How To Make Your Own Custom T-Shirts

Since last year, I’ve started a birthday tradition for my kids. On the day of their birthday, they will receive a custom made T-shirt with their names and age on it. You know, something made for them, and ONLY for them, to make their birthday a little extra special.

Yes, there are numerous websites selling personalized T-shirts, and they all look so pretty and professional. What’s more, to make my life easier I could just purchase them online. But here’s what happened to me – you’ve chosen your item, put it in the cart, click purchase, shows the exact total price, and that’s when the eye-balls pop. Delivery costs more than the product itself – Yikes! This made me find an alternative.

Another thing I like about making your own T-shirt is you can buy any shirt colour and let your artistry flow. And if you’re like me, with just ‘null’ creativity at times, what I’ve done is to have my kids design something on a piece of paper. I’ll then try to create them on their T-shirts.

I don’t own a sewing machine, neither am I a person who’s good at sewing. I wouldn’t know what a ladder or a whip stitch looks like without Googling it first. So these methods I’m showing you are super easy for someone who doesn’t know how to or has limited skills in sewing.

I’ve made three T-shirts so far, using three different methods.

1. Textile Marker or Paint

This is the easiest method to start with and the best way to get your kids involved in creating their very own custom made T-shirt. It makes a great rainy day project or as a kid’s birthday party activity.

With this particular project, I took whatever plain coloured T-shirt my daughter currently has and even took her alphabet blocks to trace her name on it.

2. Iron-On Fabric

Remember when you’ve got a hole on a T-shirt or pants and your mum would patch it up with an embroidered applique patch? So, instead of motived patches, I got those plain colourful ones, which comes in a set of different colours. Draw any image or images to your liking, cut, and iron them on a T-shirt. Voila!

3. Iron-On Hemming Strip

I wanted to use printed cotton fabric for my next T-shirt so I opted for the iron-on hemming strip. By using pretty much the same method as in number 2, I first printed the images on paper, traced on the fabric, and cut. Then, with the hemming strip, I cut the amount of length as per my cut fabric.

I’ve used this method before to shorten our curtains and it worked like a charm, as it’s just a straight line. However, to use it to personalized a T-shirt with curved edges, it will not work completely well. Therefore, I had to ‘clean’ the peeled-off edges by sewing. And if you’re wondering, YES, I had to look it up on wikiHow and even watched a video on how to do a backstitch.

My little one put it on yesterday and was very happy with it. So yeah, as long as my daughters are happy, I’m all good. 🙂

If there are any other methods you would like to share on how to custom make your own T-shirts, please send me a comment. I would very much like to hear from you! 🙂

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