Make Your Own Spin Art T-Shirts (Great for Field Day!)

Tuesday, June 12, 2018
You might have seen my post about creating your own Spin Art, and just how easy it really is. One of the other things I like about the whole project is that it's portable, so you can literally do your spin art anywhere! That came in super handy when I decided to make our own Spin Art t-shirts for an upcoming event at my son's school.

The Jersey Momma's Boy has Field Day at his school in June, so the homeroom moms were in charge of having the kids decorate their team shirts for this fun day.  But what to do, what to do?  I could have done handprints or tie-dye, but alas, I wanted something different.  Plus, the shirts were blue, which made the decorating a little challenging (white would have been way easier, people!).  So of course I headed to Pinterest, where I was lucky enough to find this post from Roopa who guest blogged over at RedTedArt (THANK you, Roopa, your post helped me immensely!!!) which taught me how to make the shirts.

Anyway, here's what you'll need  You can check out my tutorial on how to make your own spin art here first, so you'll know in advance what you're in for.  Don't worry, it's super easy!

What You'll Need:

- a salad spinner (I bought a plastic one from Walmart for 4.99)
-acrylic paints (at least three, but you can use more)
-white construction paper
-a pencil
-tshirts for printing on
-newspaper or scrap paper for pressing
-piece of cardboard or even a cereal box to tuck inside shirt to prevent image from leaking through


Ok so first be sure to check your salad spinner to see if it has holes in the bottom. Mine did, so that meant I needed to put a tray underneath it to catch any paint that leaked out.  I put mine in an old cookie tin, and another in an old pie tin (not as sturdy, but still worked)

Find a flat area to place your shirt on (a table, floor, desk, etc.).  I tucked a piece of cardboard inside the shirt to prevent the image from going through the fabric to the back of the shirt.

If you are doing this for a large group or a class like I did, be sure to label each child's shirt with their name before you start. I taped a little piece of masking tape inside the shirts by the tag with each child's name on it.


Step 1.  Trace the salad spinner basket (a circle shape) on your white construction paper so you have a shape to start with.  You can use thinner paper but I don't recommend it, as it tends to flop over when spinning.  The thicker paper works better (it might also flip over while spinning but not as badly as the thin paper).  Cut out your circle and place it inside the salad spinner.

Step 2. Squiggle your chosen paint colors across the paper in the salad spinner.  If you just make drip marks you might not get as much of a 'spun' effect when you're done, so try to work with lines instead of dots.  Three or more color choices seem to have the best effect.  Using too much paint will cause the paper to get too heavy and not spread as well, so streams of paint work best.

*Note- you can squirt the paint directly from the small bottles of acrylic paint that you buy in stores.  Since I decided to do this project with a large class of children, I purchased empty squirt bottles with a finer point to help them in the squirting process.  Some of them still used too much paint, but it was better than the actual acrylic bottles.  But this option is up to you!

Step 3.  Close the top and spin the spinner quickly.  Sometimes the paper will fold over on itself.  That's okay, just reach in and flop it back over.  If you peek in and don't like what you see, you can add more colors if you like.  Remember, adding too much paint or too many colors might just cause it all to mash together and turn brown, so less is more here!

Step 4.  Now, carefully remove your paper and flip it over onto your shirt.  We used newspaper to press the image down with our hands.   Remove the newspaper and then peel your paper away to see what your design looks like.

You can stop here or continue with more designs.  You can press many circles onto your shirt for different effects.  We did one circle per shirt for lack of time.

The Jersey Momma's Boy made my Field Day shirt at home.  I'll be easily spotted!

Step 5.  Leave your shirt on a flat surface to dry.  You can also save your artwork circle if you like, too! We wound up hanging each child's circle in the teacher's classroom.  The spin art looked so pretty hanging from the ceiling!

Spin art is so pretty!!!

Since you're using acrylic paint, it dries fairly quickly.  The kids were able to take their shirts home the same day they made them.  The image also stays fairly well on the shirt when washed.  Just wash them inside out in cold water.  It will probably fade over time but that's to be expected.


-I have seen other blog posts suggesting that you can put the shirts right into the spinner and spin them like we did for the paper.  I just couldn't figure out how to do this without getting paint all over the back of the shirt, too, so I opted to use the press and peel method.

-We used the spin art at The Jersey Momma's Boy's 6th Art Themed Birthday Party!  It was a great center and the kids had a blast.  You can read all about that party here.

-There were 17 kids in The Jersey Momma's Boy's classroom and we were able to get them all done using just two salad spinners, three paints (from a choice of 6) and 45 minutes.  It would have gone faster if we had more spinners, but my budget only allowed for two!  We did this right in the classroom with very minimal mess.

-I purchased those paint squirt bottles from the ever fabulous Candyland Crafts.  They are really meant for cookie and cake decorating, but served their purpose equally well here!

-You can try cutting the circle into different shapes, too!  I'm not sure if it would work, but I thought about cutting the circle into a star shape to see how that would look on a shirt, too.

And here are my Amazon affiliate picks for Spin Art supplies:


  1. This is super creative! These remind me a little of the splatter shirts from the 80s. I would never thought to use a salad spinner.

    1. Thanks, Melissa! It was a lot of fun. Now I just have to make my own shirt!

  2. I absolutely love the way this came out. I miss having the time to do more DIY crafts but this link up is always giving me great ideas of what I can do. Stopping by from the Motivational Link Party!

    1. I'm with you, Amanda, I seriously cannot deal with time consuming DIY projects. This one is so super easy and not too messy. It's worth trying if you have the chance! It will remind you of your childhood splatter shirts! Thanks for stopping by! I will check out your "land," too!

  3. Oh and I totally had a splatter shirt birthday party when I was little. :)


  4. This is so cute! It looks really simple to do, and the outcome is adorable. My daughters would love this.

  5. Fun! Now I have to keep my eyes open for a cheap salad spinner at a thrift store. My daughters kindergarten class made tie dye shirts for field trip days and I thought that was such a great idea! Love it!

  6. Fun idea! My kids would love to make these for our upcoming fun run!

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