Image, printed or cut from a calendar, coloring book, or other source
I’m no artist; I truly draw like a child. So, over the years, I learned to take shortcuts or “cheat”, if you will. Even though I don’t have the necessary talent to draw a beautiful scene on the front of a shirt I do know how to take nearly any image that I see and put it on a t-shirt, and you can, too. When you use wax paper, and simplistic skills, you can take an image from a calendar, a coloring book, or another source, and put it on a garment or a fashion accessory.
Wax paper is the way to go when it comes to transferring images. You can see through it so that means you’ll easily be able to trace a design. The more simplistic the design, the easier it will be to transfer it and have it look perfect. Avoid images with tiny characteristics and a lot of detail. An important thing to remember: Whatever image you choose, you’ll get the mirror image of that, after flipping the design over onto t-shirt.
You can start out with markers or start out with paint. Tear a piece of wax paper and lay it on the chosen image. Tape it down or otherwise secure it. Use a marker to trace the image, and paint over those lines later, or just paint them now, using garment paint from small squeeze bottles.
Prepare the shirt by making sure it has been laundered at least once. Lay it out and make sure there are no wrinkles in it. Carefully pick up the painted wax paper image, flip it over, and lay it gently on the shirt or other garment. Don’t press hard on the wax paper; that can smear the image. Instead, make sure the whole wax paper sheet touches the garment, and then carefully lift the sheet up and away from the shirt.
There is one way that you can end up with the same image, rather than a mirror image, on a shirt. Trace it, stamp it onto an old garment – or paper – and, when it’s dry, trace it again. Then, when you transfer the image, it will be the same as when you saw it for the very first time.
There are many different ways to paint shirts but the wax paper transfer is one of my very favorites. If drawing elaborate scenes is not your forte, you’ll appreciate the technique, too!