Sandpaper & Crayon Artwork T-Shirts

How to put your own works of art onto t-shirts

Looking for a quick and simple, yet very effective art project? One that will delight and also have a function? Then a new t-shirt designed and created by your child is sure to be a huge hit.

This craft project is very simple and was extremely easy.   It is also minimal mess, easy to set up and clean away and takes only a few minutes.

Step 1.

Organise all of your materials.

What you will need:

  • Fine Sandpaper
  • Good quality crayons
  • A plain light coloured t-shirt
  • An Iron
  • Paper (A4 or kitchen paper)

Step 2.


Give your child the sandpaper and let them draw their picture using a good quality crayon (we used Crayola). Discussing an idea for the design first may be a good idea. Only one of my three children had a clear idea what they wanted to draw. Remember once they have drawn there is no way to erase and all marks will show up in the final product.

Step 3.


Once the picture has been completed, place the sandpaper picture side down on the t-shirt. Make sure you have a flat ironing surface.    Preheat your iron on the cotton setting, making sure the steam is off (we drained all the water out of the iron first). Place a piece of paper inside the t-shirt so that the crayon doesn’t bleed onto the inside back of the t-shirt. Then place another piece of paper (or thin kitchen towel) over the sand paper and firmly iron down for approximately 2 minutes.

Step 4.

Remove the sand paper and the image will have transferred onto the t-shirt. To “set” the design, place the paper or kitchen towel over the t-shirt image and firmly iron for a further 1 minute.


Voila!!! A new personalised t-shirt for your child to enjoy. My children were ecstatic with their end results.

You can wash this clothing but set the first time reironing with a paper towel over the crayon to soak up some additional wax and throw in a dryer for 20 minutes to further set the colour. Wash by itself the first time. These steps a slight overkill but do really ensure longevity.

This is also a great idea for a birthday gift with printed instructions. Or you could make a set of tea towels for relatives with your children’s art work. A white pillowcase can soon be made special with this simple craft.  You can have your child personalise almost any cotton based item.

Take a look at our other great craft and fun ideas like Safe Slime.. also known as Alien snot.

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One response to “Sandpaper & Crayon Artwork T-Shirts”

  1. tamika says:

    hi love the crayon and sandpaper artwork, i just did this with my son and used a white face washer as goin to do for xmas presents, it worked but was a light print, was wondering would crayola textas work with this as well, have to tried it thanks

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