ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Sulky Transfer Pens for Painting Owl Designs on Tee Shirts

Updated on October 13, 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.

Calling all owls for little ones' tee shirts!
Calling all owls for little ones' tee shirts! | Source

Using Sulky Iron-On Transfer Pens to Paint Owls on 4 Tee Shirts


If you have seen much of my work you know that painting tee shirts for grandchildren is one of my favorite reasons to create something new. Designing vignettes for each of their personalities is great fun. Now that I’ve found the Sulky Iron On Transfer Pens these projects will be easier to produce.

When I created my first designs for grandchildren to wear I was not a member of HubPages, so I haven’t written about all of them, but discovering this new-to-me product is causing fresh designs to roll around my head. Even if the kiddos only wear them as sleep shirts it is a way to give them a little extra hug.


Sulky Iron On Transfer Pens have permanent ink and can be used many times over.
Sulky Iron On Transfer Pens have permanent ink and can be used many times over. | Source

Comparing Previous Products Used for Design Transfer


When I started my latest tee shirt projects I was not sure how well the new product would work, but it proved to be no-fail. I’ve used several products and methods in the past, but I find that the Sulky Transfer Pens are so easy to use that I’ll never have to worry about how best to complete shirt projects again.

A red transfer pencil from Dritz worked only about half the time on colored tee shirts. Transfer papers did not work well enough. “Homemade” processes were a no go on anything but simple patterns on white tee shirts. With all of these methods I had the frustrating experience of retrying and redoing many of my attempts to transfer designs.

These transfer pens did such a good job that I am looking forward to planning more tee shirt designs for my little ones very soon. Since the product comes in a variety of colors I want to experiment with layering/mixing them to see if I can create custom colors before I make definite decisions about new projects.


Click thumbnail to view full-size
Owls are always popular, don't you think?  :)Sulky helped me produce the iron-on  transfer design that I painted for our 5-year-old grandson.Painted tee shirt created from an iron-on transfer for our 3-year-old granddaughter.Painted tee shirt for our 2-year-old granddaughter.Our 18-month-old baby granddaughter's painted tee shirt.
Owls are always popular, don't you think?  :)
Owls are always popular, don't you think? :) | Source
Sulky helped me produce the iron-on  transfer design that I painted for our 5-year-old grandson.
Sulky helped me produce the iron-on transfer design that I painted for our 5-year-old grandson. | Source
Painted tee shirt created from an iron-on transfer for our 3-year-old granddaughter.
Painted tee shirt created from an iron-on transfer for our 3-year-old granddaughter. | Source
Painted tee shirt for our 2-year-old granddaughter.
Painted tee shirt for our 2-year-old granddaughter. | Source
Our 18-month-old baby granddaughter's painted tee shirt.
Our 18-month-old baby granddaughter's painted tee shirt. | Source

Sulky Transfer Pens do a Great Job!


Because owls are so popular right now I chose to draw them rather than turkeys this fall, but without the Sulky Transfer Pens I would have had trouble achieving the effects that I wanted to create. I wanted to transfer smaller detail than I had been able to get in the past.

Going into the projects I did some research to find a design transfer product that would do the job for my drawings. Since there is not a lot of competition in the market for transfer products it did not take me long to find this option.

Once I decided to try the Sulky pens I could not find them in my area. Viva online shopping! The decision about who to order them from was based on two factors. How quickly they could arrive and which company had the best bargain at the time.

A multi-pack was the way to get the best deal no matter who I ordered from. Most sellers are willing to ship fast, and indeed, my Sulky product arrived within a few days. Costs varied, but I purchased a pack of basic colors for $26.73 (set of 8), or $3.35 per pen.

Available in a variety of colors, they did an excellent job the first time I used them on darker colors. They allowed me to transfer more intricate designs than I’ve previously been able to copy. Now that I know how well they work I’m extra glad for the bargain multi-pack because I will have the variety on hand for future projects.

An important feature of the product to keep in mind is that transfers you create can be used many times over. The ink is permanent and the designs do not have to be discarded after one use. Sulky's pens make projects easy--quickly create shirts for birthday parties, family reunions, and other events!


Note:

The photos below explain the method I used in more detail, but remember, the Sulky transfer pens make painting tee shirts very easy. Feel free to use them, but don't let my details distract you from designing and creating your own projects!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
After drawing a design I cut it out and used double-sided tape to add it to a printed text page.I enhanced the lines of the design's  photograph once it was downloaded to the computer.I then reversed the design so the text would read correctly when I ironed it onto the tee shirt per manufacturer's instructions.The small sizes I needed for toddler tees allowed me to place and print two designs on one 8.5x11" paper. Once they were printed I drew over them with a Sulky Pen and cut them apart, making two transfer sheets.The design was easy to iron on, working beautifully the first time.  Once all of the designs were applied to the tee shirts it was time to have fun painting them.  A black permanent marker was used to add a few highlights after the paint dried.Four children's tee shirts were easy to paint thanks to Sulky's Iron On Transfer Pens!Owl you ready for fall?Sulky Transfers Pens can be used to iron-on designs that you draw, making painting them easy work.
After drawing a design I cut it out and used double-sided tape to add it to a printed text page.
After drawing a design I cut it out and used double-sided tape to add it to a printed text page. | Source
I enhanced the lines of the design's  photograph once it was downloaded to the computer.
I enhanced the lines of the design's photograph once it was downloaded to the computer. | Source
I then reversed the design so the text would read correctly when I ironed it onto the tee shirt per manufacturer's instructions.
I then reversed the design so the text would read correctly when I ironed it onto the tee shirt per manufacturer's instructions. | Source
The small sizes I needed for toddler tees allowed me to place and print two designs on one 8.5x11" paper. Once they were printed I drew over them with a Sulky Pen and cut them apart, making two transfer sheets.
The small sizes I needed for toddler tees allowed me to place and print two designs on one 8.5x11" paper. Once they were printed I drew over them with a Sulky Pen and cut them apart, making two transfer sheets. | Source
The design was easy to iron on, working beautifully the first time.  Once all of the designs were applied to the tee shirts it was time to have fun painting them.  A black permanent marker was used to add a few highlights after the paint dried.
The design was easy to iron on, working beautifully the first time. Once all of the designs were applied to the tee shirts it was time to have fun painting them. A black permanent marker was used to add a few highlights after the paint dried. | Source
Four children's tee shirts were easy to paint thanks to Sulky's Iron On Transfer Pens!
Four children's tee shirts were easy to paint thanks to Sulky's Iron On Transfer Pens! | Source
Owl you ready for fall?
Owl you ready for fall? | Source
Sulky Transfers Pens can be used to iron-on designs that you draw, making painting them easy work.
Sulky Transfers Pens can be used to iron-on designs that you draw, making painting them easy work. | Source
5 out of 5 stars from 3 ratings of Sulky Iron On Transfer Pens

How to Design and Paint 4 Fall Tee Shirts


My latest tee shirts are 4 fall designs done in a child’s size 4, and toddler’s sizes 3T, 2T, and 18MO, with the brother/sister set in orange and the sisters’ set in the olive green.


Supplies Needed


• 4 Tee Shirts

• Double Sided Tape

• Computer, printer, and white paper were used for these designs, but are not absolutely necessary in order to use this transfer product.

• Sulky Iron On Transfer Pens

• Fabric Paints (or Acrylic Craft Paints and Textile Medium)


Directions


• Wash and dry tee shirts according to manufacturer’s instructions.

• Draw your design on paper.

• Take a photo of your drawn design and download it to your computer to resize if needed.

• Choose and print text to the size needed.

• Tape design to text page.

• Take a new photo of the text/design page and download to your computer, then print. *Because I used text in my design I followed Sulky’s simple instructions on reversing the image. See photos for more detail.

• Use a Sulky Transfer Pen to draw over your newly printed design page.

• Iron the design onto the shirts according to Sulky’s package directions.

• Paint the design and heat set according to the instructions on the paint products.

• Smile at how easy your projects were!



It's Easy to use Sulky Transfer Pens

My New Relationship with Sulky Transfer Pens


Now that I’ve used these iron on transfer pens I’m looking forward to getting more experience with them and exploring all of their possibilities. Besides blending the colors, I want to try using these pens in tandem with paint rather than just as an outline for my designs.

As my experiments evolve I hope to share them in future hubs. New ideas are on the horizon and I have Sulky to thank for that delightful thought, so stay tuned for more projects. As well, maybe we'll see some of your transfer designs posted--yes, that's a hint!



Sulky Shows Us How to use Transfer Pens

Check out some of My Previous Tee Shirt Hubs:


You might find earlier hubs on creating hand painted tee shirts useful and/or inspiring. Remember that these works of art can be turned into throw pillows if the child outgrows them before they are worn out.


• Start with 2 hubs on 4th of July T-Shirts for Children: a Brother Sister Set and some Cookie Cutter Stars.


• Take a look at 4 hubs with Valentine's Day T-Shirt Designs: a Brother and Sister, then Big Sister and Baby Sister.


Doodle art opens up a whole new world of options for designs!



Do you have experience with using the Sulky Transfer Pens for projects?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 7 months ago from the short journey

      Patty Inglish, MS:

      Thanks so much for the visit and for letting me know you found the info on Sulky transfer pens to be helpful!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 11 months ago from North America

      Wow! I've been out of the crafting world too long. Imagine ironing transfer pens! I'll look into this more and I really like the illustrations you provide.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 23 months ago from the short journey

      Rabadi:

      They continue to be quite popular. Thank you for visiting and commenting.

    • Rabadi profile image

      23 months ago from New York

      I love owls, really great work! Thanks for this read.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 24 months ago from the short journey

      The Dirt Farmer:

      :) Thanks much for stopping by and letting me know that you enjoyed seeing this project. When HP allowed us to make our own videos to go with hubs the one I made for this tutorial was at the top. Then when things changed I created that top picture. It's been fun to experiment with the images, but I liked having the option of making the videos for my own use.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 24 months ago from United States

      This is an adorable project, and I really like the way you're doing the top photos on your hubs. Very Pinterestable. (Oh no, I'm going to be editbot fodder!) Gee, editbot is misspelled, too! lol

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 24 months ago from the short journey

      No sulking here! :) Thanks for stopping in.

    • sujaya venkatesh profile image

      sujaya venkatesh 24 months ago

      glad they aren't sulking ah

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

      Dolores Monet:

      Thanks much for your review of these designs! :)

      Yes, online shopping can be amazing. Yesterday I was telling a northern friend of a certain product that she had never heard of. After my description she told me of a similar one from up north. I can go online and check hers out, and when she goes home she can do the same with mine. Each of us could have the other's the next day if we wished. What times we live in!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 2 years ago from East Coast, United States

      This looks so cool! I'd love to try it but have never heard of these pens. This is when online shopping comes in so handy!

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

      CherylsArt:

      Thanks so much--your response is a high compliment! So appreciate your visit and feedback.

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 2 years ago from West Virginia

      This is a cool idea! Pinned it to my Art Instruction Tutorial Board.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

      jtrader:

      Yes, and the newest popular look of retro owls are fun to create, but I often laugh when I hear the owls around our house. Nothing in their soft hooting has anything to do with the imaginative art designs we see. They mean business and I'm glad they help clean out the small rodents from on and around our property!

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

      Peggy W:

      So appreciate your visit and feedback on this craft project. Creating designs to paint is indeed fun stuff. :)

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

      CraftytotheCore:

      Thanks so much for your generous feedback here. The video was fun to put together, and I learned more about what works best once it was published.

      Your grandmother's project is a fabulous idea that I hope to use sometime! It has obviously given you a great memory -- what more could we ask of a craft project?! :)

    • jtrader profile image

      jtrader 3 years ago

      Owls are quite popular worldwide. I wonder if there's any culture that doesn't find them interesting?

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      If I had kids or grandchildren I know that this would be something that I would be interested in doing. Thanks for the review of those pens and showing us what can be done with them. Looks like fun! :))

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Wow, this is amazing! What a brilliant artist you are. I love the video. That's so sweet. I haven't done any iron on transfers before, but when I was a little girl my grandmother hand drew strawberries on a tablecloth. Then we colored them in with fabric paint. That was a lot of fun.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

      Millionaire Tips:

      Thanks for your feedback here! These projects were a lot of fun to design and create.

      Sorry to be so long in getting back to your question--was traveling in a poor area for i-net. The pens are supposed to make many transfers from one tracing. If you reuse it many, many times you may need to retrace. I've not experimented with how many times they really can be reused but if I do I'll try to post about it.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 3 years ago from USA

      These drawings and projects look fabulous! I am going to have to try the Sulky pens. When you reuse a drawing, do you have to retrace it with the pen for it to make another transfer?

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      FlourishAnyway:

      The Sulky pens would be a great product to use when working with teens on projects!

      So appreciate your kind feedback on this craft hub! This was fun work all round. :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      I love this! I've never heard of Sulky pens but think they'd make a great craft project working with teens, for example. Thank you for sharing your beautiful images. The video was beautiful. You are very creative.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      Eiddwen:

      Thanks kindly for both your visit and feedback on my owl t-shirts!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      What A wonderful hub and I share all around and also vote up,and across.

      Here's to a wonderful day for you and also for many more hubs for us both to share on here.

      Eddy.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      Win???! Whoa, I have to find out about this…

      Well how about that! I am amazed! Thank you for your congrats! I've been so busy I didn't think to check so thanks for letting me know. :)

      And thanks much for your kind review of my owl T-shirts. They were so much fun, and really easy with the Sulky pens.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 4 years ago from South Carolina

      Congratulations on your Rigorous Review Contest win for this worthy hub.

      Loved the video and the background music by Grandpa.

      Your owl designs and sayings are adorable and the final T-shirts looked very professional.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      Jamie Brock:

      Thanks for letting me know that you liked the video. It was fun to put together and I learned a lot about making them for hubs.

      Yes, I drew the owls--thanks, too, for letting me know you like the shirts. I just saw the white marker myself, and was thinking of using it to make a winter skating silhouette design on on a dark shirt.

      These pens have opened up a whole new set of possibilities for me because they are so easy to use, making projects quick, and as you say, reasonably priced. Now, where can we find the time to do it all? :)

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      I love the video you made! Did you draw those owls? They are so cute, you did an amazing job on these shirts! I actually have a sulky transfer pen in white for dark fabrics that I bought to make a dot pattern to iron on a shirt so that I could adhere rhinestones onto it but have not used it yet and had no idea that sulky had all of those colors... it definitely makes me want to get more of them and especially since the cost is very reasonable. Love, love, love the owl shirts.. very cute!

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      ktrapp:

      It is indeed fun stuff and I think you'll find the transfer pens to be amazing to work with. Thanks much for your feedback here!

    • ktrapp profile image

      Kristin Trapp 4 years ago from Illinois

      Wow - This looks like a lot of fun. I can see why your mind is coming up with new designs and how wonderful to be able to make something so clever for your grandchildren, and so artistic. I'm going to look for these Sulky pens myself. Great video too.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      teaches12345:

      That's a high compliment to my little owls! :) No matter what design you use, though, the Sulky pens make it an easy craft project. I appreciate your letting me know you enjoyed the video--it's my first for HP and I learned a lot by producing it and seeing it published with the hub.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I think some of my T's would look pretty good with these owl designs. Your video had some really good owl designs - love your words. My sister would really enjoy this craft idea, she loves to do t's with a variety of designs.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      VirginiaLynne:

      You are still teaching T-shirt painting for you are the one who informed me of the textile medium for acrylic paints. Thank you again! :)

      Thanks, too, for sharing about your daughter's creative work. Maybe she will be teaching us all the best way to write tutorials before long.

      Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      kashmir56:

      Thanks bunches for all of your generous feedback on this hub!

    • VirginiaLynne profile image

      Virginia Kearney 4 years ago from United States

      Glad to hear of this product. I used to teach T-shirt painting and we used the different iron on transfers that were commercially produced. I like the idea of being able to make your own designs. Lately, my daughter had great success in doing some iron on transfers of her own designs to make some Dr. Who shirts. Love the owls!

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      missolive:

      You are a funny girl. :)

      Thank you so much for sharing that this reminded you of your grandmother! As I painted the shirts I thought of my dear Aunt C. who collected owls of that same era. Every memory I have of her is precious.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great hub and a awesome idea and craft for decorating T-shirts! Well done !

      Vote up and more !!! SHARING !

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 4 years ago from Texas

      RTalloni, shhhhhh I didn't notice a thing. :)

      By the way, I forgot to mention this earlier, owls used to be my grandmother's favorite. I have her 'really cool' owl pendant from the 60's plus a few other collectables. Therefore, owls make me happy and so did your hub.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      AliciaC:

      Thanks so much for your response! Creating designs for painting t-shirts really is fun "work" and I appreciate that you came by to check out my hub on these projects.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      What a lovely idea for decorating T-shirts! The process looks like great fun, as well as a way to be creative. Thanks for the lovely video and the instructions. The final results look beautiful.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      Vellur:

      Thanks kindly--the video was fun to do and I'm looking forward to learning more about promotional videos. So appreciate that you let me know that this hub made the project interesting to you! :)

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      missolive:

      Hope you have a grand time creating something special! :)

      Thanks much for checking out this product via my hub on Sulky pens, and extra thanks for letting me hear from you on it.

      I'll be adding another photo as soon as this hub has undergone its Quality Assessment Process. Can you guess which photo I left out???! Sigh. :)

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      The video is awesome cool. Love this. The sulky transfer pens makes painting on T-shirts sound like fun. Voted up.

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 4 years ago from Texas

      Ok, I'm heading to the craft store! This is neat, thank you for sharing this product and idea with us, cute video too!