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Earth Day Arts and Crafts: Make a T-Shirt
Earth Day T-Shirt
Earth Day is April 22 every year. It's fun to do different activities associated with creating awareness about caring for the planet. We only have one planet and we all have to share it, right?
The possibilities are endless: volunteering, doing a Billion Acts of Green, push for earth-friendly legislation and much more. But, you can get even more creative and design your own Earth Day T-Shirt! Everyone will see your support and you might inspire someone else to become interested, too.
Supplies and Materials for Earth Day T-Shirt
What You Need:
- A plain t-shirt, light in color
- Markers (I used Sharpie markers)
- Piece of cardboard (big enough to fit under shirt)
- Bulletin board (to pin shirt in place)
- Tacks (to pin shirt in place)
This Project Takes Little Or No Money
When I created my Earth Day t-shirt, I looked for ways to make it that were sustainable. I found the white t-shirt at another family member's house. It was in the Goodwill pile.
I began by sketching ideas into my sketchbook. I sometimes write different words down to help get the creative juices flowing: earth, flowers, trees, leaves, etc. I came up with several sketches.
I created the image in pencil. When I knew that this was the image I wanted to use - it just "felt" right - I began to color it in.
As an optional step, you can erase the pencil marks when you have finished. When you're drawing and later coloring with marker, you can go back and erase pencil sketches, as long as they are light marks in the first place. When you sketch your images, draw lightly so it's possible to erase pencil marks after you have finished.
When I created a sketch that I really liked - it just "felt" right - I used my permanent markers to color it in.
Next Steps: Work on the T-Shirt
I took my clean t-shirt and pinned it to my bulletin board using the tacks. I slid a piece of cardboard between the front and back of the shirt so that the marker wouldn't bleed through to the back.
Draw Your Image Onto the T-Shirt
I used the same permanent markers that I did for the drawing in my sketchbook. On the t-shirt, I began with drawing the center of the image. It is the round shape of the earth.
To get a good round shape, I used a toilet paper roll to trace. If you have a steady hand, however, you can draw a circle using freehand.
You need to draw the image in pen or marker. If you use pencil first, it will be hard to see and you can't really "erase" the marks later.
It can be a little scary drawing the image knowing you don't want to make a mistake. However, you already sketched the image out in the sketchbook. You can now be confident as to what marks you're going to make.
Next, begin drawing the petals. To get a good balance, draw the petals in "opposites". Once the first row of petals are finished, draw in the second row. In the first set of petals, you can draw smaller petals for variety. (See the pictures at right to illustrate what I mean here.)
Draw in the continents. Follow with the stem and leaf.
The Earth Day T-Shirt In PicturesClick thumbnail to view full-size
As you start coloring the image in, use your other hand to hold the fabric in place. Even though the t-shirt is pinned down, you still need to help keep the fabric from stretching too much when you're trying to work on it.
Use short strokes as you color in the shapes and different areas. The markers won't dry out that way.
You can use fabric markers, but I didn't have any on hand. I just used what I had: my permanent markers.
Every so often, switch to a different color to give the markers a rest. That way, you can help prevent the markers from drying out. Cotton tends to absorb moisture and you want to conserve the moisture in the markers as much as possible.
Admire your work once you're finished. You can wear your shirt immediately.
You'll also want to put the shirt on high heat in the dryer for about 30 minutes to set the marker "stain."
Care and Other Tips
I used Sharpies, but fabric markers might be fun to use, as well.
When you want to wash the shirt, hand wash in cold water to help prevent any kind of fading.
Will You Make an Earth Day Craft?
© 2012 Cynthia Calhoun