Do you need another Father’s Day gift idea? Did the week slip away from you and you just don’t know what you can whip up before Sunday? I’m going to show you how to make some fabulous Father’s Day t-shirts for all the people in your family so you can show Dad exactly how special he is…
…and while I’m showing you things you might not have on hand, I will tell you what you can use from around your house to make this quick and easy. First of all, go grab all the plain t-shirts that are floating around your house that have stains on the front. You know, from bleach or chocolate or… sick-up (or whatever you want to call it – face it, we’re all moms and we’ve all been spit-up on or worse… and I couldn’t bear to throw all those stained shirts away).
Decide what you want your shirts to say, and find a cool font to say it in! The font I chose was Coolector – I love how the lower case and upper case letters are each totally different styles! It looks kinds of grungy and… cool! Plus, since a lot of the letters were in a stencil style, it would be easy to cut them out as stencils!
- Print out your saying on regular paper (I chose 72 point font – it just looked like the right size).
- Grab some freezer paper (don’t have any on hand? just use your printer paper and be careful when you’re painting!). The side you will be attaching to the shirt is the shiny side, so we’ll call that the back side. The front of the freezer paper will be matte/dull.
- Tape your t-shirt sayings to the front of the freezer paper, and…
- …cut out your letters with an exacto knife (fine point scissors would work too!). This is NOT a step the kids can help with (at least not around here!).
- If the font you chose does not have stencil letters (like the A and the D in picture #5), just leave little connectors from the white middle part of the letter to the space around the outside of the letter, like a normal stencil would. You can always paint in these lines later, or leave them unpainted, like I did.
- Pick out your fabric paint colors from your stash. No fabric paint in your stash? Use bleach – but NOT with the kids!!! bleach + kids = no good. But the whole project does get done faster – less drying time! See this tutorial here for more details on stenciling with bleach. Note: in the tutorial, she says to let your shirt sit with bleach on it for about 5 minutes, but I tried to do a little bit of bleach splatter on my shirt (you can see it below) and it did not bleach it out enough for me even sitting 20 minutes. Wait until you see the color you want to see develop, and then continue on with her tutorial.
- Prep your shirt for painting by ironing on the freezer paper stencil you just cut out (iron with no steam, shiny side down on shirt) or tape your paper stencil on. Line the inside of your shirt with newspaper/paper bag so the paint/bleach won’t soak through to the back.
- Let the kids choose their colors and paint them on! You can mix colors while they are wet – and if you want to do any layering of colors, do that while the paint is wet, too – don’t wait until the bottom layer is dry to paint on your next layer. The top layer will just peel off the bottom in the wash. So paint everything together while it’s wet.
- Help your younger ones paint in all the letters. Donovan just didn’t get that he needed to paint the letters – he was more interested in painting the paper plate than the actual shirt. After a couple minutes drying time, carefully peel off the freezer paper stencils and follow the paint’s instructions on drying times and setting the paint.
Also, let your kids be creative – I’m ashamed to admit that I was not going to make Daddy a shirt (because I couldn’t come up with something that wasn’t cheesy!) until Elias came up with a great idea: handprints! He wanted to put one on his shirt, and then Donovan did, too, of course… and I thought a simple t-shirt with just their handprints would make a really cool gift! I whipped out one of Josh’s old stained shirts and let them each press a hand in the front middle of the shirt. No writing on Dad’s – I’m sure Josh would wear whatever the boys made him, but I think it actually looks pretty cool just with their two little handprints on it. (Again – do NOT do handprints with bleach – ouch!).
Oh, I love the way they turned out! We’re letting the shirts dry flat for the allotted 24 hours high on top of bookcases where Daddy can’t see them! We’ll box them up, and everyone will wear their shirts on Sunday after Daddy gets to open them up!
If you do make something like this, I’d love to see what you came up with! Leave a link in the comments, if you’d like!