Skip to Content

How to Easily Make Your Shirt for Webelos Art Explosion

This fun Webelos and Arrow of Light Art Explosion adventure idea has Scouts turning their own design into a cool t-shirt! Great activity for all kids!

webelos arrow of light art explosion t-shirt design

If your Webelos or Arrow of Light likes art, he or she will probably want to do the Art Explosion adventure. This adventure has the Cub Scout explore art created by other people and has the Scout create their own art.

Webelos/AOL Elective Adventure: Art Explosion Requirement 3

Requirement 3 asks them to pick two art projects to complete. One of the options that my son picked was G, which asked him to create a design and put it on a t-shirt or other object.

3. Do two of the following:
a. Draw or paint an original picture outdoors, using the art materials of your choice.
b. Use clay to sculpt a simple form.
c. Create an object using clay that can be fired, baked in the oven, or air dried.
d. Create a freestanding sculpture or mobile using wood, metal, papiermâché, or found or recycled objects.
e. Make a display of origami or kirigami projects.
f. Use a computer illustration or painting program to create a work of art.
g. Create an original logo or design. Transfer the design onto a T-shirt, hat, or other object.
h. Using a camera or other electronic device, take at least 10 photos of your family, a pet, or scenery. Use photo-editing software to crop, lighten or darken, and change some of the photos.
i. Create a comic strip with original characters. Include at least four panels to tell a story centered on one of the points of the Scout Law. Characters can be hand-drawn or computer-generated.

Grant decided to create his own designs. Even though the requirement was only for one, he drew two.

avery fabric transfers webelos arrow of light art explosion adventure

Drawing isn't the only way that a Cub Scout can create a design. They can also use a computer or smartphone to make their design or logo. As long as you can either print or save their creation to a file, they can transfer it to a shirt.

It's much easier to transfer your child's design to a object that has a larger flat surface like a t-shirt, apron, or totebag rather than trying to put it on a rounded object like a hat.

Supplies for Art Explosion Shirt

Here's what you'll need:

After your Cub Scout has created his or her art, you'll need to decide what color shirt to use. You’ll want to make sure that your graphic is an appropriate color that will show up on the t-shirt.

Look at the colors in their design. Are they lighter colors? Are they bold and bright? Pick the shirt color based on this. If the design has lots of soft pastels, you may want to use a black shirt so that the image will stand out more. For brighter colors, a white shirt will be fine.

grant webelos arrow of light art explosion shirt

If your child wants to use a color other than white or black, make sure the colors won't clash. Just hold their design up next to the shirt color they want to see how it will look.

The next thing you’ll need to do is put your child’s masterpiece on the computer. If it’s a computer-generates image, it’s already there!

If your Scout created the image on paper, you need to digitize it. You can scan it or take a picture of it. For me, it's easier to take a picture with my phone and email it to myself.

How to Print Image for Shirt

You will probably want the image to show up on the shirt exactly like they've drawn it. If you're using the light fabric transfer, you'll want to ensure that their image is reversed. Dark fabric transfers don't need to be reversed.

There are two ways that you can reverse or flip your image. The first way is to upload it to the design tool or some other graphics software.

You'll need to look for the setting that creates a mirror image. It might be called “flip horizontal,” “mirror image,” “reverse,” or “rotate.” You might also be able to find these settings in your printer software.

Instead of doing this, we just printed Grant's images directly onto transfer paper so that the shirt was a mirror image of his design. That wasn't a problem for his design.

webelos arrow of light art explosion shirt

After your child's design has been flipped, it's time to print it onto the Avery T-Shirt Transfers. These transfer sheets are created for use on light-colored, 100% cotton or poly/cotton blend fabrics. If your Scout picked a dark-colored shirt, use these transfers.

Load the transfer sheets into your printer, and print the design. After your Scout's design has been printed, it's ready to place on the t-shirt.

You will use an iron, a hard, heat-resistant surface such as a wood table, and a pillowcase or similar cloth to transfer the graphic to your child’s t-shirt.

How to Iron the Image on the Shirt

First, trim the transfer sheet so that it doesn’t have a lot of excess around the graphic. Make the corners round when trimming to avoid lifting off of the shirt during the iron process. If you're using dark fabric transfers, leave a tab.

Be sure that the iron doesn’t have water in it, and allow it to heat up for about 5 minutes. Place a pillowcase onto the hard surface, and iron it to remove any wrinkles. Put your t-shirt on top of the pillowcase, and iron the shirt. For dark fabric transfers, remove the paper backing then cut off the tab.

Next, place the transfer on the shirt with the design down for light fabric transfers. Dark fabric transfers need to be design up and covered with the provided tissue paper.

Make sure it's exactly where you want it to be on the shirt. For example, do you want it centered? Do you want it closer to the neck of the shirt?

shirt for webelos arrow of light art explosion

Start ironing your graphic onto your t-shirt. Apply firm pressure from the left to right then top to bottom.

Ironing times may vary, but the suggested ironing time is 3 minutes for a full sheet, 1 ½ minutes for a half sheet or 45 seconds for ¼ of a sheet.

Once your t-shirt has been ironed properly, let it cool for 2 minutes. For light fabric transfers, you'll then slowly peel off the paper backing. Remove the tissue paper slowly from dark fabric transfers.

fabric transfer tshirt webelos art explosion

If your image starts to lift off of the shirt, iron it again, focusing on that area. Continue to do this until the graphic is completely secure on your t-shirt.  Be sure that you follow the care instructions for washing the shirts.

This project doesn't just have to be for the Webelos and Arrow of Light Art Explosion adventure! Your Cub Scouts could make tote bags or aprons as gifts for their parents or grandparents.

What kinds of designs have your Cub Scouts done? Leave a picture in a comment below!

Yours in Scouting,

P.S. Sign up below for more Cub Scout ideas!