Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Tee Shirt Coloring Parties Ideas

Kids love to create. With outline tshirts, they can let their creative juices roll.

A Tshirts to Color Party offers coloring fun for the kids, and gives them something that they can also take home - and enjoy for months and perhaps years to come. The shirts can be for the kids themselves or given as gifts. I.e. they can color in shirts for their moms for Mother's Day.

The printed design is already there on the coloring shirt. The kids can color in the basic design, and they can add to it. They can add fur to the cat, stars around the space shuttle, a starfish and coral by the fish, etc. I have found that sometimes kids just need a basic inspiration to get their own creative juices flowing.

If you use paint markers, there's no need to worry about paint or water spills.

Here are the basic questions to consider before getting started:

1. How many kids are you planning for?

2. Are they all boys, all girls, or a mix? Answering this question will help you determine the theme or themes, and sizes. The painting/coloring will work best on white or light colored shirts.

3. What kind of designs might they like, or is it a theme, such as dinosaurs, parrots, etc. Kids can get pretty creative with a simple design.

4. Can the kids easily hold a paint marker with little or no supervision?

5. Do you have at least one and a half weeks, two is better, before the party date? If so, then on we go.

Preparation and Supplies

You will need a color assortment of fabric paint and the t-shirts to color.

The kids will need old shirts to wear, or aprons, to help protect their clothing.

It is best to have some paper or plastic to help protect your table. If you have a newspaper company in the area, you can check with them for an end of roll. Our local newspaper company gives them away. One roll is plenty.

Steps to take before the party.

1. Before the party, you will need to have ordered and receive the outline art tshirts in time to pre-wash and dry them, without the use of any fabric softener. The paint will adhere better when fabric softener is not used. Here are a variety of simple designs on shirts to choose from; they include every day drawings and holiday themed too.

2. Send out the invitations 1-1/2 to 2 weeks before the party. These custom postcard invitations can be personalized online.

3. You will also need a piece of cardboard for each shirt. The cardboard needs to be large enough for the design area, plus some for artistic creativity. So if you have eight shirts, you will need eight sheets of flat cardboard. If you don't have any boxes lying around, grocery stores are usually pretty good about helping out. You can also order cardboard cake boards; the rectangle ones are best for good coverage area in the shirt, or purchase them from a store that sells cake supplies.

4. Purchase a variety of paint colors. Fabric paint markers will be the least messy, and less supplies will be needed, i.e. brushes and water bowls.

5. You will need to provide an area for the kids to easily paint, and a place for their paintings to dry while they are playing games, snacking, etc.

Choosing the Paint

My recommendation is fabric paint pens, also called fabric paint markers. These are non-toxic and are easy to handle. They can be used in a coloring motion.

They also come in other color options. Have some scrap paper on hand for the kids to test the paint flow and/or to get the paint flow started.

Tips for the Day of the Party
1. Have all the supplies close by and ready to use.

2. Cover the table with paper or plastic.

3. Have an idea for an activity that the earlier arrivals can do. Ideas are word games or singing songs.

4. Have the kids or help the kids put on their old shirts or aprons/bibs.

5. The first activity will be painting the color in (outline art) tshirts. (So the paint will have some drying time during the other party activities.)

6. Slide a piece of cardboard, centered behind the outline art drawing, in between the front and back of the tshirts. Lay each shirt flat for each child to paint. (If the children are old enough and able, they can do this step. You can also do this step in advance.)

7. Let the painting begin.
a. Shake the paint markers first. Leave the lids on while shaking. The kids can have fun doing the shake for this step.

b. Follow manufactures instructions for getting the paint flow to start. The ones that I use require the shaking, followed by pressing the tip on the scrap piece of paper a number of times until the paint has moved to the tip.

8. When the kids are done painting, allow the cardboards to remain in the shirts so the colors won't bleed through to the back. Leave the shirts on the table or a safe place to dry.

9. Do any other activities, games, have cake, open presents, etc. All this gets done allowing the shirts to have some drying time. If the shirts need to dry further, a hair dryer can help, before removing the cardboard.

10. Let the parents know any other manufacturer's instructions for setting the design, such as dryer time, days to wait before laundering, etc.

11. The kids will get to enjoy their master pieces for a long time.

Let me know if you have any party questions, and also any design requests.

Cheryl Paton