Thursday, January 7, 2010

Canon's Spiderman t-shirt

A while back, I saw a post on Dollar Store Crafts that caught my eye. Heather explained how to paint a t-shirt using acrylic paints. This last fall, I started planning what I would make my nephews and nieces for Christmas. I came up with something for three of the families (will post about this next!). Since each of those families have three or four kids, I made them something they could play with together. But with Canon as an only child, I kept brainstorming until I saw this backpack at Wal-mart: 

It was in the clearance bin for $1. Next to it was a pile of t-shirts for $1. Then, it hit me--why not make him a t-shirt to match the back pack? I also ended up making a Spidey wallet, too, as you all know. 

I set out to work, using Heather's post as a guide. The first thing I did was photocopy the picture on the back pack. 

Then, I cut out the photocopy and traced it onto the t-shirt using tailor's chalk. Looking at the picture on the backpack, I drew on the main details, mostly to identify the separation of colors.

Spiderman's main colors are red and blue, so this step was easy to do. I used acrylic paint to color him in. It's very important that if you try this that you don't use washable acrylic paint.

This next step was challenging, but I was pleased with the end result. I added depth to this character by adding shading to his body. I added a touch of black paint to each of the colors, then painted lines to show his knee bends and muscles. Then, I added his white eyes and outlined them in black.

The final touch to his body was adding the black web lines. Q took me to Hobby Lobby when it was snowing heavily just to get the right tool to do this! I bought a fine tip fabric marker and finished him up. I also added some light blue shading around his eyes. Using both light blue and dark blue paint, I gave him the web he's holding onto.

After the paint dries for 24 hours, it's important to heat set it. There are a few ways to do this. You can either take a solution of vinegar and water (half and half), dip the shirt into it, then dry it in your dryer. Or you could just throw it into the dryer for a few minutes or iron the painting from the inside of the shirt (be sure to use a cloth to protect the other side of the shirt). I ended up doing the last two ways mentioned. I'd like to try the vinegar method, but the other ways seemed to work okay, too.

Canon loves his new shirt. You can see him wearing it here. Hope this gives you a fun craft idea you can do for special people in your life.

Happy crafting!

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