{Sandpaper Art T-Shirts} Seattle Area Childrens Photographer

Father’s Day is coming up soon here in the States, and my boys really wanted to create something to give their dad. I found this tutorial for transferring a crayon drawing on sandpaper onto a plain white T-shirt, and the instructions looked really, really simple. We first tried it out with some shirts for the boys, and the results were great! Not only was it incredibly easy to do, it took very little supervision from me, and the final result was ¬†beautiful. Now the boys are super excited to design one for dad for Father’s Day! PLEASE NOTE: since you will be transferring the picture upside down from your sandpaper, the image on the T-shirt will be a mirror image of what your child drew. So, I would stay away from any words (which will get transferred on backwards), and stick to simple images.

What You’ll Need

  • sandpaper (I used both coarse 60 grit, and a finer 220 grit. coarser will get you more texture, finer will let you get more details in your drawing)
  • crayons
  • white t shirts
  • iron
  • paper towel or regular towel
  • ***IMPORTANT*** since the drawing will be placed backwards to be ironed onto the t shirt, whatever you draw will be mirrored on the t shirt. So it is best NOT to draw any words.


This is all you’ll need for this craft (minus the iron). The two different sandpaper is a bonus – you can get away with one type!



 First, draw your picture onto the sandpaper. I let my youngest use the coarser grit sandpaper.



My oldest wanted more details in his drawing, so I let him have the finer grit sandpaper.



My youngest and his finished sandpaper drawing. He wanted to fill up his whole piece of sandpaper.



He didn’t really believe me that it would print onto the t shirt.



Second, place your sandpaper upside down on your t shirt, and iron on the COTTON setting (with no steam). I also placed a paper towel in between the t shirt to make sure there was no bleed through. I ironed for about 2 minutes, the coarser sandpaper took longer than the finer grit one. Just keep lifting up to check to make sure the crayon has melted onto the shirt.



Voila! That is it, two easy steps! That is how you make a sandpaper art t shirt. To “set” your design, take a paper towel (or a cotton towel), and iron for about 20 seconds on top of your crayon design.



A close up of my older son’s design. I love the surf boards.



Happy, happy kids! They loved that they were able to make their own shirts, and tell people they designed it themselves. Next, we are working on a design for dad’s shirt for Father’s Day (SHHHHHH don’t tell him). Happy Crafting!



This post is shared with:

Lasso the Moon


Monday Kid Corner Round Up

Making The World Cuter

Craftastic Mondays

Made By You Mondays

Mad Skills Party

It’s Party Time

Get Your Craft On

Tutorial Tuesday

We Did It Wednesday

Wow Me Wednesday

Whatever Goes Wednesday

Create Share Post

Whatever You Want Wednesday

Rock N Share

Share Your Creations

Made By Me

Blog Stalking Thursday

Catch A Glimpse

Inspiration Gallery

Friday Flash Blog

Weekend Wander

Flaunt It Friday

Weekend Wander – While He Was Napping

Anything Goes

BFF Linky Party

The Weekly Creative

20 Responses to “{Sandpaper Art T-Shirts} Seattle Area Childrens Photographer”

  1. Rebecca says:

    Oh wow – it works great doesn’t it?!

  2. Alex says:

    @Rebecca – yes! Did you try it out? Can’t wait to see your results! :)

  3. Molly says:

    So neat!!! Have you put them through the wash??

  4. Alex says:

    @Molly – yes! I commented earlier that we’ve done a few washes, and the crayon hasn’t faded or washed out. It’s important to note that after you iron on your design with the sandpaper, remember to “set” the design with a paper towel to get off excess crayon. My boys LOVE wearing their shirts (and making one for dad for upcoming Father’s Day too! heh heh heh)

  5. Kate says:

    Wow! that’s fantastic, we will definitely have to try! Does it come out in the washing machine do you know?

  6. Kate says:

    Duh! Just read the comment previous to mine. Thanks :-)

  7. I’m the Editorial Assistant for Fun Family Crafts and I wanted to let you know that we have featured your cool shirt project! You can see it here:


    If you have other kid friendly crafts, we’d love it if you would submit them. If you would like to display a featured button on your site, you can grab one from the right side bar of your post above. Thanks for a wonderful project idea!

  8. Shrinath says:

    Hi Alex,

    I love the work but would like to ask whether this will work on dark tees ? and is there any specific fabric to be used in this process or any fabric will go on ?? in regards to wash, can you please share me the appropriate washouts for the design? manual or machine wash? will the design remains even if the wash count exceeds 25 to 30 ?? ?

    Please share the above information as im gonna try it today itself

  9. Alex says:

    Hi Shrinath! I’ll try to answer your questions to the best of my abilities.

    1. We have tried it with a green t-shirt, and the design did not show up as much (use lighter crayon colors on a darker colored shirt). I would suggest using white to achieve the best results if you want a colorful shirt.

    2. I just used cotton t-shirts, I have not tried it on any other type of fabric.

    3. So far, we’ve probably washed the shirts about 20 times? The design has still remained, it has faded a bit. I can make a follow up post about how the design colors has held up.

    4. The important part is making sure the colors on the sandpaper are DARK (once you make your picture, color over it AGAIN), then after you transfer it, put a paper towel or cotton towel, and iron over it again to pick up excess wax (it will run in the laundry and bleed into the shirt).

    good luck!

  10. Stephanie says:

    Just made these for my 2 year old’s birthday party and they were awesome! We did them on white, bright orange and mustard yellow shirts and all turned out great! Thanks for this!!!

Leave a Reply