How to Decorate Kids' Sweatshirts


Planes 'n' Clouds Sweatshirt
Make this cloud-inspired shirt.
Make this cloud-inspired shirt.

Your little copilot can pretend to fly high in the sky in this charming sweatshirt, suitable for a boy or girl. With the advantages of fusible webbing, this wearable craft project is simple to make, even for beginners.

How to Make the Planes 'n' Clouds Sweatshirt

What You'll Need:

Sweatshirt

Scraps of fabric (we used a striped print, red cotton, white cotton, gold lame, and silver lame)

Fabric paints (we used dimensional paints in red, sparkle green, glitter gold, sparkle purple, and pearl white)

Double-sided fusible webbing

Pencil

Iron and ironing board

Scissors

2 pressing cloths

Shirt board

Step 1: Trace pattern pieces for 3 planes and 4 clouds onto paper side of fusible webbing, grouping together pieces to be cut from same color fabric. In the example above, the 3 plane bodies are grouped together because they will be cut from the striped material, the 3 noses and 6 wings are together because they will be cut from the gold lame, the 3 propellers will be cut from the red material, the 3 plane windows will be cut from the silver lame, and the 4 clouds will be cut from the white cotton.

(Note: If your trace plane pieces so they point to your left, they will point to your right on the finished sweatshirt. Do not trace the dotted lines from the patterns, because they are used just for reference when positioning wings, window, etc., on plane body.)

Step 2: Cut apart pieces in above groupings. In the example above, the 3 plane bodies have been cut apart as one piece of fusible webbing, the clouds have been cut apart as one piece, and so forth.

Step 3: Cut fabrics into pieces slightly larger than their corresponding webbing groups. Lay a pressing cloth over ironing board. Lay fabrics wrong side up on pressing cloth. With webbing side against wrong side of fabric, place fusible webbing groups over appropriate pieces of fabric (plane bodies piece over striped fabric, nose and wing pieces over gold lame, etc.). Be sure adhesive web does not extend beyond edges of fabric. Cover fusible webbing with second pressing cloth. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse plane pieces to back of fabrics.

Fuse webbing over cloth.
Fuse webbing over cloth.

Step 4: Cut out each plane piece along outside lines. Remove paper from back of each piece. Arrange clouds and body of planes on front of shirt as desired. Tack these pieces in place by pressing point of a hot iron to each for a second or two. Arrange propeller, window, wings, and nose on body of plane and tack in place. Cover arrangement with second pressing cloth. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse fabric pieces to sweatshirt. Repeat this step, fusing remaining cloud and plane to back of shirt.

Step 5: Slip sweatshirt over shirt board, placing the side to be painted over the waxed side of the board. Squeezing paints directly from bottle, outline each piece of fabric with fabric paint in color to match. When one side has dried, turn shirt around on board and outline the plane and cloud on other side. (Back of shirt shown above.)

Variation

It is difficult to find wearable art designs suitable for boys. Use this fusible webbing technique to create your own designs of trains or automobiles -- or, even spaceships and boats. Use the simplified illustrations in coloring books and children's picture books for inspiration.

ABOUT THE CRAFT DESIGNERS

The following crafts were designed by Janelle Hayes, Christina Romo Carlisle and Janis Bullis.

Rainbow Loops & Beads Sweatshirt

Keys to My Heart Sweatshirt

Planes 'n' Clouds Sweatshirt

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