So you’re all set for the total solar eclipse, right? You ordered your solar eclipse glasses or binoculars and you learned about how to stay safe during the eclipse. Then, you completed some cool solar eclipse study units and projects. And, you may have even picked up some awesome solar eclipse party stuff.
Now, you just wait until the big date, right?
What are you going to wear? This is a big deal, you know. You can’t have a viewing party or just show up at the library or any other solar eclipse party wearing any old standard tee, right?
No worries, we’ve got your back (see what I did there?) because we created a glow-in-the dark solar eclipse tee and we’re going to show you how to do it!
You don’t have to make this just for the solar eclipse. This would also be a great project to pair up with your glow in the dark solar system craft during solar system studies.
Make Your Own DIY Solar Eclipse Shirt
During our homeschooling solar eclipse studies, we found this awesome tee design on the KCParent site and we knew immediately that we had to try it! However, we decided to take it up a notch and make our solar eclipse t shirt a glow-in-the dark eclipse 2017 tee! (WAY!)
BE SURE TO CHECK OUT : SOLAR ECLIPSE SAFETY
Solar Eclipse Tee Directions
Plain black t-shirts (in the sizes you need)
Glow-in-Dark Fabric Paint in orange, white, and yellow
Regular Fabric Paint in dark red, orange, white, yellow, and black
Foam Paint Brushes
Fabric marker (color of choice to show up on a black tshirt)
Stiff paint brush or a stiff bristled tooth brush
Small (dessert size) paper plates
Piece of cardboard (for each tee)
This is a semi-messy project, so be sure to cover the area or do this outside.
1. Place a piece of cardboard inside of each shirt to prevent the paint bleeding through onto the back of the shirt. Lay shirt out in front of you.
2. Roll a piece of packing tape and place it in the center on the front of a dessert sized paper plate (the side you eat off of). Flip the paper plate over and place it in the middle portion of the front of your tee. (Be sure to give yourself plenty of room to paint around the plate.) Press down so that the plate sticks on the tee.
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3. Dip the stiff paintbrush or stiff toothbrush into glow-in-the dark yellow paint and, using your thumbnail, flick the paint in small dots around the paper plate and on the front of the tee. This will serve as the starry sky behind your eclipse.
NOTE: You may want to practice this on a piece of paper first. It took us a few tries to get the “flicking” right so that it made small dots and not stringy paint messes.
4. Repeat #2, except this time using the glow-in-the-dark white paint. Allow your “stars” to dry for few minutes.
NOTE: Don’t skip the stars steps (#3-4). It makes the shirt really cool. Trust me on this.
5. Using the foam brush, paint red outward from the paper plate to about 2-3 inches from the plate. To do this, start with your foam brush tip at the edge of the paper plate and brush out. Be sure to hold the plate down while you are painting so that the paint does not leak under the plate. Repeat this all the away around the plate. Don’t be afraid to use a lot of paint and don’t worry about making the edges of the red paint even as you are brushing out. The red may be hard to see, but don’t worry. You can always add more later (but it is actually more visible than you think).
Allow to dry briefly. We used drying times to complete some solar eclipse study units and watch videos.
6. Using a different foam brush, repeat the process in Step 4 using orange paint, only brushing out about 1-1 1/2 inches. Do not brush all the way to the end of the red. (At this point, you will have a red layer on the bottom and then a shorter orange layer on top). Allow to dry briefly.
7. Again, repeat the process using a different foam brush, only this time using the yellow paint. Paint out from the paper plate about 1/2 inch, but do not go all the way to the orange edge. At this point you have three visible layers: the large red circle, the orange circle on top, and then the top yellow layer. Allow to dry. (Rinse and dry your foam brushes.)
8. Once the orange and yellow layers are dry, paint on top of them with the glow-in-the-dark paints. (Paint the orange layer portion that is visible with orange glow-in-the-dark paint and the yellow layer portion that is visible with yellow glow-in-the-dark paint). Let dry.
NOTE: You have to “charge” the glow-in-the-dark paint by exposing the shirt to sunlight for a few minutes.
9. Gently remove the paper plate (and tape). You should now have a black circle (on the tee) with three different layers (red, orange, yellow) around the black circle. On the edge of the black circle, paint a white ring all the way around. (You will be painting on the inside of the ring of other paints, on the black of the tee.) Allow the white edge to dry and then paint on top of the white with white glow-in-the-dark paint. Allow shirt to dry completely.
10. After shirt is dry, write “Solar Eclipse 2017” with a fabric marker (optional).
11. If you need to do any touch-ups, use the black fabric paint to correct any mistakes.
Enjoy your shirt!
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