Crafting with Pie – How to make Puffy Paint T-Shirts

My daughter loves to make things! She is constantly asking me “Mom, what can I make?”
She also has a semi-short attention span and a tendency to become easily frustrated. This means we must find fun, crafty projects that she can make on her own or with minimal help. Which is why we LOVE scouring flea markets, yard sales, and the local thrifty stores for things we can use for crafting emergencies!
This quick and easy project for kids that will give them an instant “Craft Fix” and cost almost nothing!
puffy paint shirt tutorial for kids

We found new and slightly used bottles of fabric paint at the thrifty store for $0.39 each!
At another local thrift place we bought this small man’s t-shirt for a quarter.
Freshly laundered and with a box slipped inside, it’s a blank canvas for my little artist!

drawing a t-shirt design


Pie spent a good 45 minutes drawing various puppies and dogs of all shapes and sizes before settling on this “perfect-to-her” pooch. Isn’t he cute?
It wasn’t quite as large as she wanted so we scanned it, enlarged and printed out in bold lines.
She traced it with a black Sharpie (bought in a pack of 6 for $1.00 at the flea market) so that it would show through the fabric better.

trace design onto shirt

We taped the area she wanted her puppy in with Scotch tape, slipped her drawing inside, and put a few thumbtacks through the fabric and into box to keep the paper from moving.

designing a t-shirt with kids


After discussing various colors and features she wanted to include,
Pie chose a pretty metallic brown to outline her puppy in.

kids craft project


She took her time and really concentrated on her task, stopping to admire her work now and then.
We waited about 20 minutes to add details so that the brown paint wouldn’t smudge.

puffy paint tutorial for kids

Meet “Sparks” the wonder pup, complete with glow in the dark spots and glittering toenails

What kinds of crafts do your kids like to keep busy on?

About the Author

Henrietta Newman is a self-loving empty-nester into smudging, nature, yoga, fitness, healthy living, hunting, camping, hiking, tech, video games, gadgets, recipes, reviews and more.
With a love for the outdoors and visiting local attractions in and around NW PA and Lake Erie, you never know what you'll find in my nest! Subscribe to A Hen's Nest so you don't miss the fun!



  1. 1
    crochet lady says

    Aww, sparks looks great. How fun.

  2. 2
    Catherine Anne says

    Great idea -

  3. 3
    Big M blog says

    Really nice blog and the designing so for.

  4. 4

    what a fun and creative project. SHe is lucky to have a crafty Mom!

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