Monday, June 30, 2008

4th of July T-Shirts

This idea is one that I've loved and kept in my stash of favorites for a couple years. One of my favorite issues of Family Fun magazine is their summer/4th of July issue. They always come up with great ideas! I'm always interested in their "parade wear". This t-shirt is one we've loved because it's cute and not very complicated to make. This is probably the 3rd time we've done this same shirt and the kids have yet to notice that it's a repeat. I especially like it because the kids can make it themselves and it's pretty hard for them to mess up.
The creative process...Even dad gets involved!

Showing off their shirts (and some brotherly love)!

Here are the directions to make this shirt from FF's Website:


White T-shirts
Corrugated cardboard stars
Red or blue fabric paint
Cardboard squares
Time needed: About 2 to 3 Hours

1. To make one, first slip sheets of newspaper inside a plain white shirt so that when you print on the fabric, the paint won't bleed through to the other side.
2. Next, cut out several corrugated cardboard stars. Peel away the top layer of each star to expose the ribbed layer. Coat the corrugation with red or blue fabric paint and then firmly and evenly press the painted surface against the shirt. Carefully lift away the star.
3. When you've finished stamping your design, let the paint dry completely and then set it according to the manufacturer's directions.
4. Tip: To make the painting process less messy for kids, glue a cardboard square onto the back of each star for a handle.

My tips or variations: First off, I'd suggest at least one adult for every 2 kids unless your kids are over, say, 8 yrs old. We were having trouble keeping everyone out of the paint and taming the excitement (excitement=big mess). Second, the directions say it is a 2-3 hour project. I'd say we did it in less than 15 minutes. The directions must include drying time. Third, I'd suggest getting the stars ready without telling your kids, so that they don't stand over your shoulder and hover until your done cutting them out. :) Lastly, we added "Jackson Pollack" type splatter to our shirts to make them cuter. We found that when you add the splatter, the imperfect stars done by a 3 year old tend to look LOTS better! I've also made a onsie version of this project when the kids were babies that turned out just as cute!


  1. Oh this is a FANTASTIC project!
    Maybe I will have my daugther decorate some PJpants for her dad for Christmas!
    Your recommendations make sense. I would be seriously stressed out having to cut templates with an antsy 3 year old climbing on me. LOL!

  2. We've made those before. They turned out cute!

  3. such a great project - thanks for the inspiration! :)

  4. We might have to make a run to buy tees for everyone and have a little craft night tonight or tomorrow. We've done other paint shirt projects, but not a 4th of July one.

    B. has worn the one you made years ago for your K. and it has about had it. Time for some new ones.

  5. I always forget to get all materials ready before the antsy 3 year old is looking over my shoulder. Great tips! I might have to try this!

  6. beautiful,beautiful project!thanks for sharing.

  7. Cute tops Em. Never seen that before I especially like S punching her brother in the face. Priceless.

  8. Emily,
    This is cousin Fred...must admit, I don't know much about all this sewing and craft stuff, but your bags look really cool. Hope you guys had a great 4th.



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