How to Make Glow in the Dark T-Shirt Prints

Written by ramona volker
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How to Make Glow in the Dark T-Shirt Prints
Create glow-in-the-dark prints and add radiating luminescence to your wardrobe. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Glow-in-the-dark T-shirt prints are not only an ideal solution for a homemade Halloween costume, but also a sure-fire way to stand out in the crowd at a music concert. Draw upon this fashionable method of T-shirt decoration for adding a reflective element to your favourite jogging T-shirt, or improving your nighttime camping wardrobe. Any T-shirt can easily be transformed into radiating glow-in-the-dark attire leaving you wondering why you ever settled for drab daytime-only prints. Self-illuminating prints take a short afternoon to create and can last through countless washings.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • T-shirt
  • Cardboard
  • Stencil, store bought or handmade
  • Glow-in-the-dark fabric paint
  • Paper plate
  • Stencil brush
  • Iron

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  1. 1

    Iron the T-shirt you wish to decorate so it has no creases or folds. Slide a piece of cardboard inside the T-shirt to ensure your paint doesn't seep through the top layer of fabric.

  2. 2

    Position your stencil on the T-shirt where you wish to print your design. Stencils can be purchased at most craft stores or you can create your own stencil design by drawing an image on thick tracing paper and cutting it out with a craft knife.

  3. 3

    Squeeze a small amount of your glow-in-the-dark fabric paint onto a paper plate. Glow-in-the-dark fabric paint can be purchased at most craft stores that carry fabric paint and fabric pens.

  4. 4

    Dip your stencil brush into the glow-in-the-dark paint and dab it up and down to fill the brush with paint. Stencil brushes are different from regular paintbrushes; stencil brushes have extra firm bristles and are flat on the end. Stencil brushes can be purchased at any craft store that sells fabric paints.

  5. 5

    Hold the stencil down firmly on your T-shirt with one hand. Use your other hand to apply the paint to the stencil with your stencil brush. Move the brush in an up and down tapping motion over the stencil. The brush should be held straight up and down, perpendicular to the fabric at all times so the paint doesn't seep under the edges of your stencil image.

  6. 6

    Cover all areas of the stencil image completely with the glow-in-the-dark paint. Peel the stencil off your T-shirt slowly, being careful not to smear the image underneath.

  7. 7

    Read the instructions on your glow-in-the-dark fabric paint. Some fabric paints require that you iron the image after it has dried to permanently fix the image onto the fabric.

Tips and warnings

  • T-shirts aren't the only type of attire that can be enhanced with glow-in-the-dark fabric paint; hats, tote bags and team jerseys all can benefit from a touch of radiating luminescence.

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