Sharpie Shirts

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Posted on Aug 3 2013 - 1:00am by Ashley
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I remember making tie dyed t shirts in art class in elementary school each year. Everyone was always so excited about them! Thinking back I’m not sure if we were excited about the actual tie dye look or just the idea of making our own shirts. Of course tie dye is pretty messy and you really need a good size group to make it buying the dye worthwhile, so I was super excited to come across this idea of using sharpie and rubbing alcohol to decorate shirts.  The results aren’t exactly the same as tie dye, but Sharpie Shirts are so much cleaner and easier!

Tons of color options!

To start with you need sharpies, rubbing alcohol, white t shirts, plastic cups, rubber bands, and some card board to put in the shirts  We didn’t wash our shirts first, but I do think it would work better if you did.  Place the cardboard in the shirt to prevent the colors from bleeding through; then stick a cup in the shirt and secure it with a rubber band. This should give you a taunt little circle to draw in. 

We started by just drawing straight lines, but the girls quickly branched into random scribbles and hearts. My niece drew rainbows on hers, and that worked well too!

Once you are done drawing, squirt a little rubbing alcohol on it. (I did this part for the girls, but older kids could handle it especially if you just give them a medicine dropper.) Now you don’t want so much that the fabric is soaked, but enough to make the colors spread. Remember you can always add more, so I would err on the side of less and add as needed.  Allow the colors to spread a bit before removing the rubber band. Then you simply move the cup and rubber band to the next area. 

Repeat until you are happy with your shirt. Then allow to dry completely before wearing our washing.  We limited our decorations to the front, but I see no reason why you could not decorate the whole shirt as long as you allow each side to dry in between.  Also if you want to do the sleeves, make sure you stuff them with paper towels before hand!


To go along with the girls shirts We also made some ribbons. I just cut white grosgrain ribbon into the lengths needed to make bows and allowed them to draw on the ribbons and then dripped a little rubbing alcohol on the ribbon. Once it was dry, I made them into bows!


The girls were so excited about their Sharpie Shirts and Bows! And although they weren’t intended to be fireworks, that’s what they decided they looked like.  I made Eli’s while he was napping; he was really excited when he saw it.  He just pointing at the colors saying, “Ooooo, Ooooo!” (He was a little less excited about the picture taking.) 

Like I said way easier and cleaner then tie dye! Making Sharpie Shirts also allows a lot more freedom for kids to customize their own shirts!

Ashley Life with Moore Babies Signature


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