I am sure you have seen a student drawn dresses on social media and thought I can totally do that. They are so adorable and such a great memory for you and your students. But how do they create them and where do they get the perfect dress? Well, we started to see the dresses be shared in our group and so we wanted to share their wisdom with you so you too can create a student drawn dress too.
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Supplies you will need:
- plain white dress (Amazon has many options, click here to see them)
- fabric markers (click here to see our favorite)
- construction paper or cardboard to put in the dress to avoid bleeding
There are lots of ways to manage this and it really depends on your style. Some general tips we have picked up from talking to everyone:
- have individuals or very small groups work on it
- fill the dress with pictures, look for open spaces and have kids fill them
- pin the dress to keep it flat
- wash the dress before the students start drawing
- start early if you can, even like a month or two before you need the dress
- have a list of suggested pictures ready (rainbows, cats, dogs, apples, shapes, etc.)
- consider where you want the designs on the dress
- assign students a space to fill when working
This is where our teachers from the Simply Kinder group have been so helpful sharing. Read their experiences below:
It’s Kindergarten Couture!
Mrs. Crisp found her dress on Amazon here.
I am not a very crafty person but this was simple and made the end of our year even more special. I ordered two dresses on Amazon, with them being so affordable and fast shipping it gave me options for fit for me. Both dresses were a success (but we linked the one she is wearing above)! My original fear about the white dress (being see-through) was instantly put to rest when I received the dress. The dress is a good quality and completely school-appropriate. In fact, the dress comes in a variety of colors. I am thinking about purchasing a couple more just to have easy dresses for school. The dress fits pretty true to size but if you are between sizes, you may want to size up.
For me (and the design of the dress) I wanted to keep the top of the dress white. I was nervous about what designs would be drawn on top and make it a little inappropriate to wear. I didn’t want to risk drawing attention to the wrong places. You know what I am talking about, ladies!
A few of Mrs. Crisp’s tips:
- Use cardboard under the dress to give the kids a hard surface to draw on.
- Use binder clips or clothes pins to pull the material tight (this is a make or break tip).
- Have a sample piece of fabric the kids can draw a few shapes on before they draw on the dress. This helps them understand the feel and movement of fabric as they draw. The cotton will move in a way paper does not!
- Encourage the kids to draw something they love to draw. This helped alleviate any anxieties they had when drawing.
Be sure to check out Kristen at I Do, We Do, You Do!
Last day of school dress!
I suggest that you start very early – I think we worked on my dress for about two months. I would pull the dress out once a week so they don’t get bored with doing it. In the back under my jacket, I put “Kinder 2017-2018 and had all the kiddos write their name around it.
And dresses are not the only options. Skirts, shoes, shirt, pants, or even a white suit jacket from Goodwill for a man. So many different things one could do.
A few of Anna’s tips:
- Start early if you can.
- Tell students to draw everywhere to fill up the dress.
- Have a list of things to suggest to them before starting: Hearts, rainbows, animals, emojis, flowers, people, trees, sports, classroom theme, etc.
To check out Anna’s post in the Simply Kinder Facebook group, click here.
A special first-year teacher keepsake!
Miss Eadler found her dress on Amazon here .
My kiddos put a lot of hard work and even more love into this dress!!! Seeing their eyes light up this morning was one of my favorite memories of the year! They were so proud! What a special keepsake to have being a first-year teacher!
You have to know your class to know how to manage this project. A couple of my students I had to give a specific spot to draw on, but most of them I let their imaginations lead them! For the things I really wanted (the rainbow because our class is called the rainbow room), I let my “perfectionist artist” do those.
A few of Miss Eadler’s tips:
- Have your more artistically inclined students do specific images you may want like a rainbow.
- I pulled students to my table during centers to do this project 1-2 at a time. This gave me to individual time with each child during the end of the year chaos. (I really enjoyed this aspect of it).
To check out Miss Eadler’s post in the Simply Kinder Facebook group, click here.
We skipped the yearbook!
Year books have nothing on this adorable dress my students helped me to make! The students were amazed and proud to see me wear it.
A few of Ms. Arveson’s tips:
- Wash the dress twice before we wrote on it.
- Tape off sections of the dress to define where they are to design.
- Use cardboard to keep the markers from bleeding.
To check out Ms. Arveson’s post in the Simply Kinder Facebook group, click here.
We did one student at a time so I could hear the story behind their drawing.
My dress is actually my native dress to my People of the White Mountain Apache tribe. It was made specifically for me by my seamstress and is called a camp dress. We created it to celebrate my 10th year in Head Start and my 15th year in education. I used fabric markers for the creativity and nothing else. Since one student worked on the dress at a time, I was able to hear each story that went along with every student’s drawing. Pretty awesome!
Mrs. Marone’s Tips:
- We talked before they designed on the dress so they had a plan.
- One student worked on it at a time.
To see Mrs. Marone’s post in the Simply Kinder Facebook group, click here.
My students were so proud!
Ms. Ventola found her dress on Amazon here.
I had so much fun making this dress with my students. And they were so proud!
Mrs. Ventola’s Tips:
- Make sure your dress is not see through.
- Put a board between the fabric.
- Hold the fabric tight to draw.
- Have the students plan out their drawing.
- Use post-it notes to create a box the students can work in.
To see Mrs. Ventola’s post in the Simply Kinder Facebook group, click here.
For the Love of Kinder (aka Josh) put his own twist on these fun dresses with these amazing shorts! Click here to see them on Instagram! Are these not amazing!?
Josh used washable markers and plans to bleach the shorts to use year after year for this project. (We are not sure it will work, but we will let you know!) UPDATE: IT WORKED. Josh bleached his shorts and will be using the same shorts this year with his class! Great idea Josh – thanks for sharing!
The students were more excited than me!
Ms. Barreiros found her dress at New York and Company here.
I created this dress for my students’ graduation! I was so excited to wear it and they were even more excited about designing it!
A few of Ms. Barreiros’s tips:
- Wash the dress first.
- Use fabric markers.
- Place something in the middle of your dress so it does not bleed.
- Let it dry 48 hours.
To check out Ms. Barreiros’s post in the Simply Kinder Facebook group, click here.
The students and parents loved it!
I had my students design this dress for my Kindergarten Celebration. The kids were thrilled to find their designs on me! The parents loved it, too.
It was challenging for them all to draw on fabric at first but overall they did well. It was especially challenging for my kids who still struggle with fine motor skills. They drew really small or decided to only write their name.
A few of Mrs. Quinn’s tips:
- Have your “better” artists do their designs first.
- Show them how big you want the pictures.
- Put the cardboard between your dress.
- Give students free rein on what they can draw.
- Do 1 to 2 students at a time.
To check out Mrs. Quinn’s post in the Simply Kinder Facebook group, click here.
I turned my dress into a tote bag and throw pillows!
Ms. Ponti had her end of the year dress made into throw pillows for her classroom and a tote! I’m loving how they turned out
See it here in our Facebook group.
Did you make a dress you want featured in this article? Email Jennifer@SimplyKinder.com and we would love to share your experience with others so they too can create this amazing work of art!