Friday, July 13, 2012

Turn your kids drawing into their favorite T-shirt with Deco Art Ink Effects

Ink Effects Kids Tshirt Drawing on DIY

Recently I had the opportunity to work with Deco Art and one of their newest craft product lines, Ink Effects.  This is a brand new product and the first of its kind to the consumer hands!  It’s a paint that you use on traditional paper (unlike other products which you need a specific transfer paper), and then using a household iron as a heat source you apply it to fabric and the image is transferred.  The final result however, is what makes it so unique.  It’s not an applique, and it’s not a transferred paint.  The paint itself once heated turns into an ink on the fabric.  So what you’re left with is your final image on your fabric that feels like it’s been dyed on.  The image isn’t “hovering” over the fabric like with applique, and it’s not a stiff paint like screen printing or painted on designs. 


I was sent  a great collection of colors to choose from to use for my design.  They’re so bright and colorful I was really eager to try it out! 

Colors of Ink EffectsIMG_0307

I wanted to involve my 3 year old with this project so I thought a fun idea would be to have him color a picture and then have that transferred to the shirt.

InkEffects Book Coloring

First I had him use markers to color his picture of choice.  I had him use markers rather then use the ink effects paint because well… he’s still a bit messy and didn’t want him wasting any of my awesome new product Smile  I allowed him to use the colors of markers that I had matching in the paints so I would be able to go directly over his coloring with the paint.

Ink Effects Cotton Tshirt

Because I was using a fabric that was more than 30% cotton (I was using a 100% cotton T-shirt) I used the Ink Effects basecoat.  It’s an pretreatment spray that helps allow the paint/ink to be absorbed easier into the fabric.  If you use a fabric made up of synthetic material you won’t need to use this pretreatment and you’d be able to iron on directly to the fabric. Apply it evenly over the entire surface you’ll be applying the painting too, and let it fully dry for about 30 minutes.

Ink Effects StepIMG_0311

Once my son was done drawing I used the matching paint colors and went directly over where he colored.  I really wanted to keep the drawing authentic so I was extra particular of following his lines even if they went outside the coloring lines.  He even made the dinos belly extra colorful and I followed his colors to a T. Now the particular detail you have to remember is that the black lines from the coloring book will not transfer, so you have to paint those lines too with the black paint.  The only change I made was I added a few little colorful plants to help balance the dinosaur on the final t-shirt… also I eliminated what either was a partially colored volcano… or the dinosaurs leash.  I wasn’t sure Jackson’s artistic direction with that magenta line.

Ink Effects Iron On

Once that fully dried, I grabbed my iron and set it to the highest setting and let it heat up.  Then you just flip the image over so paint side is on the fabric and use your iron in a continuous motion for about 30 seconds over the entire surface.  The pretreatment made the surface a bit sticky, so was a little difficult to keep the iron in motion while trying to stay consistent.  After about 30 seconds I lifted the corner to see how it was transferring and it appeared to be working well so I just did a little longer to be sure and then lifted the image off.

Ink Effects Post Ironing

YAY! It worked!!!  There are a few light spots that could have been ironed a tad longer but was nervous about realigning the drawing exactly on point so I just left as is.  The trouble spot is right below the pocket too, I think the layered fabric made the image not transfer as evenly so I should have either applied more pressure there, or used a shirt without a pocket.
Next time.

Using your kids art for tshirts with Ink Effects
Ink Effects Kids Tshirt Drawing on

Jackson's face when I showed him he had a shirt with the same exact drawing he just draw was PURE excitement.  HE LOVED IT! So thank you Ink Effects!!

This product is really nice for this type of process.  As mentioned before you’re not left with an applique feel, or a stiff paint the colors true are absorbed by the fabrics for a printed ink feel and look.
If you’re familiar with screen printing or any printing on textile process, you’ll recognize that this process is very similar to sublimation.  Sublimation is the effect of printing directly on to a textile with ink from a computer.  It’s actually a very costly process, and can be done at home from your home printer, however the ink cartridges can be around $300 to $500! 

Deco Art truly has brought a unique product to the consumers hands at a very reasonable price in comparison to other options available on the market today.
There is a learning curve with this product, but as any brand new products to the market that’s to be expected.  I was really pleased with the quality of paints and products from Deco Arts new line and am excited to see what others do with the product too!

Ink Effects will be in JoAnn Fabric stores next week!  You’ll be able to pick some up yourself to give it a try, and be sure to check out Deco Art on Facebook, Pinterest and also get some helpful tips with their Youtube Channel.

You can also see what others have created with Ink Effects below!

I wrote this post as part of a paid campaign with Deco Art and Blueprint Social. The opinions in this post are my own and I only promote and use products I would use on my own.


  1. What a great idea- and that smile...he is so proud! And should be- amazing artwork lil dude!! What a great product!

  2. SO cool!!! Definitely gotta give this a try :)

  3. That's freaking adorable!! Jackson is such a ham. :)

  4. Great idea! Pinned. Where are your share buttons?

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. What a fab product Pamela! I love the pillow examples too! Pinned this! Your FB share button does work now! Heather :)

  7. I need to try this with some of the drawings my Grandkids make for me!


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