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Hand Made Summer Camp: Graphic Tees

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Hey there summer campers!

We are working on a great new blog post that includes making your own mini loom! Until then, check out a blog post from last year, Graphic Ts! Enjoy!

Have you ever gone to a trendy clothing store, looked at very cool graphic tees, and said, "I could totally make that!"

I've had these moments a lot (I'm looking at you Urban Outfitters!) and finally decided to become an amateur T-shirt designer, using a fun project that I found in Todd Oldham's easy-to-follow craft book Kid Made Modern.

All I needed was: fabric paint, makeup sponges, cardboardfabric paint, makeup sponges, cardboard

  • one 100 percent cotton T-shirt (found in the back of my closet)
  • makeup sponges, cardboard, and white glue (for the stamp)
  • paper plates (for the paint)
  • fabric paints (I chose purple and blue)
  • aluminum foil

In Kid Made Modern, Oldham references the Modernist design movement and the idea that "good and exciting design was for everyone." So the materials are easy to find and projects are not very intimidating for beginners. This T-shirt project is a reference to Alexander Girard, an American textile designer and artist.

First you make your stamps by deciding on a pattern using the makeup sponges and gluing the sponges to pieces of cardboard like so:

made with makeup sponges, glue, and cardboardmade with makeup sponges, glue, and cardboard

Then we carefully dipped the stamps in fabric paint and made a pattern on the T-shirts. Some friendly advice: make sure you have some foil to slip into the shirt so that the paint doesn't stick both sides together. Also, it’s a good idea to do a practice run on some paper so you know how much paint to use and whether or not you like your pattern. We ended up making a totally new pattern for a zipper effect, and the outcome was pretty cool!

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You fooled me.. I thought you

You fooled me.. I thought you were making a bow tie..

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