Puffy Paint Technique: Try This Trick for Nearly Perfect Pictures!

Give your old clothes new life with this puffy paint technique!

Looking for an easy way to customize a t-shirt, tote bag, or even a pair of jeans?  Have you been burned in the past with attempting to free-hand a design with puffy paint? Never fear, we’ve got the solution! With this puffy paint technique, you have a chance to refine your design and keep yourself from suffering the agony of using puffy paint with a shaky hand.

Materials you will need:

  • A t-shirt, tote bag, jeans, or another garment you want to add your design to
  • Fabric puffy paint (look for the kind with a thin nozzle, especially if your image has a lot of detail)
  • A pencil
  • A piece of paper large enough for your design
Pencil, paper, t-shirt, and puffy paint needed for puffy paint technique

Directions:

Step 1:

Sketch or print out the design you want on a sheet of paper.

This puffy paint technique will mirror the image, so draw the image flipped from how you want it to appear on the shirt. 

use a pencil to sketch out the design you want to try puffy paint technique

Step 2: 

Prepare your garment. Make sure the area for the design is flat and protect your garment by sliding a piece of cardboard inside your garment where you want your design to go so the paint doesn't bleed through.

Step 3: 

Next, trace over the design in puffy paint. You want to work pretty fast so the paint doesn’t try before you finish your design.

Use the puffy paint technique to trace your design in puffy paint

Step 4:

Pick up the paper and place it paint side down on your shirt in the spot you want your design. Press down all over the back of the paper to push the paint into the fabric, but try not to move the paper around. Peel off the paper and you have your design!

 

If any of the paint dried too much and didn't transfer, you can go over them with the paint directly on the shirt and press down with a clean sheet of paper. Alternatively, retrace your original design, carefully line it up, and repeat the process. Enjoy!

The result of using puffy paint technique on a t-shirt

Expand on the activity!

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5 T-Shirt Yarn Crafts to Try to Master New Maker Skills

Turn tired T-shirts into treasured projects with T-shirt yarn!

Got an old T-shirt in your house? Good news! You’ve got everything you need to start crafting. We’re rounding up some awesome skills that you can learn using T-shirt yarn as your medium.

 

Not only are these projects fun and fabulous, but they'll help you hone your maker skills and you can apply what you've learned using T-shirt yarn to other fiber arts projects. 

First, round up your materials... those T-shirts that are a bit tired or have seen better days are PERFECT for these projects.

 

Now, let's literally round up the T-shirts into yarn! Watch this video to learn how to convert your fabrics to a usable yarn. 

Five crafts you can Do with T-shirt yarn 

Finger Knitting

Finger knitting is an easy way to get started with fiber crafts. Once you get the hang of it, it’s quite relaxing. Knit a long line and turn it into a necklace for an easy starter craft! 

Macrame

Macra-make some amazing things for your home! This video shows you the basic knots you’ll need to get started. T-shirt yarn is great for practicing before you commit to a project.  

Fabric Coiling

You can create a bowl out of fabric! T-shirt yarn is perfect for this since it’s chunkier and sturdier than most yarn. This bowl will be perfect to hold your crafting supplies! 

Pom Pom Making

They look easy, but there’s actually a pattern to creating pom poms! Use this template to learn to make t-shirt yarn pom poms, and then scale it down for smaller yarn – or if you prefer, you can purchase small pom pom makers at a craft store.

Crochet

Learn basic stitches and their abbreviations so that you can conquer a simple pattern! Note: you will need a crochet hook. Carving your own is a tutorial for another time…

Mother and daughter using T-shirt yarn to practice finger knitting

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In these ever-changing times, it is our pleasure to adapt quality Orlando Science Center experiences to engage with everyone while they are safe at home. Please consider supporting our operating fund to ensure we can continue developing resources today and well into the future. Thank you for your generosity and support!

Build a Birdhouse Upcycled Activity: A Maker Project Worth Tweeting About

Build a birdhouse to attract your fine-feathered friends!

Do you have a quart carton in your recycling bin? Why not turn it into a home for your local birds? Birds are some of the best tenants. They're not picky about their homes and are pretty grateful to have them. They may even thank you with a sweet song. 
 
Here are some tips so you can build a birdhouse you will be proud of!
 

Materials:

  • An empty quart carton

  • A pair of scissors

  • A ruler or measuring tape

  • Decorating supplies (optional)

  • String or ribbon

 

Note: Have your grownup help you with the cutting and poking holes steps! These can be tricky.

Directions:

  • Rinse out your carton. Give those birds a fresh start!

  • About halfway up your carton, cut a hole about an inch wide. Quart cartons are about the right size for a wren – they like to have a small entryway so that bigger birds can’t invade their house.

cut-quart-carton-for-wren-birdhouse-diy
  • Poke some holes in the bottom of the carton to drain out rain.

  • Start decorating! Birds have color vision, so they can enjoy the same colors that you can!

decorate-your-upcycled-birdhouse
  • When you’re finished decorating, poke a hole in the top part of the carton.

  • Thread a piece of string, ribbon, or fabric scrap through the hole.

how-to-hang-your-diy-birdhouse
  • If you want to create a little perch for the birds, you can find a narrow twig, poke a hole through the sides of your birdhouse, and thread it through!

  • Hang your birdhouse up on a tree! The birdhouse should hang at least four feet off the ground.

build-birdhouse-to-hang-outside-with-orlando-science-center-activity

What will attract birds to the birdhouse you built?

 

Wrens eat insects, so it’s no big deal if you don’t have a bird feeder. You can help attract birds by putting some water out for them in a birdbath! You can use any shallow container, like a plastic food container, for this – it only needs to be a few inches deep.

 

If you want to get creative, wrens have been known to enjoy peanut butter! Try putting a dot on the tree near your birdhouse.

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In these ever-changing times, it is our pleasure to adapt quality Orlando Science Center experiences to engage with everyone while they are safe at home. Please consider supporting our operating fund to ensure we can continue developing resources today and well into the future. Thank you for your generosity and support!