Crafty at Home - Spirograph Upcycling

Abigail Sawyer | 29 Apr 2013 | DIY Projects


Do you still have a spirograph somewhere in the back of your closet? “Spiromania” really hit the US when it was introduced as a creative children’s toy in 1966. Kids have been going to town creating psychadelic, geeky designs for generations since.


Your eyes won’t believe what your hands have done!


Crafty at Home: Spirograph Upcycling

We decided to bring back this classic toy to upcycle t-shirts, tote bags, and other neglected items from around the house that need some groovy flair.


Spirograph Upcycling Supplies

Spirograph Kit – Find them on Amazon
Ultra Fine Point Sharpies – Only fine tip markers will fit in Spirograph holes
Cotton T-Shirt
Canvas Tote Bag
Paper Covered Notebook
Blank Note Cards
Washi Tape (optional)


Spirograph upcycling T-shirt

Spirograph drawing can be tricky on fabric. Practice on paper first and use the book in your kit for design ideas.

1. Place cardboard inside of shirt.


2. Smooth fabric and place outer ring from Spirograph kit on top. Use sticky tack or pushpins to hold the ring steady.


3.  Choose an inner Spirograph wheel and place it inside outer ring.

4. Place sharpie inside hole in inner wheel and guide around cogs of outer ring while drawing lightly on fabric. Continue until the pattern connects to the starting point.

If fabric snags or wrinkles while drawing, back up your wheel and draw over the area again. Add more layers to blend in mistakes. 


5. Repeat with a different color and another hole in the wheel. An easy combination is the outermost, middle, and innermost holes on any wheel.

6. Lift the outer ring and place it in the next desired drawing area. Overlap the ring slightly with the previous design.

7.  Draw to your heart’s content!


8. Wash your creation sparingly and on cold. Fading may occur after a few washes.


Spirograph Upcycling Tote Bag

1. Place cardboard inside bag. Iron canvas before drawing for a smoother surface.


2. Repeat drawing steps. Make sure that the Spirograph parts stay flat around seams for a consistent design.

Canvas and other heavy weight fabrics are easier to work with because they do not pull or wrinkle as easily. 

3. Keep drawing until you’ve created the desired design. Take this bag to the beach, or conserve a few plastic bags by taking it to the grocery store.


Spirograph Upcycling Stationery and Notebook

1. Follow the drawing steps to dress up plain paper products.

Drawing on any paper surface is easiest. Try our more intricate designs with these projects. 

2. Add strips of patterned washi tape for extra color. Get creative and make personalized stationery or party invitations.


Try Another Crafty at Home Project!

Make your windows pretty and colorful with Melted Crayon Window Garland. This is a fun way to keep kids busy on a rainy day and use up old, broken crayons.

Follow our Crafty at Home channel on YouTube to keep up with all of our latest projects!

  • About Author

    Abigail Sawyer is a Senior Social Media Specialist for She's a home improvement junkie who is currently restoring a 1972 cottage with the help of her husband and goldendoodle, Biscuit. Walking in the footsteps of Martha Stewart, she’s happiest when she’s crafting or whipping up a new recipe; although nothing beats curling up with a good book and some Girl Scout Cookies. Follow her on twitter + instagram at @whatabigailsaw