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No-Sew Word T-Shirt DIY for Kids (or Moms!)

You may have noticed that T-Shirts with bold words seem to be all the rage in popular children’s stores lately. Before you consider bringing yet another T-shirt into your home to stuff into your already overflowing drawers, why not consider making your own using mostly supplies you already have? This quick little project is great for giving a new spin to hand-me-down clothes, or ideal for using Mom’s old T-shirts to up-cycle the kiddos’ old ones. With only a few inexpensive supplies, a free template, and no sewing machine, you can make this bold shirt for your children, or even for your own closet!

  • DIY Word T-Shirt 1 of 11
    diy t-shirt

    This quick DIY project is an easy way to give fresh style to a couple of old T-shirts. Follow these directions to make your own!

  • Supplies 2 of 11
    diy t-shirt

    To complete this project, you will need:

    • 1 T-shirt to use as a base
    • 1 T-shirt to cut up for fabric (this can be a variety of sizes)
    • Regular weight interfacing made for knits with a white paper back (I used this kind)
    • Printed word template
    • Black maker
    • Sharp fabric scissors
    • Iron
    • Press cloth (just a lightweight cloth to dampen for ironing- you can use the cut up shirt for this)
  • Printable Template 3 of 11
    diy t-shirt

    To begin, print out this template onto regular copy paper. You can follow this link to find the image and save it to your computer to easily print.

  • Print and Cut Out Word 4 of 11
    diy t-shirt

    After you print the word, carefully cut it out, including the space in between the loops, and set it aside.

  • Cut Old T-Shirt 5 of 11
    diy t-shirt

    Cut out a portion of the scrap T-shirt, larger than the word just cut from the template.

  • Iron Interfacing Onto Cut Fabric 6 of 11
    diy t-shirt

    Using a very hot iron with no steam, iron the rough side of the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric. Your iron will be touching the paper side of the interfacing. Follow directions for how long to press the iron onto the fabric to adhere them together, but usually the recommended time is 8-10 seconds. When you have covered all of the fabric and interfacing, allow the fabric to return to room temperature before continuing to the next step.

  • Trace Word Upside-Down 7 of 11
    diy t-shirt

    Flip the word you cut out upside-down, place onto the interfacing paper, and carefully trace around it using a thick black marker. You may wish to use a small amount of tape to hold the word into place while you go around it. At this point you should be very careful to keep the word straight with the pattern of the shirt if there is one. If there is no pattern, follow the lines of the knit fabric.

  • Cut Out Traced Word 8 of 11
    diy t-shirt

    Now you will need very sharp fabric scissors to cut out the fabric which is still fused with the interfacing and still has the paper backing. It helps to cut out the small in-between sections of letters first, like the center of the loop of the "h," "y," and "a."

  • Position Word onto Shirt 9 of 11
    diy t-shirt

    Now peel off the paper backing of the interfacing and carefully place the word onto the T-shirt which has been smoothed out and placed onto an ironing board. You can angle your word as shown here, or keep it straight.

  • Iron Word onto Shirt 10 of 11
    diy t-shirt

    Now you will need a damp press cloth to lay over the word to create steam when pressing with a hot iron. You can dampen the scraps of your cut-up shirt for this, or use a tea towel as shown here. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for how long to press.

  • Completed Shirt 11 of 11
    diy t-shirt

    Allow the shirt to cool and dry out, and it's ready to wear! If you're feeling extra ambitious, you can use the fabric scraps to make patches for the elbows of a long sleeve shirt.

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