I first made this flag shirt 18 years ago when my twins were one. All the moms and kids from my local MOMS Club made these and wore them in our town’s 4th of July parade. Now that my girls are preschoolers, I decided to pull out this simple, fun project and try it again.
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When I tried this a few days ago, I soon learned there were a lot of little details I forgot! I gathered all the materials, and the girls and I painted the shirts, along with the help of my husband. They turned out terrible! The good news is, we learned a lot from those mistakes.
I am not a crafty person by any means, so if I can do this flag shirt, you can too! It’s a fun project for kids of any age. Many of these hints will be no brainers for crafty people, but they weren’t for me! Here is what we learned, along with pictures for proof:
- Use a DISAPPEARING INK marker to draw the outline.
- Hold and guide the hands of toddlers and preschoolers, or make it abundantly clear to them where the paint should go and then watch carefully!
- Make sure the star stickers are on flat and don’t oversaturate them with paint, or they may peel up before the paint dries.
- Put cardboard inside the shirt to soak up the extra paint…
- Be extra sure that the shirt is LAID FLAT to dry!
We also decided to use bigger stars the second time, but that is just a preference. I like the look of the big stars and thick stripes. You can make the stripes thinner and use the smaller stars too, if you want.
Now that you know to avoid those mistakes, are you ready to get started?
- plain white t-shirt. I found basic, white t-shirts made for projects in the craft section at Walmart for only $2 each.
- red and blue paint. This is the same exact paint I found at Walmart for 50 cents per bottle. We used Flag Red and Bright Blue. One bottle of red will be enough for two shirts. The blue goes farther since you don’t use as much.
- star stickers. These are very similar to the larger stickers I found in the journal/scrapbooking section at Michaels. They were $2 for 78 stars. These are the 1/2 inch star stickers we used the first time. They were $1.68 for a package of 715 at Walmart.
- disppearing ink marker.
- straight edge
- carrots. I think it’s fun to use carrots as stampers for the paint, but you can also use these paint sponges.
- paper plates
- Cut the cardboard to fit and place it inside the shirt, smoothing the wrinkles.
- Using the straight edge and disappearing ink marker, outline the where the stripes and stars will go.
- Place the star stickers in the upper left corner.
- Cut a carrot to get a straight edge for stamping.
- Squirt the blue paint on a plate and, using the carrot as a stamp, fill the square, covering the stars with paint.
- Use another carrot and the red paint to stamp every other stripe, starting and ending with red.
- Lay shirt FLAT to dry overnight.
- Remove the star stickers and voila! Your shirt is finished!
It’s not perfect, but that’s okay with me. This one was done by my three-year-old and me. She was done after the stars section and the first stripe, so I finished it. You can help your little one as much or as little as you want, depending on the result you’re looking for!
If you try this flag shirt with your kids, I’d love to see it! Post a pic in the comments below.
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