How to Decorate Boys' T-Shirts

Fun on the Beach T-Shirt
It's a fun day on the beach with this t-shirt.
It's a fun day on the beach with this t-shirt.

With the fun on the beach T-Shirt, your son can hang ten or just hang out in a colorful wearable craft. This sunny boys' t-shirt is perfect for the pool or beach.

What You'll Need:

  • T-shirt and pair of shorts
  • Soft fabric paints in 5 colors (brown, white, gold, red, and orange used here)
  • Shiny dimensional fabric paint (red used here)
  • 1/2-inch stencil brush
  • Small round brush
  • Pencil
  • Clear self-adhesive shelving paper
  • Small sharp scissors
  • Shirt board
  • Palettes
  • Paper towels
  • Cardboard
  • Waxed paper or plastic wrap

How to make fun on the beach T-Shirt:Step 1: Place t-shirt over shirt board. Cut a piece of cardboard large enough to fit through the leg of the shorts. Cover one side with waxed paper or plastic wrap. Place cardboard through one leg of shorts with front of shorts over covered side.

Step 2: Cut shelving paper into one 5x11-inch rectangle, two 3-1/2x5-1/2-inch rectangles, and one 3-inch square.

Trace patterns onto shelving paper.

Step 3: Download this PDF file and print out the patterns in it. Placing shelving paper over patterns, trace outlines of footprint pattern onto 5x11-inch rectangle; trace Shell Pattern No. 1 on one 3-1/2x5-1/3-inch rectangle and Shell Pattern No. 2 on the other 3-1/2x5-1/2-inch rectangle; trace starfish pattern on the 3-inch square.

Cut out each pattern following the outlines.

Step 4: Cut out all stencils as follows. With point of a small pair of scissors, punch a hole through center of your patterns. Cut out each pattern, carefully following the outlines. Do not cut outside of the outlines.

Step 5: Remove paper backing from footprint stencil. Place along left front side of shirt as pictured, rubbing firmly over entire stencil to ensure that all edges are tightly stuck to shirt.

Firmly tap brush over open area of stencil.

Step 6: Pour a small amount of brown fabric dye or soft paint onto palette. Dip stencil brush into paint and tap 2 or 3 times on palette to remove excess paint. Firmly tap brush over open area of stencil until brush is dry.

Step 7: Dip brush into paint again, tap off excess on palette and resume painting across stencil. Once all footprints have been stenciled onto shirt, carefully lift off stencil and wipe clean of paint with damp paper towel.

Step 8: Affix stencil to front of right leg of shorts. Following stencil instructions above, stencil footprint design onto shorts with gold paint.

Stencil Part A of Shell No. 2 onto front of shorts.

Step 9: Stencil Part A of Shell No. 1 onto right shoulder of t-shirt with brown paint by repeating stenciling procedure; with orange, stencil starfish onto lower left corner of shirt; with white, stencil Part A of Shell No. 2 onto front of lower left leg of shorts.

Step 10: When paints are completely dry (at least 1 hour), paint Part B of each shell over corresponding Part A. Place Part B stencil over already-painted Part A for each shell. Stencil as described in Steps 5-9, painting Part B of Shell No. 1 with red and Part B of Shell No. 2 with brown.

Draw in lines on Shell No. 2.

Step 11: Applying paint directly from bottle, paint red dots with shiny dimensional paint over starfish as indicated on pattern. With brown fabric dye or soft paint and No. 00 round brush, draw in lines on Shell No. 2 as shown below. Allow paints to dry completely.

Tip: Self-adhesive plastic is a great substitute for heavy stencil paper or mylar, which are usually used for stencils. You can easily trace the design through the paper backing, and you can cut the thin plastic with a small pair of craft scissors instead of a matte knife. With its sticky back, stencils cut from self-adhesive plastic hold tightly to the shirt without using toxic adhesive sprays.

Next, learn how to make a boys' t-shirt that's sure to be a home run.

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