a Valentine's gift.