t-shirts for 10

Every year when we get together with the Pierce family we have a general birthday celebration for all of the kids.  It works out great for the moms.  Not only are we freed from the responsibility of remembering the birthdays, thereby remembering to ship off a package, but we also are armed with a new and exciting toys for keeping everyone occupied.  bonus!

t-shirt design 2011
This year I decided to mix it up a little.  I decided to make t-shirts for all.  I used this technique on one of the teacher bags I made.  It is easy and inexpensive.  After purchasing and washing all 10 t-shirts, I created a design in power point.  I am sure there are many other design programs that could be used to make larger or smaller template designs.

I made several copies of the design using various fonts and sizes.  I do not have a light box so transfer of the design can be a challenge.  I have found that certain fonts are easier to see and therefore transfer.  I also flip the design over, using a Sharpie I trace the design on the back to darken the image.  It is still a bit of a free hand project. As a result the designs are a bit different from one t-shirt to the next.

I taped the design onto a piece of cardboard.  I used a cereal box I had collapsed.  Once the design was taped onto the cardboard it was placed into the t-shirt, centered and traced onto the t-shirts.  I used Tulip brand Fabric Markers to draw the design onto the shirts. The kids t-shirts have the design on the front of the shirt and the adults are on the back.
the sensational six

The next part of the t-shirt plan was not thought through as well as it should have been.  I purchased a tie-dye kit from the craft store with the intention of having the kids tie-dye their shirts.  Let me just say this was not the best plan. Okay so I really didn't have a plan, or a clue as to how to tie-dye at the time the purchase was made.   I also failed to see the possible disasters that could result from 6 kids ages 14 - 4 using the tie-dye kit.
Mom's t-shirts

On the third day, we pulled out the tie-dye kit and had the children pick designs and tie up their shirts.  This was a hoot.  It was amazing to watch the different approaches the kids took to making their t-shirts just the way they wanted.  Each child's personality really shined through in the creating of their shirts.
silly faces

After a successful tying and rubber banding session, we moved outside to dye.  Let me just say that hindsight is 20/20 and my tie-dying idea could have used a more well thought out plan.  I however tend to be more on the free and creative side.  One child at a time we let them squirt their shirts and supervised the amount of dye used.  Oh, what a mess we had!  It could have been much worse, but fortunately our kids did a fabulous job of listening. We only ended up with a couple of kids with dyed fingers, faces and knees. The 24hour waiting period was excruciating.  Fortunately we had boating, skiing and jet-skis to keep us busy.  After rinsing, washing and drying we have 10 tremendously terrific t-shirts.

We all donned our t-shirts the last day of boating fun.  Sadly the weather did not cooperate and the storms rolled in at the same time we did.  We still had an awesome dinner and made some unforgettable memories!

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