Our 2016 Craft and Hobby Association T-Shirt Transformations

I brought along two white t-shirts to the Craft and Hobby Association Mega Show - one for Tanya and one for me. My original plan of doing something with Pantone's Color of the Year was a bust and Rit Dye didn't exhibit, so I had to come up with something different. On Sunday morning, I issued the challenge. Tanya and I would each decorate our shirts separately, with help from exhibitors on the show floor. Basically, anything goes.

I had no game plan when we separated on Sunday morning. I had a handful of appointments on my schedule, so in between those, I wandered around looking for some shirt-friendly colorants. My first few inquiries were unsuccessful. I found some fun mists, powdered dyes, and inks, but none of them were for wearable fabric. My first success was at the Eclectic Products booth (makers of E-6000 and Allure Dimensional Adhesive Paint). Mark Montano was doing a Valentine's Day make-and-take, so I explained the challenge and asked if I could use the supplies to decorate my shirt. I used pink to color in the eraser on the pencil, then glued a large felt heart to the sleeve and outlined it in pink as well. Thanks, Mark!

My next successful stop was at Marvy Uchida. They weren't set up for a make-and-take, but generously offered some fabric pens for me to use. I used a royal blue to color in the pencil and to add dots all the way around the neck.

The next stop was at Expressions Vinyl. They were partnered with Siser to show how easy it is to apply vinyl to shirts. Perfect! I added "Eat Sleep Craft Repeat" in gold vinyl to my empty sleeve, then a California bear on the back. It looked awesome.
Then I happened upon the Brother booth, where Joanne Banko was demonstrating the PE540D Embroidery Machine. So cool! She had me pick out a thread color for my name, then a second color for a border. She surprised me with the design. I love it!

At this point, I thought I was done... until I passed by The Rhinestone World. They offered to add a sparkly 'CHA 2016' opposite my embroidered name!

It took awhile for their machine to heat up, so I browsed through all of their samples. They have some really cool stuff. Isn't this neat?

Time to apply the rhinestones.

I was happy with how my shirt looked, but I decided to add more color for a more complete transformation. I talked with the people at DesignMaster. They really wanted to help, but unfortunately, they were required by the Fire Marshall to have only empty aerosol cans in their booth. How frustrating! They had some beautiful projects on display with gorgeous colors that would have been so pretty on my shirt.

Lindy's Stamp Gang to the rescue, for what I thought would be my final stop. 

On the last day of CHA, I put on my shirt and headed to the show floor to thank everyone who contributed to making it so colorful. I hadn't even gotten to the first booth when Emmie from Art Foamies offered to stamp on my shirt. She added a fun swirl to my stomach and my back. Remember that I was wearing the shirt at the time! 

Huge thanks to everyone who helped me transform my shirt, including:  

The Rhinestone World

Here's the finished shirt. Quite a transformation! And about as far from my usual style as possible, which is half the fun.

Now on to Tanya's shirt! For a variety of reasons, including the fact that she spent one less day at CHA than I did, she wasn't able to complete the shirt while on the show floor. Instead, she used materials she gathered to decorate her shirt once she got home. Isn't it cute?! And very different from mine!

Tanya used:

Thanks again to everyone who helped us!


  1. Very cool! I'm drooling over that heat press!

  2. How fun! LOVING how both shirts turned out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. I love how yours turned out, Cindy. I think I need a shirt using the sports themed letters- especially with Super Mom spelled out. ;)

  4. Hi Cindy! It was great to meet you at CHA and chat a bit while the Brother PE54D stitched out your name. Your final work of art looks great! It was an ingenious idea you had to decorate it by booth hopping from place to place!

  5. I absolutely LOVE your shirt! It is a gorgeous creation!!!!! And Tanya's is wonderful, too. You guys are sooooo creative!

  6. Love the happy colours! How fun to work with those products and transform your T-shirt!


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