If there is one activity that appeals to kids of all ages, it’s decorating clothes. Your children can rummage through their dresser drawers for a variety of old clothes to decorate. This is great on the budget and a neat recycle project for possible throwaways. You don’t have to be a topnotch artist to end up with something cool to wear, and there’s the pleasure you get when a friend admires your work and you can say, “Thanks, I made it myself.” So gather up the fabric paints, fabric crayons, dyes, and other materials and help your children learn how to redesign clothes and create fashions they will love to wear.
From Paper to Wearable
If your child can scribble on paper, he or she can design a t-shirt using fabric crayons. These are available at craft and fabric stores – but make sure they are indeed fabric crayons. Invite your child to sketch a picture on white paper to transfer to her favorite light-colored t-shirt. Color in the lines heavily and it’s best to outline the outside edges with a dark color.
To transfer the picture to the fabric, bring out the iron. Lay the shirt on top of the ironing board and slip a clean sheet of paper inside the shirt (this helps prevent any bleeding of colors through to the back side of the shirt). Now, place the colored picture, crayon side down, on top of the shirt. Iron on the cotton setting (no steam please) and press the entire surface of the paper, applying steady pressure until the crayon picture becomes somewhat visible through the paper. Life a corner of the drawing and slowly peel it away from the shirt. It’s cool to see how the picture has transferred to the fabric shirt. Follow the exact instructions on the back of the fabric crayon box, as various brands may have their own instructions. Follow their washing instructions also.
Hot, Hot, Flip-Flops
During the hot weather, one of the most universal and inexpensive shoes is the flip-flop sandal. Bring out the cool-touch glue gun and a variety of small items to glue on the plastic or rubber straps. Think wild, colorful and let your kids redesign these shoes into a masterpiece of individual creativity and invention.
Everywhere you look these days, you see tie-dye fashions. Bring out some plain old socks and turn them into something spectacular with just a few rubber bands and a bowl of fabric dye. Your kids will be delighted with these new socks to show off to their friends. This project is best to do outdoors, as it can be messy. You will need fabric dye and water and do heed the directions on the package. Make twists and bundles, fastening them with rubber bands. After dying the socks, rinse them thoroughly until the water runs clear. Dry the socks and then remove the rubber bands. The banded area will remain white. Another favorite way to decorate socks or any clothes is to spritz on fabric paints (use the spray-on kind) to the already tie-dyed socks for a burst of colors. Shoelaces can also be dyed with liquid or spray-on dye. Just think how colorful laces will look on a pair of plain sneakers.
Learning how to redesign clothes can be a fun and creative experience for the kids. It’s also a great way for parents to spend quality time with their children. Who knows – a new fashion design may be born!