You will need FABRIC MARKERS AND SHARPIES, cardboard or old mat board (optional), butcher paper, masking tape – the brown kind or blue removable, scissors, coffee cans with plastic lids, rubber bands and a spray bottle with denatured alcohol & water mixed. REALLY!
We do these squares at events like Race for the Cure and actually bring sewing machines and sewed them at the event! It was a great attention-getter. Good for class projects, auctions, opportunity drawings, too.

Here are two ideas to do with kids and fabric markers.
  1. CUT OUT 8″ squares of cotton or muslin – 100% cotton works well. OLD SHEETS works well, too.
  2. If you are using tables, such as at an event, cover the table with butcher paper – THICK paper.
  3. Get your brown tape and TAPE the squares onto the table at 2′ intervals. This creates your sewing border AND holds it in place for the kids.
  4. Let them draw messages, pictures, etc. REMOVE TAPE, reload.
*Option: Have templates of hears like the example in this post, pre-traced with SHARPIE or FABRIC MARKER onto the square to keep a theme going.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SHARPIE AND FABRIC MARKER: COST is similar. SHARPIE can fade and needs to be ironed and sealed into the fabric. Works well to do the same with fabric markers, but SHARPIES are PERFECT AND PREFERRED for this next idea.

This was a finished quilt I made using Hoffman’s batik fabrics. It was an auction project at our school. It lives here now!


This is when you need the spray bottle, the coffee cans w/lids and rubber bands.

Cut 6-8″ squares. SMALL coffee cans work best.
You need the lids.
  1. CUT the inside of the lids so they still fit on the can, but have an open space. Try to make them a clean circle.  If that botches up, no problem – use the rubber bands.
  2. Time to repeat the first project and let the kids draw on the squares; but have a PENCILED pattern the approximate size of the lid opening for them to try to keep their drawings contained within.
  3. If you rather use rubber bands, that’s OK, they have more space to draw and it will spread better – I prefer using rubber bands.
  4. Let them draw.
  5. After they are done, they load up the can by stretching their square OVER the can and then lid or rubber band over fabric and can so it is drum-like.
  6. Spray the fabric with the denatured alcohol – straight works best. If you have to mix, no more than 1/4 water. Don’t soak – just mist – it will do it’s magic to spread the ink
  7. Let it dry on a sheet of butcher paper.
  8. Reload cans with next squares to be sprayed.