With July 4th nearing in on us (you’d better believe it!) I decided to make a DIY patriotic t-shirt for M.
To tell you the truth, it can be made in any size, but is definitely a perfect project for working on a small scale. For an adult version, you can use an existing red tee, you just won’t have that slightly faded look I got by spraying this one. You can add the pocket as a breast pocket rather than a center pocket to make it slightly more mature.
I’ll be perfectly honest with you: this started out as a big, fat FAIL and I managed to work it out. Lesson learned:
Even if your craft isn’t quite working out, be creative and try to turn it around!
I originally tried spray painting stripes, but the fabric spray is a lot “wetter” than a regular spray and it ran right through. The cotton absorbs the liquid well, and it’s not really a good medium for sharp lines. Next time maybe I’ll try a resist.
Eventually, I decided to give it a try and just spray over the whole thing. I used the entire bottle of spray, but the result is fantastic. It has a fun, old Americana faded look.
I “stole” the pocket from an outgrown pair of overalls. They were so badly worn, that they weren’t worth donating, so I had dumped them with my craft supplies ages ago for upcycling. I used them also to make my rainbow bodysuit, but for this I decided to remove a pocket using a seam ripper instead of cutting it.
For the white star, I used one of my many promotional tees that I really don’t need. The base is a white “bodysuit” that is also small (but we can still squeeze him into it for the 4th) and was badly stained.
Supplies needed for the DIY Patriotic T-shirt:
(affiliate links are included for your convenience)
- A fabric spray paint for the base
- An old white tee shirt or any bit of white fabric
- Red fabric spray paint. If you want to go more budget-friendly, you can use regular fabric dye or start with a red tee.
- Old overalls or jeans with a pocket that can be removed
- Good fabric and detail scissors
- Seam ripper
- E6000 glue (did you know it’s good for fabric too?!)
- Scrap cardboard and something to protect your surface
How to make a DIY Patriotic T-Shirt:
1. Prep your shirt with a cardboard insert. Cover up the entire surrounding area as the fabric spray has a way of getting around…
2. Spray your entire shirt with the red spray paint. I allowed small areas to remain white-ish to give it that slightly faded look.
Note: If you plan to use this just once, you do not need to wash it at this point. However, if you do plan to wash it afterward for reuse, you should give it a wash now to ensure that the colors will not bleed onto the star.
3. Remove the pocket from the overalls or jeans using a seam ripper.
4. On some pockets, you’ll find that the decorative trim thread was also the thread holding it together. If that’s the case, remove all the stray threads that were left.
5. Using the E6000, glue around the side and bottom edges of the pocket. Attach to the center of the shirt. Put something in the center to prop it up (I used a roll of tape) so that the glue that seeps through doesn’t attach the front of the shirt to the back. Allow to dry overnight.
6. Using a regular pen, draw a star shape on the scrap t-shirt or other white fabric. Cut it out using the fabric scissors, and use the detail scissors to help you get a sharp edge.
7. Glue your star to the center of the denim pocket using E6000. Make sure that the glue goes all the way to the edges, especially if using a thin fabric. Allow it to dry overnight.
8. Wear your DIY patriotic t-shirt and celebrate freedom!
What your your plans for Independence Day? Do you plan to give this DIY patriotic t-shirt a try?