Sandpaper T-Shirt Transfers

Make an adorable and unique t-shirt using crayons and sandpaper!

Sandpaper Transfer T-Shirt | Homan at Home

This is one of those things you see and think, yeah, right. Sandpaper t-shirt transfers? Pinterest’s lost it’s mind again. Ironing sandpaper should not somehow create an adorable personalized t-shirt. But it does. This is the second time we’ve done this project, and the results are fantastic.

We made our Valentine’s shirts for this project. Originally, I wanted to do a heart design, but both kids had other ideas. Alex was dead set on a T-Rex, and if he was getting a T-Rex, then Faith was absolutely having a unicorn.

We compromised by adding a heart to the center of each design. I love how they came out! And everybody’s happy.

Sandpaper Transfer T-Shirt | Homan at Home

Sandpaper T-Shirt Transfers, Step-by-Step


  • t-shirt
  • template printed on cardstock (T-rex, unicorn, heart; I had to resize all of these to make them work)
  • 1 sheet sandpaper
  • crayons (Crayola brand works best)
  • iron
  • cardboard
  • paper towels


Start by finding a design you like and printing it out on cardstock. I recommend something that’s easy to cut out. We had a very “fun” time trying to cut out the fiddly little teeth on the T-rex and the swirls in the unicorn’s hair. For the heart in the center, I also found a heart template, sized it down, and printed it out.

Next, you’ll need to cut out your template from the inside and the heart from the outside. Once they’re cut, tape them to your sandpaper. You can use just about any type of sandpaper. The rougher the grain, the rougher the transfer will be. We use 220 grit.

Then, use the crayons to color the sandpaper inside the template. Color good and hard. The harder you color, the more vibrant the transfer will be.

Once you’ve colored your image, remove the template. Put the cardboard between the front and back layers of your shirt, then lay the sandpaper on your top and cover it with a paper towel.

Then, iron over the sandpaper for 30 seconds. You can lift a corner of the sandpaper to see if the transfer has taken. If it hasn’t, you can iron for another few seconds.

If it’s taken, then you can remove the paper towel and the sandpaper. Lay the paper towel back over the transfer on the shirt and iron over it for 20-30 seconds.

Remove the paper towel and toss the shirt in the dryer on low for 20 minutes. The first time you wash it, wash it by itself.

And that’s it! Enjoy your personalized tee!

Looking for more fun ideas? Check these out!

Don’t forget to pin!

Sandpaper Transfer Valentines T-shirt | Homan at Home
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