This post is sponsored by i Love To Create and Tulip Products.
My kids are all about crafts and art projects, and love it even more if they can wear their art. Next week our school is having International Week, and my girls asked if we could make special t-shirts to wear- specifically something with animals. I was sent some One-Step Mini Tie-Dye Kits and these great dimensional fabric paints. We created this African sunset craft (which we made on an upcycled tshirt!), with silhouettes of giraffes (one of their favorite animals!). To accessorize, we created some Maasai-inspired beaded bracelets to go with our colorful tees.
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Gather Materials for African Sunset Craft
White t-shirt (Why not upcycle one that has a small stain?- it will be covered up!)
Bucket of water
We started with the tie-dye, on a couple of white tshirts we upcycled from our drawers. The kits are super-easy, and I had used them before with our Brownie troop. They have the powdered dye already measured in the little bottles, so you just need to add water up to the line and shake. We decided to do an orange and yellow sunset. I squirted some of the liquid dye and had the girls brush the color towards the middle of the shirt. We dipped the paint brush into a bucket of water to help spread the color.
You need to let the shirt sit overnight in plastic, and then wash it in hot water and dry it to “set” the color. We used plastic bags this time, but in the past I used saran wrap.
The next day, we did a simple google image search for giraffe silhouettes (check it out- so many to choose from!). Find an animal (or any image- wouldn’t a tree look cool?), and print it out in the size that works for your t-shirt. The girls picked one out, and then I placed it under the plastic, blank stencil sheets. Once it’s secured with tape, it’s not too difficult for an adult to cut it out with an X-acto knife. Now you’ve made your stencil!
Using the black Tulip fabric paint, we gently sponged to fill in the stencil, careful not to move it. My 6 and 9 year olds were able to help when I would hold the stencil.
We played with the negative space on the next tshirt, and used the cut-out from the initial stencil to make the giraffe in a heart.
We loved the way they turned out! There are so many ways to make this your own: use different animals or birds, initials, or a place name.
Next, my son wanted to make a “boy” bracelet, since he has seen a beautiful one I bought in southern Ethiopia (from Kenya).
We found some pony beads in the colors he wanted, and I helped him stick them onto a felt “bracelet” using the same dimensional fabric paint as glue. I cut a slit at each end so they would be easy to tie on- he is so proud of them! I was wary about the beads staying put- but my kids wore them to school, and slept in them the first night, and the beads were still connected the next day.
Aren’t these fabulous?? We made this African sunset craft on a tshirt, but I could see creating the same idea on a little canvas bag or pillow too! You could take the technique in another direction with different colors and cut the stencils out however you like.