I’ve been seeing a lot of cute Father’s Day shirts on Pinterest lately, which is how I became inspired to create our own Father’s Day shirts with some help from my bugs.
- Plain T-shirts (make sure you choose a shirt colour that will allow you to see the fabric paints clearly).
- Fabric paints (I purchased mine from Michael’s)
- Letter and number stencils (I purchased 3 separate sets from Michael’s: 4 inch Alphabet Paper Stencils by Craft Smart, 1.5 inch Alphabet Paper Stencils by Craft Smart, and 3.5 x 4 inch Alphabet Paper Stencils by Martha Stewart. All of the sets include letters, numbers and punctuation marks. I used the 4 inch stencils for the first letter of the names- D for Daddy, etc.- and the lower case 1.5 inch letters for the remainder of the letters in the names. I used the Martha Stewart stencils to create ‘since 200_’ below the names).
- Foam brushes
- Painter’s tape or regular masking tape
- Flat sheet of cardboard (I used a cut up cereal box)
- Kiddos to make the handprints
- Lots of wipes or soapy water for easy clean-up
DIY Father’s Day Shirts
I started by taping off where I wanted the names to appear on the shirts. The painter’s tape helped to create straight lines for the stencilling.
Next, I placed the letter stencils onto the shirts, using the 4 inch stencils for the first letter, and the 1.5 inch stencils for the remainder of each name. I made sure the letters were evenly spaced, and that they lined up with the bottom tape line. The overall name on the shirts should appear as centred as possible. Then I used the painter’s tape to tape around the letters; this not only holds the stencils securely in place, but it also prevents the paint from smudging onto other areas of the shirt.
Once I was satisfied with the name placement, I slipped a piece of cardboard between the two layers of the shirt to avoid the fabric paint from bleeding through onto the back. Then I put a small amount of black fabric paint onto a paper plate and dipped a foam brush into it. I wanted a more faded, worn look so I blotted off any excess paint from the brush onto the plate before dabbing it over the stencils.
I let the fabric paint dry for a few minutes before revealing the lettering.
Next, I used the painter’s tape to mark where I wanted the next letters/numbers to go. Our oldest son was born in 2009, so I spelled out ‘since 2009’ below the name ‘Daddy’. Again, don’t forget to insert the cardboard, and dab lightly with the foam brush.
I was pretty happy with how the lettering turned out! I could have purchased iron-on letters, but they worked out to be quite a bit more money, and you can only use them once. I figured the stencils and paint would give me more bang for my buck, yet still look great.
The last, and most sentimental, element of the Father’s Day shirts was the addition of the kids’ handprints. My bugs picked out the colour they wanted their handprint to be. The lighter the colour, the more paint you will need to brush on. I slipped the cardboard sheet between the layers of the shirts, where I knew the handprints would be placed, then I painted each of my bugs’ hands with their chosen colour of fabric paint. I told my boys to spread their fingers wide so they would produce a good print on the shirts. Once their painted hand was positioned on the shirt, I applied a bit of extra pressure to each of the fingers to ensure the paint transferred evenly. I helped them lift their hand straight off, so there would be no smudging.
I even managed to get the prints of my nephews and niece to add onto Papa’s shirt (although we’re still missing a couple of handprints in these pictures…).
I think the shirts turned out pretty awesome! My bugs are super excited to give them as gifts to the wonderful male role-models in their lives!
Happy Father’s Day!