Wednesday, January 9, 2013

the polka dotty heart top tutorial

I thought it would be fun to make my girls Valentine's Day shirts this year, but before I decided what to do, or really decided I'd do anything, I found THIS post on Pinterest, The Painted Heart Bag..

We love dot painting in our house and have done quite a bit of it. In fact, one of my sons just won an award in an art contest. His picture was a dot painting of an alien. 

So, it wasn't a big leap to do the same thing, but on shirts. And then, I realized, instead of me doing them, my girls could do this themselves. Awesome.

First I picked up some cheap shirts and since my girls are all about pink, I snagged these...

Next, I found a heart template I liked on-line. I made it a bit bigger for Zoe, my five year old. And a wee bit smaller for my 2 year old. The template I used is HERE. I printed them out and laid the hearts on the shirts to check the size. 

Next, I traced the hearts onto freezer paper. 

Then I cut out the hearts and ironed the paper to the front of the shirts, shiny side down. Freezer paper is brilliant. 

In order to keep my cute girls from painting the rest of the shirt by accident, I taped newspaper around the freezer paper, covering the shirt. 

Also, and this is very important, I slipped a piece of poster board into the middle of the shirt directly behind the heart. You don't want to skip this step! Otherwise you'll end up with a heart on the back of your shirt, too! look cool? Or not.

I gathered up our supplies which were regular ol' acrylic paint, pencils and paper plates. I put a puddle of color on each plate and we used one pencil per color. 

Next you simply start stamping dots with the eraser end of the pencil. 

I stayed pretty close to Molly at first to help. I worried she would get all crazy with the paint. But she just dipped and stamped. She loved this!

Zoe also loved stamping the dots. And it doesn't matter if the dots aren't perfect! Kid's artwork is better if it's real, right? And kids are wonderfully messy!

We needed to get Zoe to Kindergarten soon, but she really wanted to wear her new shirt. So I grabbed my blow dryer to dry the paint in a hurry. Molly really enjoyed this part, too. This is also where she ditched her painting shirt in anticipation of wearing her new polka dotty top! 

The last thing I did was pull the newspaper and freezer paper off the shirts, take the poster board out of the middle and then ironed the front of the shirt really good, with a piece of cotton fabric over the painted heart, in order to heat set the acrylic paint. 

Oh, and then, of course, we had to snag some cute shots of the girls in their new polka dotty heart tops!

This was so easy and fun. If you have any questions, let me know!
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  1. so cute!!! Your girls are adorable!

  2. Super cute! I think we will be trying this at our home soon.

  3. Very cute. The possibilities are endless . . . Thanks!

  4. Oh my goodness!! I LOVE this idea! I think it will be perfect for my two-year-old to make, especially with the newspaper protecting everything--genius. I'll be sure to post pics when ours is made. :)

    I'm a new ffollower from the 5 Ways link party!!

    Kim@Little Rays of Sunshine

  5. I pinned this. Thanks for sharing!

  6. This is so cute. Thanks for showing us.I will let my 3year old Granddaughter do this.Thanks so much...:) :)

  7. Whenever you mix pink and hearts you can't go wrong, very cute. I am a new follower! I found your link on Flamingo Toes. I would love for you to link up to my weekly linky party Fluster Muster on Wednesday’s @

  8. Hey from tessacotton! Love your creation. I would be so thrilled if you would link up to my new, Valentines Day themed linky party!

  9. What a great idea! Love that your girls got to make them themselves, but they look so professional! Will keep this in mind for when my daughter a bit older. Thanks for sharing.

  10. What a fun idea! I love how hands on it was and it turned out adorable! :D

  11. With all of the things going on for V-day, it is nice to have a simple project. Your girls look like they had a blast. Great job Momma!
    with love

  12. This is so cute. My 9 yr. old would love to do this!!

  13. Very cute! My daughter would love to make something like that!

  14. I did these with my three kiddos, making a cracked heart for the boy and adding the words "heart breaker" to make it a bit less girly. Great tutorial! Thanks! :-)

  15. What a fun shirt! I had to take a second look....thought it was sequins upon first glance.

  16. Oh, this is great!! I am going to have to do this with my kids, they are going to love it. I love both of their finished masterpieces too. Thanks for this :)

  17. Oh I love that they made these themselves. :)

  18. Wanted to let you know we made a complete copycat of your shirt. My daughter loves it and I wrote a blog post about it. Thanks for sharing such a cute idea.


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