Wednesday, August 8, 2012

WIWW: Personalized T-Shirt Tutorial

For this week's "What I Wore Wednesday", I only have one outfit to share. I am linking up with The Pleated Poppy, Real Girl Style and Rustic Living.

Real Girl Style Link Up

pleated poppy

This week was crazy. We are getting ready for vacation and I am volunteering at our church's VBS. 

Here is what I wore yesterday (Tuesday) to VBS. 

T-Shirt: George, purchased at the thrift
Shorts: Gap, purchased at the thrift
Sandals: Merrell, purchased on ebay 

I wanted to customize a shirt for our "Put on the Armour of God" themed Vacation Bible School but wanted to keep it CHEAP since I would only wear it a couple of times. 

Here is what you will need to personalize a shirt:

-Any shirt
-A small paintbrush (a Q-tip would also work)
-Fabric paint
-Something to pour the paint in or on (I used a disposable bowl)
-Old manila folders or card stock
-A razor blade 
-A computer & printer

I don't own a Cricut machine (this is a piece of cake if you have one) but wanted the finish product to look nice so I created my own stencil.

Here is how I made the stencil:

-Decide on a word or phrase. This would be great for a child's name or perhaps a number for their birthday. Use Word or another document program to type your words. I made mine a bold print in a font size of 200. Uppercase works better than lowercase and fancier fonts are much, much harder to cut out. Try to keep it simple.

-Print out the words on regular paper. 

-Start cutting out the letters. Don't worry about cutting out the centers.
-Once all the letters are cut out, tape them to a manila folder or any other thicker poster board or paper. 

-Using a razor blade, trace around the letters and "pop" them out of the manila folder. (This part takes the longest - about 30 minutes for the phrase I chose.)

-Here is what the "stencil" looks like against the shirt. Remember to put another manila folder or piece of card stock in the shirt so the paint doesn't bleed through to the back when you paint.

-Since some of my letters had little circles in the centers that I did not cut out, I just cut little circles out of manila folder and taped them to the center of the letters. You could also do this with round stickers. 
-I started to paint. Do not use a lot of paint. You want to make sure you have JUST A BIT on the brush. Tip: Paint inward (start at the edge of the stencil & work in). If you work out, the paint gets under the stencil. I did not tape the stencil to the shirt - it is just laying there.

-Peel away the "stencil" after you are done (no need to dry just yet) and fill in any bare spots with a small paintbrush or Q-tip and paint.
 -I have done this many, many times. Here is an old project I created for a "Safety Night" we had at the retirement community. I made 10 of these. This one was washed & washed and you can still see the lettering.

-Allow to dry and you are done. You can use the stencil over & over. Just allow it to dry before using it again. 
This entire project cost me under $2!


  1. over from pleated poppy wwiw. :)
    way to do on you diy shirt. well done!

  2. I like this DIY. It would be simple for my pre-teen who is constantly 'bored' in these last weeks of summer.

  3. Hi thanks for the nice comment and stopping by I followed you cute idea for a shirt.

  4. THis is really a cute idea! Thanks for sharing your ideas!

    Also, thank you so much for joining the link up party today! So happy to have you join!

  5. oh this is great!!

    Hope you had a good day! Stop by and say hi :)

  6. Great! I need to do that as well! :)

    I saw you on the link up! Love your blog!
    Hope you had a good day! Stop by and say hi :)

  7. Awesome! The camouflage t–shirts suit your theme really, really well. Your students are going to love that design for sure. In case your organization wants an alternative, I suggest you provide a dark olive green colored t–shirt which also goes well for a “boot camp” concept and this time, use the “STENCIL” font (bigger and bolder) for the “Bible Boot Camp” text.

    Linda Fox

  8. Fascinating work! Love how you made the letters. Good job! :)

  9. Nice post! I used this pattern to make a bathing suit cover-up for my daughter. I did not cut down the middle of the front. Instead of a vest it is a dress. The way it gathers in the back allows for a little flair at the bottom. Super easy and super cute.

    Cool T Shirts for Women

  10. Nice post! These are beautiful printed t-shirts. Every t-shirt is unique and has superb design.


Thanks for commenting!