View Full Version : Handprint Painted T-Shirts ??

03-16-2004, 04:21 PM
Wondering if anyone with craft related talent can help me with this.

For my son's 2nd birthday, I was thinking of getting all the kids coming to the party (all 5-6 of them.. not too many) little personalized t-shirts, with their names and a balloon or something festive embroidered on them. I can get a great deal from my sister, who is opening up a custom gift/embroidery shop, and think that would be a cute party favor. But, my sister suggested it might be really cute, fun, and different if I let them put their handprints on the shirts with paint. (I guess I'd have to warn the parents, or provide smocks too...) Anyway, my question is, does anyone know if there is some kind of paint that is non-toxic, and would wash off little hands, but would somehow be able to become permanent on a t-shirt ??

I guess I could try calling Michael's or some other craft store, but I was hoping someone might have experience with this one... and now that I think of it, possibly a pattern for a little smock....(which sis will sew since she had the handprint idea !)

also, as a parent, which do you think would be a cuter party favor, a personalized embroidered t-shirt, or a personalized canvas tote ? I can get a good deal on those too...although they wouldn't be really nice, obviously, but, probably good for taking cups/bottles/shirts to preschool/day care or something like that.

any input would be greatly appreciated.

ps if any painting does occur, it will be outside, and supervised closely by others, :-) heh heh heh, since i will probably still be on bedrest...but other than that, i am clueless about whether this will fly or not, or is even possible.

thanks !


Jen in Chicago
03-16-2004, 04:28 PM
My SIL I think did this at a party for my niece, or she attended on. The kids loved it. Her kids decorate onesies for their new siblings (4 kids total) and friends. They never made Jude one : (

All of your ideas sounds great!

03-16-2004, 04:34 PM
cool - thanks ! so it must be possible, just gotta figure out what/where to buy the paint, and send my poor mom out to get it for me. much easier planning parties when you are not allowed to shlep around and do anything, ha ha

03-16-2004, 05:56 PM
I used to work at a daycamp and we used to make these shirts w/ the kids as well as the staff! One year we used a puffy type paint, but later we just used regular non toxic paint in various colors. Unforunately, I cannot remember what the paint was, but it was okayed for fabric. I would go to Michaels or another craft store and loof for fabric paint. we also used a permanent marker to mark each child's name by their handprint. They were great!

03-17-2004, 03:21 AM
I have had DS & DD paint several shirts. I suggest that you have the parents all stay to help with this project. I would definitely go with t-shirts (not white) instead of the tote as I think it would get far more use.

Get thee to the nearest Michaels. On the aisle with the t-shirts (usually the opposing "wall") there is a FABULOUS selection of all different colors of FABRIC paint in little bottles. You won't need too much of each color. One bottle per color will probably be plenty for 5-6 kids. They also have wonderful little kids' t-shirts in various colors for about $5 each (or less on sale). (Do not go to JoAnn for the shirts, Michaels has a MUCH better color selection.) They also have wonderful little sponge stamps, and on another aisle those med-big "foamie" stamps (usually used for home decorating) are great for this kind of project. Some kids paintbrushes can come in handy, too. Esp. if you are doing handprints.

At home you will need for each child:

- a smock or "paint shirt" (a paint shirt is an old t-shirt of yours/DH's that pretty much covers all their clothes and you don't wear anymore, you can use a safety pin in the back to make the neck a bit smaller when they have the shirt on)
- a piece of flat cardboard approximately the size of the t-shirt (slightly smaller) [they have at Michaels a t-shirt shaped cardboard they sell for doing t-shirts. Don't bother with that, just use a big box and cut out pieces the size you need. I used the box from my Diaper Champ.]
- a plastic bag (largish-big enough to cover the cardboard)
- paper plate (a "palette", LOL!)
- their t-shirt

You will want to prepare each t-shirt beforehand as follows:
Put a plastic bag over the cardboard. This is so the shirt will not stick to the cardboard and you won't end up with little cardboard bits stuck on the inside of the shirt. But the shirt over the plastic bag/cardboard. Center the shirt on the cardboard and turn over so the front is facing down. With masking tape, tape the shirt to itself so it wraps fairly snugly around the cardboard (not stretched out, just so it won't really move when being painted on).

You will want to prepare the area as there will be paint EVERYWHERE! Cover the table AND CHAIRS! I use old flannel-backed vinyl tablecloths that I don't care about. I cut one up to cover my chairs. Tape the covers to the table/chairs. Anything loose will shift and you will end up with paint on the spot that got uncovered (Murphy's law :P ). Set all the stamps/paintbrushes out, readily available to the kids.

For clean up, soap and warm water will take the paint off their little hands & faces & hair nicely. Remove the paint shirt AFTER they wash up. Let the shirts stay on the cardboard to dry. I think I just let the moms take them home as is and let them remove the tape/cardboard the next day. Tell them to let it sit out for a day to dry. The paint is fully machine washable/dryable.

That's all I can think of right now. PM me if you have any more ?'s.

03-18-2004, 11:47 AM
wow, thanks ! i am going to print that out and use it as my roadmap/bible...unless you want to come to fla and get a job as a party planner, starting with this one !! (especially since i will probably either still be on bedrest for the party, or just getting off it...don't think my mom or my husband will be thrilled with this party idea, but i think it will be so much fun, and we can do it outside)

i tried to send you a private message to THANK YOU, but couldn't figure out how to do it, so THANKS !!

03-19-2004, 01:29 AM
You are very welcome! :)

To PM me, since I don't have my profile activated, just find any post of mine and click on the little wavy line/paper icon on the far right side of the post-header area.

I hope it goes well for you!