This DIY Solar Eclipse Glow-in-the-Dark T Shirt is such a fun kids craft or if you need kids activities for a solar eclipse party, eclipse lesson plans, or a creative STEM craft for science kids activities.
Best DIY Solar Eclipse Glow-in-the-Dark T Shirt Craft EVER!
This is one of those fun crafts that we still talk about. We made these glow eclipse tees right before a full solar eclipse one year and then we were able to wear our total solar eclipse t-shirts for the big event. This is one of those kids projects that my daughter still talks about making! And, our solar tee GLOWS, which makes it different from all those other solar t-shirt crafts you see out there! (It’s like a DIY light up shirt!)
How To Make An Easy DIY Solar Eclipse Shirt Glow
To Make Your Own Eclipse T-shirt, You’ll Need These Materials:
- Black shirts
- Fabric Paint that glows
- Regular fabric paint
- Foam paint brushes
- Paint brush or old toothbrush
- Paper plates
- Packing tape
- Fabric markers (optional)
See the full directions for the DIY solar eclipse tshirts and crafts below! KEEP SCROLLING for how to make total solar eclipse shirts!
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When is the next solar eclipse?
There is the big solar eclipse 2024 coming up where there will be a large path of totality making the solar eclipse visible to many in the U.S. However, there is also an annular solar eclipse will cross North, Central, and South America on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023. The solar eclipse in 2024 is on April 8, 2024, so start planning now for the 2024 total solar eclipse in North America today!
ECLIPSE TIP: You’ll have to check your area to see if you can see the total eclipse of the sun or partial eclipse on these dates. The American Astronomical Society has a lot of great information on their site.
If you can, it’s an amazing natural phenomenon you don’t want to miss, especially if you have a little nature lover who will enjoy the amazing total solar eclipse!
This project is a great kids April 8th total solar eclipse t-shirt project for 2024 to go with your other eclipse apparel for eclipse parties or viewing parties!
ALSO CHECK OUT MORE ECLIPSE IDEAS: FUN ECLIPSE PARTY THEMES
So you’re all set for a total solar eclipse or some solar eclipse for kids lessons and activities, right?
Well, you’re in for a treat because we have a SUPER FUN astronomy for kids craft that is perfect to pair up with your solar eclipse lesson plans or solar eclipse watch party: A DIY total solar eclipse t-shirt!
And, as a bonus, it’s a t-shirt that GLOWS in the DARK!
(Cool, right? Don’t worry, we’ll walk you through all the steps including the bonus glowing part!)
And, the great thing about this DIY project is that it’s good for an individual project or for a group project like homeschool co-op! However, these aren’t just kids t-shirts. Grownups enjoyed this shirt craft for eclipse just as much!
No need to shop for a solar eclipse shirt online or solar eclipse tee shirts merchandise. You can easily make your own eclipse shirt, while also learning about the eclipse! It’s really fun to make your own t-shirt designs with an image of the sun. Then, you can have a dark corona t-shirt for future eclipses!
How to Make Your Own DIY Solar Eclipse T Shirt That Glows in the Dark!
Making Solar Eclipse T Shirts Step-By-Step
During our homeschooling solar eclipse studies, we found this awesome tee design on this site and we knew immediately that we had to try it!
However, we decided to take it up a notch and make our total solar eclipse t shirt a glow-in-the dark eclipse tee! Check out the step-by-step craft directions below. (You can even make this as a last minute solar eclipse t-shirt project after a quick trip to the craft store!)
These shirts would be fun for DIY space shirts projects, too!
Solar Eclipse Tee Materials
For This Total Eclipse T Shirts Craft Project, You’ll Need:
- Plain black t-shirts (in the sizes you need) – NOT tie dye or no dark color patterns
- 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, we used white)
- Stiff paint brush or a stiff bristled tooth brush
- Small (dessert size) paper plates or cardboard circle
- Packing tape
- Piece of cardboard (square cardboard insert for each tee)
BEFORE YOU START THIS FUN DIY PAINT T SHIRT CRAFT, READ THIS:
• CRAFT SUMMARY •
You are taping a paper plate to a shirt and then brushing layers out from the paper plate like a sunburst. The first layer, red, will be brushed the furthest out into the t shirt. Then, orange will be brushed on top of the red, outward, but stopping before you get to the edge of the red. Lastly, a yellow layer will be brushed on top of the orange, but will not go all the way to the edge of the other layers. You want to leave some of each layer showing around the edge. (The red layer will be the farthest out, the orange layer to the middle, and the yellow layer the smallest (inner-most) layer.
BE SURE TO READ THROUGH ALL OF THE CRAFT INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE YOU BEGIN!
IMPORTANT CRAFT TIP: This is a semi-messy project, so be sure to cover the area or do this outside.
STEP 1: PREP YOUR T-SHIRT.
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 on prepared surface (like a table with a garbage page or disposable plastic table cloth on it).
STEP 2: MAKE YOUR SOLAR CIRCLE.
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 to the tee.
STEP 3: MAKE BACKGROUND STARS IN YELLOW.
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.
IMPORTANT CRAFT NOTE:
You may want to practice this on a piece of paper first to make the stars. It took us a few tries to get the “flicking” right so that it made small dots and not stringy paint messes.
STEP 4: MAKE BACKGROUND STARS IN WHITE IN SKY.
Repeat #3, except this time using the glow-in-the-dark white paint.
Allow your “stars” to dry for few minutes.
PROJECT NOTE: Don’t skip the stars steps (#3-4). It makes the shirt really cool. Trust me on this.
CRAFT TIP: You can also make the star background with a little water and bleach in a spray bottle, but it won’t glow (and you won’t be able to control the star placement as well).
STEP 5: PAINT THE RED SOLAR LAYER AROUND YOUR ECLIPSE SUN.
Using the foam brush, paint red (regular red, not glow-in-dark) 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.
CRAFT TIP: Be sure to tightly press the plate down while you are painting so that the paint does not leak and spread under the plate.
Repeat this all the away around the plate, brushing the red out from the plate all the way around.
If you use a darker red, it will soak in and may seem hard to see. (Don’t worry about this! You’ll be able to see it better when it dries.)
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 stuff in the solar eclipse study units and watch videos.
STEP 6: PAINT THE ORANGE SOLAR LAYER FOR YOUR ECLIPSE TEE.
Now, using a different foam brush, repeat the process in Step 5 using regular orange paint, only brushing out about 1-1 1/2 inches from the paper plate.
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).
When you brush the orange layer on top of the red, be sure to leave some red showing on the edges!
Allow to dry briefly.
STEP 7: PAINT THE YELLOW SOLAR LAYER AROUND YOUR ECLIPSE SUN.
Now, repeat the process for a third time using a different foam brush, only this time using the yellow paint.
Just like in the previous steps, paint out from the paper plate with the yellow paint until 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.
CRAFT TIP: Rinse and dry your foam brushes while your t-shirt paint dries!
STEP 8: MAKE YOUR SOLAR ECLIPSE SUN GLOW!
Now for the glow in the dark paint!
The glow in the dark paint gives this tee a fun twist!
It’s actually cooler in person (it was hard to capture in a photo).
Once the red, 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.
(You don’t need to worry about painting the red layer with glow in the dark paint because so little of it shows on the edge.)
Let dry completely.
(We actually let ours dry overnight.)
IMPORTANT CRAFT NOTE: You have to “charge” the glow-in-the-dark paint by exposing the shirt to sunlight for a few minutes after you paint it with glow-in-dark paints. If your shirt starts to lose its glow, just recharge it again!
STEP 9: TRIM YOUR SUN SHIRT WITH WHITE.
Now you’ll paint a thin white trim on the inside of the paint (around the black circle).
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 inside 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.
STEP 10: PERSONALIZE YOUR TOTAL ECLIPSE T-SHIRTS. (optional)
This is an optional step, but I’m really glad we did it!
After shirt is dry, write “Solar Eclipse [YEAR]” with a fabric marker.
We made our solar eclipse for kids t-shirt during a solar eclipse event, so we put the year of that eclipse on our t-shirt.
You can also put the date on the back of the shirts or color your own shirt with your party name and date. You can put whatever you want on your DIY paint shirt!
STEP 11: DO SOLAR T-SHIRT TOUCH-UPS.
If you need to do any touch-ups on your solar eclipse shirt, use the black fabric paint to correct any mistakes.
After everything is dried, put on your solar eclipse tee and enjoy your shirt!
This is a really great shirt for an eclipse party!
We’d love to see your eclipse t-shirts and t-shirt designs. Tag us!
After these fun DIY painted t shirt projects, get more eclipse ideas!
KEEP KIDS ASTRONOMY FUN GOING!
Fun Lunar Eclipse Kids Activities
Great ideas for lunar eclipse times:
- Learn about eclipses and seasons
- Understand the difference between the Penumbral Lunar Eclipse, Partial Lunar Eclipse, and Total Lunar Eclipse
- Make a glow in the dark eclipse t-shirt
- Do a phases of the moon lesson
- Create a solar system with online gaming tools
- Print a moon phases mini book
- Make a 3D light up moon
Have you done any cool eclipse studies or crafts? Let me know and I’ll add them to the list!