I am notoriously bad at crafts. I think Pinterest is the devil because my crafts NEVER turn out the way they should, regardless of how easy someone claims the project is. As such, I have just about given up trying homemade things lately.
However, I discovered a website (The Crafty Collaborative) that features several daring women who try out various crafts and recipes and then let you know the honest scoop on how “easy” they really are! You get pros and cons from multiple ladies who are testing out the same craft so you know if it really is something worth trying! I appreciate this on so many levels!
Their most recent art project was making a homemade iron-on design using only sandpaper and crayons! This looked like a legitimate project to me and the ladies all testified that it was, so my kids and I sat down to attempt it too.
*To try this yourself, you will need the following items:
- Crayons (old crayons would work great because they will get worn down on the sandpaper)
- An Iron
- Paper Towels
- A plain t-shirt, tote bag, pillowcase, etc. that you can put a decal on
I love that the materials for this project are all things that you probably have just lying around the house! Cheap and easy? YES, PLEASE!
The kids sat down and colored a design on their individual sheets of sandpaper (we used the thin grit so it was easier to color on).
I forgot to take a picture of their pictures before I ironed, but you can see how well the sandpaper held on the colors even after transferring
When they were finished, I flipped the paper over, lined it up on an old white t-shirt, and ironed it on. It only took about 5 seconds to get the picture on the t-shirt! Then, I put a paper towel over the t-shirt picture and ironed a few times to get the excess wax off.
A specially designed t-shirt in just 5 seconds!
Voila; new art shirts for school (we purposely tested this out on daddy’s old t-shirts because they would be used for messy art projects anyway and I was still a little skeptical of the outcome, given my history of crafting).
showing off their shirts
You do have to push down on the crayons a little harder than usual to make sure that the picture is really bright on the sandpaper or the picture will be faint (notice that my son’s shirt is not nearly as bright in certain spots because he didn’t color as hard).
And, if you want to put any words or numbers in the picture, you have to remember to write them backwards on the paper or they will show up backwards on the shirt. My son forgot that rule and had to adjust his picture accordingly (BUT MOM, HOW DO YOU DRAW A FOOTBALL PLAYER WITHOUT THEIR NAME AND JERSEY NUMBER?! – a question that should have been asked before he started drawing seeing as though I only had 2 pieces of sandpaper at that time), which is why his looks a little wonky – he tried to turn the numbers/letters he drew into helmets on a football field, but he gets his artistic ability from his mama so it is what it is.
The whole point of my rambling is that the project was SO simple and required very little preparation, no specialty tools, little to no money, and very little work on my part – HOORAY! It is definitely something that I would recommend trying with your kids the next time they get “bored” or if you need a cute gift for a grandparent or family member.
Thanks The Crafty Collaborative for reviewing this fun idea so that I was brave enough to try it myself!