Sometimes the basics are just the best. A soft comfy t-shirt + the alphabet = a wonderful item for any little ones wardrobe!
My little girl sings the ABC’s all the time. That song and “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” are her two favorites. I made this graffiti type design shirt for her, and she and I both love the results. I love the faintness of the design. It’s subtle by striking. You only need a few items to make a screen print type shirt like this one and here they are:
- FabricMate Chisel Tip Fabric Marker, Black
- Alphabet Stencils
- Piece of cardboard (to insert shirt while designing)
- Iron (to heat set design)
I found my t-shirt on clearance for about $4.00. It was soft and I knew it would be a great basic piece for my daughter’s wardrobe or I could spice it up a bit. I decide to add a little subtle but fun life to it with the alphabet. This DIY shirt is so easy and really can be done quickly and modified for so many other designs.
The first step I did was bend an old cereal box to go inside my shirt. This way my design did not bleed through to the back of the t-shirt.
Next, I laid out my alphabet stencil onto the t-shirt. I needed to see if my stencil would fit or if my letters were going to be too big. They fit! Depending on the size shirt you have will depend what kind of size stencil looks best. The important part is to just configure the placement of the letters that will fit per line across the chest of your t-shirt.
Once you have your stenciled layed out like you like it, carefully move it to the side of your t-shirt. That way you will remember how you liked it lined up, but you can adjust as you go with one letter at a time being painted on.
Carefully hold your stencil down and your t-shirt stretched and take your paint pen and start filling in the letter stencil. It is important to say here, to follow the instructions of your paint pen. My paint marker said to pre-wash my t-shirt, allow my design to dry for 24 hours, and to heat set the ink to preserve the design. If you use a different kind of paint pen/marker be sure to follow the instructions to get the best results. I love the paint marker I used. It transferred the color ink nicely and didn’t leave a hard, stiff result that would make the t-shirt uncomfortable to wear.
Once you fill in that first letter, place the next stencil and start filling it in as well. I didn’t want my design to be straight across and perfect, so I placed my stencils slightly higher or lower and tilted different angles ever so slightly all the way down the alphabet. I think it creates a more graffiti look and is more forgiving in not having to be “perfect.”
Keep adding stencils and filling in the letters. I didn’t worry about filling my stencil in to be a solid black filled letter. I liked the look of it being a little more worn.
Once I finished my alphabet, my t-shirt was almost done! I waited 24 hours for it to dry, gave it a quick iron to help set the design, and it was done! I love how quick and easy this craft was. I made my daughter a fun t-shirt for less than $7 ($4.00 shirt + $2.70 marker). I now want to make a bunch of shirts with fun quotes and maybe even a Minnie Mouse silhouette like the sign I created for her bedroom. There are so many possibilities!
I adore my little model! She was so excited about her shirt. Here’s a few pics that capture her fun personality…
She’s a blast! Have you ever painted a t-shirt and actually worn it? The only shirts I had ever painted till this one had been done as a kid with acrylic paint and always left a hard stiff feature to the design that made the shirt uncomfortable to wear. There are so many fun fabric type markers and paints now that prevent that effect. The possibilities to becoming a clothing designer are at your finger tips! 🙂