By General Crafts Contributor Michelle
Here’s a great summer project to do with kids that takes minimal supplies, makes minimal mess, and results in maximum fun!
Here’s what you’ll need to make your own:
- A white 100% cotton t-shirt, prewashed and dried.
- Permanent, or fabric markers.
- An eye dropper.
- A small paintbrush.
- Isopropyl rubbing alcohol, 70-90%.
- A piece of cardboard to fit inside your shirt.
Slide your piece of cardboard inside your shirt to keep your design from bleeding through both layers of your t-shirt. Begin making marker dots in a circular pattern, leaving a dime-sized white center, being sure that the colors you place next to each other will blend together into a pretty color. For instance, avoid placing complementary colors (Colors directly opposite each other on the color wheel; green and red, blue and orange, purple and yellow.) next to each other, or you’ll wind up with muddy brown tones.
Using your eye dropper and the alcohol, begin slowly dripping alcohol into the center of your circle, watching it spread the marker color.
Keep a steady drip going, but don’t flood the design with alcohol all at once, until the color has spread to your desired diameter.
The more drops you add, the bigger the circle will be. Go slowly at first, you can always add more, until you get a feel for how the color spreads. Drip only in the center to get a uniform circular shape.
Some marker colors will spread a lot, some just a little. Keep this in mind as you create more circles, and it will help you determine what colors blend well, and how close together to make your circles.
Make a whole “school” of bright colored jellyfish circles. Vary the sizes, as well as the colors, to make your design interesting.
Once you’re happy with your circles, let your design dry completely. Once dry, use colors that coordinate with your circles to add tentacles to the bottom of each circle to make jellyfish. The circles that are more behind you can just make some of the tentacles peeking out, or add none at all, to add depth to your design. You want it to look like some of the jellyfish are in front, and some are behind.
Use your paintbrush and the alcohol to brush the tentacles and give them a more watercolor effect. Let them dry completely.
To finish your jellyfish, go back over your design with a black marker and add faces and other decorative details to them. You can also use darker colored markers to add lines to the tentacles to give them more depth, and add ruffled “frills” to the base of each jellyfish where the tentacles connect to the body. Use a blue marker to add bubbles, if you desire, and spread the ink with a small drop from your paintbrush.
Let your t-shirt dry completely, and then heat set the ink by ironing with an iron set on the highest heat setting possible for 5 minutes, or placing the shirt in the drier on high for 15 minutes. Wash shirts separately, and in cold water, the first time you wash them.
This is a fun activity to do with kids. If you don’t want to make jellyfish, you could make flowers, or a caterpillar. What other designs could you make with these colorful circles?