Unleash your kid’s inner graphic designer with these 3 easy steps!

This sandpaper printing project is sure to thrill!  It is a super simple and a much less messy t-shirt decorating project than painting.  Even your littlest scribblers can participate.   

Decorating t-shirts with kids is up there on my list of fave activities but it is a lot of set up and the permanent fabric paint is not a product I want to let my 3 year olds go wild with.  That’s why this activity is so great,  crayons are safe and easy for tiny hands!

Here is what you will need:

Sand paper, the variety pack 

Crayola crayons 

A white t-shirts


Card board


Here is how it works:

1.  Color!  My girls are 3 and love to scribble on paper.  I originally got the idea for this project from alpha mom the author’s daughter is a little older and able to draw a real picture for transfer but I decided to modify for younger kids.  I told Stevie and Celeste to color like normal on the sand paper then I cut heart shapes out of their artwork.  The finer the sand paper the less texture your design will have.  Be sure to go over their designs or scribbles with a little extra pressure to ensure you have a good amount of crayon ready for transfer. 


Discovering the new sensation of crayons on sandpaper was really fun for us.
I went over the scribbles they created to make sure enough color would transfer to the fabric.
I cut heart shapes from the scribbles. Aren’t the beautiful?!

2.  Iron! Set the iron to cotton setting. Slide a piece of cardboard inside the shirt so you don’t accidentally transfer to the back side, it does not have to be heavy duty a piece of card stock worked fine for me.  Put your design color side down and press the iron for 30 seconds.  Peel up a corner to see if your design transferred and iron longer if necessary.  After you remove the sandpaper place a couple paper towels on top of your designs and iron again.  This helps remove some of the extra wax. 

Don’t forget to slip a piece of card board in the t-shirt so your design doesn’t accidentally transfer to the back.
Ta-Da! Peel off the sand paper to reveal your original designs.

3.  Marvel at your custom t-shirts!  Stevie and Celeste LOVE these shirts and are so proud of their coloring.  I planned to wash them separate for the first time but failed and put them in the wash with a full load and dried them normal too.  When I discovered my mistake I was so pleasantly surprised to find the design perfectly intact.  It hadn’t faded or smeared at all!  But I do you think you should wash this project separately the first time just to be safe 🙂 🙂

Look at these beautiful t-shirts!

I hope you give this project a try and share your awesome designs with me.  Get coloring!

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