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DIY- Design Your Own Painted T-Shirts and Other Spring Break Sanity Savers

With all these storms full of snow and ice, it’s very hard to believe that Spring Break is already knocking on our door. I am SO ready for some sunshine though! I am tired of being stuck inside the house!

Since we typically save our big trips for our Summer break, we needed to find something else to do over Spring Break. What are we going to do? Make some fun T-Shirts, first of all! It’s something we can do indoors or out… I’m thinking we’ll start inside and move the painting part to the patio table so we can get some fresh air and sun! Check this out! It’s very easy, and quite inexpensive!

What you need:


How you make it:

  1. First, Choose a design that you want on your t-shirt. A friend of mine said something one time, and I have wanted it on a shirt for a while now. I figured this was a good chance to put it to use!
  2. If you are using an X-acto knife, print off your design on a piece of paper and place it on top of a piece of freezer paper, waxy side down. Start in the center of your design and work your way out. Discard the pieces of freezer paper that were underneath the dark print, and keep everything that was white paper.
  3. If you are using the Cutting Machine, use it according to the directions to create and cut a design. Keep the big stencil and any inside parts, like parts of letters.
  4. Place the stencil, waxy side down on your t-shirt and press it down to the shirt using your hot iron. Make sure to also press down any other inside parts that are needed to complete your stencil. Iron On Stencil
  5. Double check that your stencil is completely ironed down and sticking to your shirt. You don’t want any paint to bleed under the stencil.
  6. Place a piece of cardboard or thick cardstock inside the shirt to protect it from the paint bleeding through.
  7. Mix 2 parts Acrylic Paint with 1 part Textile Medium. I used a paper plate as my mixing palette. If using fabric paint, skip this step. Mix Paint and Textile Medium
  8. If you’re using a darker colored shirt, you may want to paint a coat of white as your first layer, to help make the desired color pop more. This may reduce the number of coats needed to make the design really stand out. If using a lighter colored shirt… paint with your desired color. Coat with White
  9. Paint your stencil, making sure to fill it in thoroughly. If needed, do another coat when the first one is dry.
  10. Once the paint is dry, carefully peel the freezer paper off of the shirt, exposing your design on the shirt. CompletedTshirt
  11. Heat set the paint according to the instructions on the textile medium. Mine said to wait 24-48 hours for everything to dry completely, and then to heat set for 30 seconds with a hot iron to set.
  12. Turn shirt inside out and wash in cold water.

This sounds like a lot, but it actually went pretty easily. My girls now want to come up with a bunch of designs to make shirts for special days at school. I can’t wait to see what else they come up with!

All in all, this project cost us less than $15 because we used a lot of things we already had at home. We found old t-shirts, already have a collection of paints from previous projects, and had paint brushes from our St. Patrick’s Day projects! All we had to buy were the freezer paper, and textile medium!

I’d love to see if you make anything with this project! Leave a link in the comments below!

Want some other ideas for things to do on Spring Break? Gotta fill those other days in the week?

Here are just a few things I think we can choose from…

1. Easter Sunday is April 20th, so we can spend some time Doing Easter Crafts and Decorating Easter Eggs

2. IF it’s warm enough, get outside and enjoy the outdoors!  Have a family picnic at the park or even in your own back yard!

3. Go for a daily walk or take a couple of bike rides. 

4. Get MESSY! Play in the puddles, or make a big painting out side!

5. Make your own sidewalk chalk and draw or make a hopscotch!

6. Go to the park! There’s got to be some playgrounds around somewhere! Let them get their energy out!

7. The timing is about right! Plant a vegetable garden and enjoy your fresh foods all Summer long!

8. Take a day trip somewhere. It doesn’t have to be far!

9. See what’s new at the local movie theater!

10. Bake cookies! It’ll warm you up if it’s still cold outside!

11. One of our favorites, make homemade pizza!

12. Take them out to play mini golf

13. Dust off those board games that have been hiding in the closet and declare Family Game Night! Don’t have any? Walmart has some great deals! 

14. Rent or buy a new movie, and have a slumber party in the living room!

15. Find a place to volunteer in the community!

16. Set up a tent and camp out in the backyard. Stay up late telling stories, and roast some marshmallows over the fire pit (if you have one).

17. Stay in your pajamas. All. Day. Why not?

18. Take them on an adventure. Head out to the library and pick some books to read!

19. Go out for ice cream or frozen yogurt…

20. Go fishing. Spend some good time outdoors, and soak in some fresh (sea) air…

and of course, you can always just do some random crafts…

Have a great Spring Break!!!



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