DIY Collegiate Kid’s Letterman Shirt

I married into a fanatical family when it comes to college sports. I’ll gladly spend Saturdays with the in-laws in front of the big screen, but the problem is, I’m a bit more into fashion than fandom. I think my mother-in-law might be a little scared to buy my daughter many sporty clothes, knowing how I feel about them. Part of me feels bad for making her nervous about it, but the other part of me really appreciates her consideration. So much so that I thought I’d whip together some tasteful fan girl clothes so Lucy can fit in with the rest of the family, who always wear Ohio State Buckeyes gear on Saturdays.

You can make a similar kid’s letterman shirt for your kiddo displaying your family’s team of choice with just a few easy, no-sew steps! Check out the instructions in the slideshow below.

  • Children’s Letterman Shirt DIY 1 of 13
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    It's so easy to make a simple kid's letterman shirt for your sports fan kiddo to display your family's love for your favorite college team! Check out the step-by-step instructions in the following slides.

  • Supplies 2 of 13
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    Here's what you will need to make the shirt:

    1. Shirt in the color of your sports team's neutral, like gray for Ohio State or blue for Michigan (prewashed so it doesn't shrink later)
    2. 2 small sheets of polyester felt- one in white, and the other in your team's primary color (like red for Ohio state, or yellow for Michigan)
    3. Lightweight paper-backed fusible web, like Wonder Under
    4. Access to a printer and word processing program or creative program like Photoshop
    5. Permanent marker
    6. Sharp scissors
    7. Iron
    8. Damp cloth
  • Create the Letter 3 of 13
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    I downloaded a free font from Dafont.com called Varsity. After installing into my computer's fontbook, I typed a large letter "O" (for Ohio State) into Photoshop (you can use Microsoft Word or another program to do this), printed it, and cut it out to use as a template in the next step.

  • Iron Backing onto Primary Felt 4 of 13
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    Prepare the primary felt color by ironing the backing onto it. You only need a piece slightly larger than the letter you trimmed out. Follow the directions on the fusible web's packaging, but it will probably guide you to use a hot, dry iron for this step.

  • Trace the Letter Template 5 of 13
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    After the paper-backed fusible web has been attached, trace onto it the letter template you printed and cut out.

  • Cut Out Letter 6 of 13
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    Use very sharp scissors to cut out the letter from the felt, being careful to cut exactly along the inside of the marker's edge.

  • Peel Off Backing 7 of 13
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    After the shape has been cut out, peel off the backing from the letter so it's ready to iron onto the white felt next.

  • Iron Letter onto Secondary Felt 8 of 13
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    Place the trimmed out letter onto the secondary felt, lay a damp cloth over it, and press with a hot iron for 10 seconds. This will fuse together the two pieces of felt.

  • Iron Backing onto Secondary Felt 9 of 13
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    After the felt has cooled, attach another piece of paper-backed fusible web onto the two conjoined pieces of felt. Use a hot, dry iron for this, and make sure you've covered all the area a half inch around the red letter, which is on the back side of this piece of white felt.

  • Trim out the Conjoined Pieces of Felt 10 of 13
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    Very carefully trim out the conjoined pieces of felt, leaving a 1/8" white border around the edge of the red letter. Then peel off the paper backing to prepare for ironing onto the shirt.

  • Position the Felt Letter onto the Shirt 11 of 13
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    Smooth out the shirt and carefully position the letter onto the center of the front of the shirt.

  • Iron the Letter onto the Shirt 12 of 13
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    Cover the letter with a damp cloth and press with a hot iron for 10 seconds to join the letter with the shirt.

  • Allow the Shirt to Dry 13 of 13
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    The letter and shirt will be damp where it was ironed, and at this point the adhesive is vulnerable, so be sure to let it dry before handling too much!

    Making this little shirt couldn't be easier, and if you already have the shirt, it's really inexpensive too! You'll want to make sure you use polyester felt, because wool felt will shrink when washed.

    Want to try another iron-on shirt project? Check out this Word T-Shirt DIY!

Check out more of Mandi’s writing at Making Nice in the Midwest. Follow Mandi on Twitter and Pinterest too!

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