A great way to make Christmas and Holiday decorations and even presents using your inkjet printer and some heat transfer kits. These heat transfer kits are available in Craft stores or most Office Supply stores. You can assemble your own components or go with the kit that includes everything you need.
These are great family projects and you’re only limitation is your imagination on coming up with different decorations. You can even make Christmas presents like special custom t-shirts or other cloth items like Christmas Stockings. Children of all ages can participate but when it comes to the heat transfer part, adult supervision is important.
Last Christmas season we had the grandkids for the day so their parents could go shopping. We decided that we would entertain the children with making some new Christmas Stockings for the family. We rounded up some necessary items so we could finish everything by the end of the day.
There are some basics that you will need for this type of project:
– Material to make the stockings, we bought two all white and one each of red and green cotton t-shirts to cut up since they take the heat transfer well and are easy for cutting out the design.
– Heat Transfer Paper, you can buy this by itself or in a kit with additional software and images.
– Pair of scissors, red and green thread, sewing needle, glue, and several colors of glitter.
– Software to position the images for printing, you can find many free photo editing software on the Internet.
The first thing we did was to take the t-shirts and draw out our stockings. We used the folded edges as one side and drew a boot shape for the sewn side. We needed to make four stockings and got two stockings per t-shirt. Once we had our cut out boots we threaded our needles with both green and red thread and sewed up the outside of the boot design.
Now we were ready to design our image that we would transfer to the stockings. We had already collected some free Christmas clipart from the many websites (make sure it’s not copyrighted) on the Internet. You can also buy these at the craft or office supply store or get a kit that includes artwork to transfer. We let the children decide what to put on each stocking and also included any names or sayings like Merry Christmas.
There are a couple of things to be aware of on the images you plan to transfer. First, make sure the entire design fits the area to be transferred to on your material. And second, you need to use a mirror image since the transfer will then put a right reading image on the final product. Almost all photo or image software has this capability and many inkjet printers can do it at the time of printing too. And also remember that white areas don’t print, so think about what the image will appear like on the color of your material.
We transfer the image before we add any additional glued on material or glitter. But you could do it either way as long as you keep the area for the transfer free of any other decorative items. After the transfer we cut different Christmas shapes out of the red and green t-shirts to glue on the stockings. And you can also use the glue to write things and then sprinkle the glitter on for a great effect.
Our grandchildren are still pretty young (6 and 7 year olds) and so we do a lot of the work under their supervision. But older kids can do a lot more and I would let them participate as much as possible with the exception of the actual heat transfer part. That is strictly off limits due to the possible burns and of course destroyed materials.
I think the total cost of the items we bought was around $ 25. And it was a whole day of fun for all involved. We even had plenty of leftovers for the next craft project. And the children got something to take home and show their parents. So all in all it was well worth the price.
These kinds of craft projects could adapt to almost any popular holiday besides Christmas. And as the children get older they can start participating more and more in the projects. Our 7-year-old granddaughter planned on taking some Christmas pictures this year especially for the next year’s transfers. All in all it’s a great way to spend a day with your children or grandchildren.