Crafty people on a budget love fashion, but might not always to be able to afford the latest trends. Rather than going with what is hot this fall, why not create something amazing and artistic yourself? There are a few simple ways you can decorate a t-shirt on a budget.
Decorate a t-shirt with three-dimensional fabric paint:
You can either use an iron-on transfer outline to do this, or you can paint images on the shirt free hand. Use newspaper to protect the table, and insert cardboard inside the shirt to keep paint from seeping through. Read the directions on the back of the fabric paint to see how long it needs to dry before wearing it. For instance, it might be advisable to allow a shirt to dry for two or three days before wearing. Shirts with fabric paint should also be washed by hand as fabric paint can crack if you are placing your shirt in the washing machine frequently.
Decorate a t-shirt with iron-on transfers:
Iron-on transfers are ideal for decorating t-shirts for a sport’s team, a book club, or even for yourself, especially if there is a painting or a drawing you would enjoy wearing around town. All you have to do is insert the iron-on transfer in a printer, and use photo editing software to select a picture you would like to print. Using the iron to apply the transfer can be tricky, so parents might want to help younger kids with this process. The novelty of an iron transfer is you can transform a plain old t-shirt into a piece showcasing your artwork, but you have to be careful when washing the shirt. It is preferable to turn it inside out and wash by hand if you have the time. When I first created a iron on transfer with my Scotty dog drawing, the image was vibrant, but it began to fray and crack when I accidentally ran the shirt through it in the washer. Thus, the iron-on transfer method may be budget friendly, but you have to be very careful with clothes decorated with these.
Decorate a t-shirt with a print-on-demand website:
Some crafters might feel the print-on-demand service is less crafty as you are now using someone else to make the shirt, but I can guarantee this method can be just as creative. If you took the time to draw a beautiful picture that you would like to place on a shirt, then allowing someone else to print it for you can make the process more enjoyable. Print-on-demand websites such as Zazzle and CafePress take all the guess work out of where to place the picture on the shirt, and many of the shirts are under twenty dollars. If you use coupons codes on a website such as Zazzle, you can save even more money. Artists and photographers can also promote their artwork on these sites, and make a little bit of extra money by selling t-shirts and other items such as coffee mugs. Even though this method might be more expensive than the iron-transfer or fabric paint method, the results often last longer. People who have ordered shirts with print-on-demand sites have shared that the images tend to last greater length of time than the ones created using the iron-on transfer method. However, it is still preferable to wash print-on-demand t-shirt inside out on the cold cycle, or even by hand if you have the time.
No matter which method you use to decorate the shirt, perhaps such a project could be next on your crafting list. Did I mention a personalized decorated shirt would make a fun gift?