DIY Glow-In-The-Dark Shirt Ideas You'd Love!
If you are looking for fun and creative ways to entertain your kids this summer, you may want to try making shirt decals with glow-in-the-dark HTV! You can let your kids experience the magic of this super cool vinyl and let them watch their designs glowing brighter than life!
Working with glow-in-the-dark vinyl is a lot of fun. You can use this to hype up your T-shirts or any fabric you have at home. Are you feeling inspired? If yes, grab a cup of coffee and keep reading to know more DIY glow-in-the-dark shirt ideas. Discover fun and creative T-shirt design inspirations here at TeckWrap Craft.
Image from TeckWrap Craft
What is a glow-in-the-dark HTV?
A heat transfer vinyl has a heat-activated adhesive on one side. The other side of the vinyl has a clear carrier sheet that keeps your designs together and can be removed after the application. If you are using a Silhouette machine, you have to position your HTV front side facing down on the cutting mat.
HTV is ideal for T-shirts, scarves, pillowcases, hats, bags, scarves, shoes, other fabrics, and surfaces that can withstand intense heat from an iron or heat press. Glow-in-the-dark HTV can adhere to fabrics made of cotton, poly blend, and uncoated polyester.
Glow-In-The-Dark Heat Transfer Vinyl
Glow-in-the-dark HTV can give any crafter goosebumps for this specialty vinyl is the real deal! Glow-in-the-dark HTV looks simple and beautiful during the day but looks more appealing, cool, and fascinating to the human eye in a dark room or at night.
This HTV is smooth, glossy, and pressure sensitive which allows you to make intricate design patterns that you can easily cut and weed. This is a stretchable and easy to transfer vinyl. This is a durable HTV that can withstand multiple washes even when placed in a washing machine.
Also Available in Neon Yellow, Neon Pink, Neon Green, Neon Orange, and Neon White
This is a cotton-friendly HTV that can easily be transferred to T-shirts, bags, hats, hoodies, bed sheets, pillowcases, and more. You can make a super cool glow-in-the-dark shirt with this amazing vinyl that comes in five neon colors!
Glow-In-The-Dark Puff Heat Transfer Vinyl
Also Available in Neon Green, Light Green, White, Neon Pink, Neon Orange, and Blue
TeckWrap Craft makes glow-in-the-dark crafting more fun and exciting by creating glow-in-dark puff HTV! This is a high-temperature HTV that comes in seven color options. When charged from a light source it can glow beautifully when the lights go off.
This HTV can glow for hours which allows you to wear your glow-in-the-dark T-shirt with a lot of fun for hours. This HTV is durable and flexible with a glossy finish which you can easily transfer to T-shirts, and other garments or fabrics.
Glow-In-The-Dark HTV: Application and Care Instructions
When using glow-in-the-dark HTV, you need to preheat your heat press for at least three seconds. Press the vinyl onto the shirt for around 10-15 seconds with a medium and firm pressure application. When washing your glow-in-the-dark T-shirt, turn it inside out. Don’t use a dryer. Instead, let it hang to dry.
Here are the materials you need to begin crafting with glow-in-the-dark vinyl as well as the procedure on how to apply it:
- T-shirt (any color, though a darker T-shirt color can make the vinyl standout)
- TeckWrap Craft glow-in-the-dark HTV
- Cutting machine (Cricut machine or Silhouette machine)
- Weeding tools
Step 1: Create Your Design
Designing is the first step in making vinyl decals. You can initially doodle using a pencil what your design would look like. Though, designing is easier and more convenient if you have design software installed on your computer like Cricut Design Space. Though, if you don’t have one, you may use any design program that you already have.
Step 2: Cut and Weed
Before cutting, you have to set the image to mirror or reverse. Adjust the cut settings of your cutting machine for the ideal vinyl cut. Your reliable TeckWrap Craft cutting mat would be helpful in this step. After the cutting process, you would need to weed excess HTV.
Weeding is easier and faster if you have the right tools. A weeding tool is very helpful with intricate designs. TeckWrap Craft has a lot of weeding tools that you can choose from - tweezers, a weeder, and a weeding pen.
TeckWrap Craft Tweezer
Step 3: Position the T-shirt and Press
Before applying heat to your shirt, you have to check if your decal is positioned correctly. You can use a ruler or measuring tape to measure accurately. You may refer to this blog post to determine the appropriate decal size for your T-shirt.
Cover your T-shirt decal with a clean cloth or an ironing sheet prior to pressing. This is placed to protect the carrier sheet from the intense heat. Press the glow-in-the-dark shirt according to the instructions above.
You can read this blog post for more details about the appropriate temperature for the heat press. If you are thinking about layering your t-shirt decal, here is an excellent layering guide that you can look into.
Step 4: Peel off the Carrier Sheet
The last step after heat pressing your T-shirt is to remove the carrier sheet right away. Glow-in-the-dark HTV is a hot peel vinyl which means that you no longer have to wait for the vinyl to cool down before removing the carrier sheet.
After this step, you are done! You now have a cool glow-in-the-dark shirt!
Make DIY Glow-In-The-Dark T-Shirt With Screen Printing
Another way to make glow-in-the-dark T-shirts is by the use of screen printing. Using glow-in-the-dark ink ensures that the print glows on shirts. The print is brighter if you apply an under base of white color. This can add an extra dimension to your shirt decal.
Most manufacturers that produce glow-in-the-dark T-shirts or glow-in-the-dark vinyl prefer to use green ink that produces green light. Green light is preferred because the human eye is sensitive to this kind of color. With green lighting, the glow emitted is brighter.
It also contains phosphors just like night vision goggles and radar screens that are typically green. Phosphor is a chemical compound that can absorb energy and release it as visible light. The two common phosphors are zinc sulfide and strontium illuminate which are used for photoluminescent ink. These can be mixed with plastics and inks.
When light is projected on phosphors, the molecules get very excited which makes these molecules release the stored energy to create that fun glow. Any type of light source can charge glow-in-the-dark ink. Though, it charges faster when exposed to sunlight.
Make DIY Glow-In-The-Dark T-Shirt With Glowing Fabric Paint
Aside from vinyl, you can also use glowing fabric paint to make a super cool glow-in-the-dark T-shirt. This is a fun and creative crafting activity that you can do with your child at home during summer breaks or when you are running out of ideas to keep your child entertained.
For this crafting activity, you would need the following materials:
- Black colored T-shirt (washed and completely dry)
- Freezer paper
- Glow-in-the-dark paint
- Sponge brush
- Pair of scissors
Here are the simple steps on how to use glowing fabric paint:
- Make a sketch of the image you want to put on your glow-in-the-dark T-shirt. This sketch will serve as your guide for the next step. If you are working on a design with small pieces, make sure to save these pieces and not lose them. The measurement of your design should be smaller than your T-shirt.
- With a piece of freezer paper, trace the sketch you made using a pencil onto the non-waxy side of the freezer paper. The waxy side is the side that will adhere to the T-shirt during the transfer process.
- Once you are done tracing your design, it is time to cut out the freezer paper stencil. Do take note that what you are making is a stencil. The portion covered by the stencil will remain black. Portions not covered by the stencil will be painted white. Do keep this in mind when creating your design.
- Iron the stencil to the T-shirt.
- It is time to paint your shirt. Before proceeding, it is advisable to insert a piece of paper inside your T-shirt to prevent paint from seeping through. Using your sponge brush, start dabbing glowing fabric paint on your T-shirt.
- You can remove the freezer paper from your shirt once the paint has completely dried. Your glow-in-the-dark shirt is now ready to glow!
Alternatively, you can also use removable vinyl to make a stencil on your shirt.
DIY Glow-In-The-Dark Tie-Dye Shirt Ideas
You can encourage your kids to join you in making tie-dye glow-in-the-dark T-shirts. This is going to be a fun activity that they will love. They will also feel proud wearing what they have made. If you are ready, here are the materials you will need for this crafting project:
- Rubbing alcohol
- Neon sharpies
- White T-shirt
- Spray bottle
- Cotton swabs
Let your kids draw on the shirt using sharpies. These sharpies are available in office supply stores, craft stores, or on Amazon. Let the kids be creative and draw whatever they want. Once they are done with their drawings, hand them a spray bottle filled with rubbing alcohol.
The kids need to spray the shirt with rubbing alcohol which will make the sharpies blendable. They can blend the colors using cotton swabs. Let the shirts dry and your cool DIY glow-in-the-dark shirts are ready! You may use this technique for shoes, hats, dresses, and other fabrics you have at home.
DIY Glow-In-The-Dark T-Shirt Design Ideas Using HTV
Working with glow-in-the-dark HTV is fun because you can play around with lights and varying colors. You can make a shirt decal that resembles the night sky and is filled with stars that glow and shine. In thinking of a design idea, it would help if you can incorporate glow-in-the-dark to highlight or give emphasis to a particular image to make it more striking.
The image above shows how you can use glow-in-the-dark HTV and place them side by side. Different colors emit a different glow when it is dark. Glow-in-the-dark HTV looks different when light is present and when light is absent. Use this concept when thinking about the image or design you want to make.
You can enhance the shirt design above, by using glow-in-the-dark HTV. You can reveal a hidden message on the shirt which is visible only when the room is dark. You may also use glow-in-the-dark HTV to hide a mystery image or show an optical illusion.
Aside from using black shirts, you may use other dark shades like dark gray and navy blue. You can transform your design into an out-of-this-world decal by using glow-in-the-dark HTV. Other design ideas include making a space-themed design that includes the moon, stars, and even a space shuttle.
Image from TeckWrap Craft Instagram Page
Your glow-in-the-dark decal should not only be limited to a single color or layer. You can play around with different colors and make a multiple-layered design. Layering decals make your design more interesting and give it more depth just like the sample design above.
Glow-in-the-dark HTV is already a fascinating and eye-catching vinyl in itself. You can make it all the more amazing if you combine all the puff colors available like the design sample below. The image would bring a huge smile to your face and the texture of this vinyl also adds a nice touch to your shirt.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does glow-in-the-dark clothing work?
Glow-in-the-dark shirts or clothing contain phosphor. This allows the vinyl to radiate visible light when charged or exposed to a light source or energy. A glow-in-the-dark shirt is made from thread dyes with photoluminescent components. It glows when the space is dark and goes back to its original color when the surrounding is bright.
Is glow-in-the-dark HTV harmful?
No, glow-in-the-dark HTV is not harmful. It is non-toxic and doesn't contain any radioactive material. A glow-in-the-dark T-shirt is safe to wear.
Does glow-in-the-dark ink work on white-colored T-shirts?
Yes, glow-in-the-dark ink can be used on white T-shirts. Though, you may notice the yellowish or greenish color during the day. Thus, it is recommended to use a black or dark-colored shirt to hide the glowing surprise when night time comes.
Are glow-in-the-dark shirts more expensive?
No, glow-in-the-dark shirts are not expensive. Their production costs are the same as other custom-made shirts.
Image from TeckWrap Craft
Let Your Shirt Glow!
Glow-in-the-dark T-shirts are simply amazing, creative, and fun! They look cool during the day, and even cooler as they glow at night! You can make glow-in-the-dark shirts as a fun summer bonding activity or as a crafting project for Halloween with your kids.
There are so many ways to make DIY glow-in-the-dark shirts. One method may be more tedious than the others. The intensity of the glowing effect may be different as well. Regardless of the differences, you can still make your own glow-in-the-dark shirts that fit your budget and style.
The fastest way you can get quality glow-in-the-dark shirts is by using HTV. You don't have to search any further for TeckWrap Craft has the glow-in-the-dark HTV that you are looking for with a variety of colors you can choose from. Be part of TeckWrap Craft’s growing community by leaving your comments and reviews about how amazing glow-in-the-dark HTV is.