How to Design a Top With Glue

Want a simple way to add flair to your ordinary, boring t-shirts? Here's an easy project that anyone can do.

Steps

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    Getting Ready
    • First make sure the shirt you are using is a light enough color to show through the color of your dye. White works with anything however a light pink shirt may turn out well with red, or even yellow with a darker blue or green will show through nicely too you want to make sure your top is clean and not too wrinkly. Then take your shirt and pull it over your piece of cardboard making sure the area you are planning on putting your design is completely over the cardboard and tucked in underneath so there are no folds or wrinkles.
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    Making Your Design
    • Now its time to draw your design with glue. Make sure you have washable glue or it will be very hard to remove. Hold on to your bottle with a tight grip, slowly forming your lines while gently squeezing, making sure too much doesn't come out too fast. Once you are completely done making your design let it lay flat to dry. This could take some time depending on how thick you put your glue on.
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    Preparing Your Dye
    • While your glue is drying you get your dye ready. There are a number of different fabric dyes available out there but I just used the traditional Rit dye, which I got from Kroger for about three dollars. Fill your pot with enough water for your garment to lay and move around in the dye. Turn on the stove to high until the water is boiling then turn off and add the entire packet of dye, or whatever amount is directed. Cover until you are ready to add your top.
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    Dye Your Shirt!
    • Once the glue on your shirt is completely dry and the cardboard is removed soak your shirt in hot water. Squeeze it out and now it is ready to add to your dye. Use your tongs to pick up your shirt and place it into the bath of dye. Continue to stir your garment constantly until the desired color is achieved.
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    Wash Your Shirt
    • Use Your tongs once more to remove the garment from the dye bath. It would be advisable to use a plastic bag underneath while holding so the dye doesn't drip over anything. Wash with warm water and vinegar at first, to stop the dying process. Then gradually add cooler and cooler water until the rinsing water in clear. Then either hand wash shirt in the sink or add to the washing machine.
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    Dry Your Shirt
    • Hang the top to dry or add to the dryer.
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Tips

  • Always cover any area you are using so nothing gets stained.
  • If you aren't confident in your design, practice drawing it out first before you put it on the fabric, because after that there is no changing it.
  • The thicker the glue the lighter the line will be.
  • Not an artist? Writing on fabric also looks really nice, especially cursive!
  • Using cooler water in your dye bath instead of boiled water will give you a lighter shade.

Things You'll Need

  • A white or light colored shirt or tank top
  • A sheet of cardboard or another disposable flat surface
  • Fabric dye
  • Vinegar
  • A large pot
  • Tongs
  • Large spoon
  • Washable school glue (such as Elmer's brand)
  • Water
  • Stove

Article Info

Categories: Fabric and Clothing Decoration