Optical Illusion T-Shirt

MAKE IT BIG make it small

Jenny and Lucas are off to a special effects make-up school for a lesson in optical illusions, and a surprise make-over. Then they’re back in the craft space to make mind-blowing t-shirts!


  • Plain t-shirt
  • Fabric paint
  • Black marker
  • Thin cardboard
  • Small paintbrushes, various sizes
  • Camera and printer (optional)

How to make it

Step 1: Lay the shirt on a flat surface and draw two parts of a hand to look like it’s squeezing in the middle. The hand should be about halfway between the armpit and the bottom of the shirt. Optional: If you don’t want to
draw freehand, take a photo of your hand squeezing something, print it out, cut out the thumb and fingers
separately, and trace them onto the shirt.

Step 2: Draw a half moon shape on either side of the hand and thumb to make the negative space around the hand. Add some wrinkles on the shirt, too.

Step 3: Place a piece of thin cardboard in between the front and back of the shirt so that paint doesn’t leak through. Paint the hand flesh-colour and paint the negative space black.

Step 4: Use a thin paintbrush to add details to the hand. Let the paint dry before trying on your optical illusion.


MAKE IT BIG, make it small

From exploring the monstrous Tyranosaurus Rex to flying inside a wind tunnel, MAKE IT BIG make it small explores big experiences that make kids go wow! By explaining epic science and technology, kids are inspired to apply new knowledge to their own DIY projects and crafts they create at home.
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