Collect paper grocery bags and lunch-size paper bags so you have one for each child. Lunch-size bags are for your XS shirts. Provide fabric paints and fabric markers. (Tip: Fabric markers work fine with older kids, but younger ones may have difficulty getting them to make dark enough colors.)
Make the shirts on your first day of VBS so the children have time to take them home and wash them (if you wish). They can wear their shirts on the last day of VBS or for your closing program or Sunday service. Cover your work areas with plastic tablecloths. Tape or clip the tablecloths so they won't move as the children work. Place a paper sack between the front and back of each T-shirt so the paint won't bleed through and cause the fabric to stick together.
Copy the designs below and cut the sheets in half so every two children can have a design sheet. These are for inspiration only. Encourage your students to be creative! Let each child create a design (preschoolers can create squiggles, shapes, or line art) and paint or draw it on his shirt. Have older children help younger ones so the paint doesn't puddle or clump. You may want to provide paint brushes so younger children can spread the paint around if it comes out too quickly.
Provide wet wipes and paper towels for clean up. Make sure each child's name is on his T-shirt. Set the shirts aside to dry overnight. Then send them home so the children can wear them at the end of the week. We would love to see photos of your VBS T-shirt creations. Have fun!
Sample T-Shirt Designs & Logos (copy and cut in half):
Click on the image above to download the design page.