There are many methods of T-shirt printing but one that can be fun and give a fresh change on how you normally print on shirts is crayon t-shirt printing. It may sound very elementary, using crayons for printing on a shirt, but if you want a quick and easy method of transferring prints onto your shirt, this is an option you may consider!
You can use fabric crayons traced on tracing paper or regular crayons traced on sandpaper for this project. For both methods, you will need an iron for the heat transfer process. You will also need a protective layer of material to help prevent the crayons from damaging the back of the shirt while you press the iron on your transfer medium. You can use several layers of non-glossy paper, or a cardboard covered with aluminum foil to help bounce back the heat from the other side. Using aluminum foil will make the heat transfer process much faster since it can heat the other side of the shirt as well.
Here are some additional tips for crayon t-shirt printing:
- It would be best to use light-colored fabrics when you use crayon printing. This is to let the colors pop more vibrantly and give you your desired vibrancy.
- If you aren’t sure if the colors have already transferred, you can lift a small portion of the transfer paper while ensuring that the rest of the transfer paper stays in place. Usually, about 10 seconds would be enough to transfer the crayons especially if you use aluminum as the protective layer on the other side of the shirt.
- You need to set your iron to just warm or the setting for rayon fabrics. You don’t need a lot of heat to melt the crayons and this would also help avoid burning the colors.
- When pressing the iron, you should keep it constantly moving. This gives a more equal heat distribution while at the same time you avoid the sticking and burning of the crayons.
- When you’re using fabric crayons, you should read the directions on the crayon box to determine which kind of fabric it adheres to. For regular crayons, more absorbent fabrics or those with a good amount of cotton in them would do.
- You may be thinking that steam heating would work, but don’t do this! Crayons are made of waxy materials and using steam would ruin the project. It would wet your shirt even before the crayon sets in, and when the crayons do melt from the heat of the steam, they would just flake over the shirt and won’t get absorbed by the damp surface.
- When kids are doing this project, it would be best to have an adult do the ironing part. Heated irons can be dangerous to small hands and irons can be much heavier than they look.
When you’re done, you can wear your newly printed shirt! Crayon t-shirt printing is a fun activity and when you wash the finished product with cold water, the colors will last much longer. Have you ever tried printing on shirts using crayons?