T-shirt Projects

T-shirt Yarn-Wrapped Easter Egg Wreath

Egg Wreath generation-t.com
For this easy, bright DIY holiday decor, I was inspired by this yarn-wrapped egg wreath I stumbled upon on Pinterest. (Oh, and check out Aunt Peaches’s yarn-wrapped eggs tutorial over at the iLoveToCreate blog!) But, being that I have stashes of T-shirt scraps rather than traditional yarn, I adapted the project to my own scrap heap (and recycling bin). Pick traditional pastels from your T-shirt stash, go for brights, or tie-dye all those shabby old white ones to make ombre eggs.


-18-24 plastic eggs

-18-24 lengths of T-shirt yarn, plus more for the wreath base (ideally, yarn should be stretched from 1/2″ to 3/4″-wide strips)
-Aleene’s Max Tacky Adhesive
-fabric scissors
-cardboard box (to make the wreath base)
-craft knife
-tape (optional)
-Tulip Beads in a Bottle (optional)
-Tulip One-Step Tie-Dye Kit (optional)

Egg Wreath materials generation-t.com

Make it:
Click through to the complete step-by-step tutorial over on the iLoveToCreate blog.

Finish Egg Wreath generation-t.com

t-shirt yarn wreath generation-t.com

[ 1 Comment | Posted on March 25th, 2014 ]

DIY Phases of the Heart T-shirt

I was recently inspired by a DIY phases of the moon T-shirt I saw on Pinterest, and thought it would be fun to try a heart shape in place of the moon. Though Valentine’s Day is an odd one to celebrate — it’s gotten a little commercial in the past few decades for my tastes, but I do appreciate another opportunity to tell the people dearest to me that I care about them with an extra hug, a simple handmade valentine…or a T-shirt! (PS: Did you know that the holiday is celebrated as “Friend Day” in Finland? I love that!)
Phases of the Heart Finish2 generation-t.com

-1 plain T-shirt (I chose purple to suggest a night sky background)
-Tulip “Slick” Dimensional Fabric Paints (I mixed about equal parts Grape and White)
-Tulip Sponge Brushes or Tulip Fabric Paintbrushes
-Freezer paper (to create the stencil)
-Pen or pencil (to sketch)
-Craft knife and cutting mat
-Iron and ironing board
-Scrap paper or cardstock

moonphases materials generation-t.com

Make it:
Follow the step-by-step instructions over at the iLoveToCreate blog!

Phases of the Heart Final1 generation-t.com

BONUS: Click through to the steps over at iLoveToCreate to use your scraps from the original stencil to make a second shirt!
moonphasesALT1 generation-t.com

[ No Comments | Posted on January 28th, 2014 ]

T-shirt Transformer Scarf: Wear It Your Way!

Here’s an easy T-shirt transformation project from Generation T: Beyond Fashion (project #9, Transformer), courtesy of Homemade Holiday 101 that requires just one seam’s-worth of sewing! So if your crafty self is feeling at all unsure whether you’ll actually be able to knit that scarf in time for Christmas, grab the nearest two T-shirts (the larger the better), a pair of scissors, and a needle and thread (or a sewing machine!), and make a whole scarf-plus in about 10 minutes.

T-shirt Transformer generation-t.com

2 T-shirts of the same size (L or XL)
Chalk marker
Straight pins

Make it:
For step-by-step instructions and illustrations, go to Homemade Holiday 101: 30-minute Scarf.

Just a reminder that Generation T and Generation T: Beyond Fashion ebooks are on sale for $2.99 throughout the holiday season. Just head to HomemadeHoliday101.com to download!


[ No Comments | Posted on December 17th, 2013 ]

DIY: A Holiday Tree-Shirt!

Coming off Thanksgiving, a holiday that many people abbreviate to “T-Day,” of course makes me think of T-shirts….and how EVERY DAY is Tee Day! So, move over scratchy holiday sweater. Here’s a simple, no-sew holiday T-shirt (ahem, tree-shirt) that I designed as part of Homemade Holiday 101 (#homemade101). It combines techniques from the Brokenhearted tee in Generation T (project #2) and Back in Action tee in Generation T: Beyond Fashion (project #101).

Holiday Tree-Shirt finish generation-t.com

(OH, and…CLICK THROUGH TO HOMEMADE HOLIDAY 101 where the Generation T and Generation T: Beyond Fashion ebooks are on sale for $2.99 for a limited time!)


-Red fitted T-shirt (mine has a small percentage Lycra)
-Green fitted tank top (or similar, to layer underneath)
-Disappearing ink fabric marker or fabric chalk marker
-Ruler/ straightedge
-Fabric scissors
-Safety pin or 1″ round pin

holiday shirt materials generation-t.com

Make it:

1. Turn the T-shirt inside out and, using the straightedge, draw an isosceles triangle with a small rectangle at the bottom (aka, a simplified evergreen tree shape). My tree is about 7″ across at its widest.

holiday shirt 1 generation-t

2. Use the straightedge again to mark horizontal lines from the base of the tree to the top, about 1/2″ to 3/4″ apart.

holiday shirt 3 generation-t.com

3. Cut along the horizontal lines only, making sure to cut through only the top layer of the shirt.

holiday shirt 5 generation-t.com

4. Cut all the way to the top, making a small snip (about 1/4″) at the peak of the tree. Tug gently at the sides of your T-shirt to stretch out the strips (so they curl a little).

holiday shirt 6 generation-t.com

5. Turn the T-shirt right side out, and layer the green tank top underneath so you can see the shape of the tree clearly. You can stop right here and have a terrific-looking slashed tee, but forge on for another minute to get the woven effect: Take the first two strips at the trunk of your tree and loop strip #2 under strip #1. Drop strip #1. Then loop strip #3 under strip #2, dropping strip #2. And so on…

holiday shirt 8 generation-t.com

6. …to the top! Safety pin the second-to-last loop through the top snip. Tuck the safety pin inside so it shows less, or embrace the shiny bit of sparkle. Or, for a little more flair, trim your tree with a personalized 1″ round pin (replacing the safety pin).

holiday shirt finish generation-t.com

7. Try it on. Then….Go sing carols! Bake cookies! Replace the safety pin at the top with a sparkly brooch so you have a shining star up on the highest bow!

Holiday Tree-Shirt finish 3 generation-t.com


[ 2 Comments | Posted on December 2nd, 2013 ]

Fall Fashion: Decorating with Leaves, 3 Ways!

Before the snowflakes make their grand and permanent seasonal entrance, I’m stuck on fall. The leaves are so beautiful this time of year in Brooklyn. I was up in New England for peak color, but even the last few weeks in Brooklyn have yielded a lovely array of color and variety.Leaf main generation-t.com

Of course, no matter how you try to keep them, the color fades, and they become dry and brittle. Here are three projects with a common autumnal theme that, like the snowflakes I made and painted last year, help make nature last a little longer.


INSPIRATION 1: DIY Leaf Stencil: This one starts with your basic stencil…

Leaf stencil materials
-variety of Tulip soft paints and/or Tulip 3D Fashion Paints (in shades of red, orange, and yellow)
-Tulip sponge brushes and/or Tulip sponge pouncers
-variety of pressed leaves for inspiration
-sheet of card stock (or scrap manila folder)-pen or pencil
-scissors or craft knife and cutting mat
-plain T-shirt (lighter colors work best, but white is not required!)
-paint palette (or a plastic container from the recycling bin)
-scrap paper (optional) for inserting between the layers of a T-shirt

Make it:
For complete step-by-step instructions, visit the iLoveToCreate blog.

Leaf stencil paint finish

INSPIRATION 2: Reverse Leaf Stencil: This is the same concept as the stencil out of card stock, but you’re instead using freezer paper as your mask, and painting the space around the leaf.

Leaf reverse materials

-variety of Tulip Fabric Sprays (in shades of red, orange, and yellow)
-variety of pressed leaves for inspiration
-sheet of freezer paper
-pen or pencil
-scissors or craft knife and cutting mat
-iron and ironing board
-plain T-shirt or onesie (lighter colors work best, but, again, white is not required!)
-scrap paper (optional) for inserting between the layers of a T-shirt and to protect your work surface from paint

Make it:
For complete step-by-step instructions, visit the iLoveToCreate blog.

Leaf reverse peel

INSPIRATION 3: Glitter Leaf Appliqué: Like the reverse leaf stencil, you’re using the actual leaf shape (rather than the negative space) to create your decoration. The best part about this one? No waiting around during drying time–since there is no drying time!

Glitter leaf materials

-Tulip Fashion Shimmer Iron-on Sheet (in gold)
-variety of pressed leaves for inspiration
-ballpoint pen
-scissors or craft knife and cutting mat
-iron and ironing board

-plain bib, T-shirt, or onesie

Make it:
For complete step-by-step instructions, visit the iLoveToCreate blog.

Glitter Leaf finish

Stay tuned next week for one more way to use autumn leaves as inspiration for decorating fabric. (PS: I made myself a really rad upcycled skirt!)

[ 1 Comment | Posted on November 26th, 2013 ]

10 Quick & Easy T-shirt Halloween Costumes III

Well, I’ve started a tradition, serving all of you would-be Halloween revelers who are down to the wire when it comes to your costume. For the third year running (see year 1 and year 2 here), we have another 10 quick-and-easy T-shirt-based Halloween costumes. From the literary to the painterly, nerdy to the nostalgic, from pop culture to popcorn. In most cases, all you need is a blank T-shirt and some fabric paint or markers. First up, make a masterpiece in just a couple of hours — grab a frame and hit the trick-or-treating circuit!

MondrianFinish generation-t.com



-Plain white T-shirt (since I’m making a Mini Mondrian, it’s size 2T)
-Scribbles 3D Fabric Paint (in black, red, blue, and yellow)
-Tulip Fabric Paintbrushes
-Masking tape
-Scrap paper (to insert between the layers of the T-shirt in order to prevent the paint from seeping through)
-Newsprint paper or similar (to protect your work surface)

MondrianMaterials generation-t.com

Make it:

 1. Visit the iLoveToCreate blog for the the full Mondrian Masterpiece Tutorial. See below for 9 more ideas for quick costumes!


#1 Mondrian Masterpiece. Create a masterpiece! Or wear one inspired by the works of Piet Mondrian.
1Mondrian generation-t.com

#2 Waldo. Dress in stripes to be the title character (or his pal Wanda) from the children’s classic Where’s Waldo?  (You know, before Harry Potter came along to claim those round specs). Just pair with denim.
2Waldo generation-t.com

#3 Popcorn. There are plenty of a baby costumes for freshly popped popcorn (parents as popcorn vendors), but this T-shirt rendition is limited only by the size of your T-shirt.
3Popcorn generation-t.com

#4 Crayon. Go solo as a blue crayon (don’t forget the sharpened top of the crayon!) or grab your friends and make a whole box of crayons.
4Crayon generation-t.com

#5 Mickey Mouse. Recognizable a mile away, add a pair of ears to top off this costume (and some yellow sneakers wouldn’t hurt either!). Swap out the bottom of the T-shirt for red with white polka dots for Mickey’s main squeeze, Minnie. 5Mickey generation-t.com

#6 Ketchup and Mustard. For couples, roommates, or other easily paired people, it’s everyone’s favorite condiments!
6KetchupMustard generation-t.com

#7 Fifty Shades of Gray. A tame version of Fifty Shades of Gray that you could wear around the office. Alternatively, attach the actual Pantone color swatches all over the surface of the T-shirt.

7FiftyShadesGray generation-t.com

#8 Your Favorite Joke. I used my all-time favorite joke. But you should insert your own: Setup on the front, punchline in back!8Joke generation-t.com

#9 Twister. Twister falls into that beloved classic family game category with the likes of Sorry!, Scrabble, and Pictionary. Fashion the spinner into a headpiece to complete the look!
9Twister generation-t.com

#10 Copy and Paste. Nerd alert! Perfect for twins (or bestie lookalikes), “Copy” and “Paste” (for Macs). Slight modifications (Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V) should be made for PCs.

10CopyPaste generation-t.com

Safe and happy haunting!



[ 1 Comment | Posted on October 29th, 2013 ]

How to: No-Sew T-shirt Grocery Tote II

When you’re talking fruit and vegetable stamping, a change of seasonal harvest can herald a whole new palette of patterns and textures with which to print. And with them, a whole new no-sew T-shirt totebag tutorial – this time, with fringe! Before the summer fruits and veggies officially relinquish their harvest reign to the autumn root vegetables (reminder: potato printing=boring!), see what you can scavenge from the last of the September haul to make some colorful T-shirt prints — and a sturdy T-shirt tote to bring to next weekend’s farmers market! Behold, this fall’s hottest accessory (see this summer’s no-sew tote here)….

-Plain old T-shirt (I used an adult size M for this particular one)
-Tulip Dimensional Paint or Tulip Soft Fabric Paint Tubes
-Plastic container lid(s) to use as a paint palette (check your recycling bin!)
-Half of two bell peppers, corn on the cob, lime, and the end of a celery stalk (to use as stamps)
-Ruler or straightedge
-Scrap paper
-Plastic garbage bag or table cloth to protect your work surface
-Mixing bowl or other round item (to use as a cutting guide)

Make it:
Click through to get the photographic step-by-step tutorial through my newest post for iLoveToCreate Blog. You can print lots of T-shirts…

…and then decide which one(s) you want to turn into a totebag!

The ties to the farmers market run deep for this totebag, but don’t limit its use to produce! I had a student make one of these totes during my artist-in-residency at her school, and she quickly transferred all of her textbooks into it before heading off to her next class. If you tie your knots tightly, this bag will definitely hold up to any combination of weighty tomes, making it a great (if a little late) back to school project. Or…with Halloween around the corner, how about using it as a creative vessel for that delicious candy haul…?

[ 1 Comment | Posted on September 24th, 2013 ]

How to: Side-Fringe Tie-Dye T-shirt

While most fringe T-shirts have the fringe tailing off the bottom, I went with horizontal fringe on this one. The side fringe gives nice movement and flow to the tee, and it’s a great project for making a slightly-too-big T-shirt into a just-right T-shirt. Add a touch of ombre tie-dye, and it’s a perfect summertime staple. Throw it over your bathing suit, and head beachward!

-Plain T-shirt (one to two sizes larger than you’d ordinarily wear)
-Tulip One-Step Tie-Dye Kit (includes rubber bands, bottles, dyes, two pairs of plastic gloves, and an instruction/inspiration sheet)
-Plastic table cloth or plastic garbage bag to cover your work surface
-Paper towels
-Plastic cling wrap or zip-lock bags
-Sewing machine with thread or needle and thread
-Safety pins (optional)

Note: If you’re working with new T-shirts, pre-wash and dry them to make sure any shrinking that’s going to happen has happened!

Make it:
Head over to my post at the iLoveToCreate blog for the step-by-step photo tutorial.

Note: You can make a no-sew version of this shirt by cutting the fringe first and then knotting the front fringe piece with the corresponding back fringe all the way up and down both sides (the shoulder fringe remains unknotted). I like this version because it’s quick (particularly if you are using a sewing machine), and the fringe fall nicely without the bulk of the knots.

[ No Comments | Posted on July 8th, 2013 ]

A T-shirt Sew-Along with Kollabora

Oh, the quest for the perfect tee! While our collective search for the perfect jersey knit continues (Alternative Apparel or American Apparel? J. Crew or GAP?), why not make your own? It’s quite arguably the perfect summer project to take on when you’re looking to have yourself a crafty long weekend. But hurry, since you’ve got less than a week to join the “Scout” T-shirt pattern sew-along over at Kollabora (entries are due Monday, July 8!)…

Here’s what you do:
-Download the pattern from Grainline Studio here (it costs $6.50).
-Then print and assemble the pattern, and check out the step-by-step photo tutorials over at Kollabora to get you feeling inspired and confident (there are plenty of variations, too!).
-Upload photos of your finished T-shirt to the gallery to share your creation, and to be entered to win some awesome stuff! (And while you’re there, click through to check out the gallery of T-shirts that have already been made and cast your vote for fan favorite!)

Behold, the Scout Woven Tee pattern by Jennifer Beeman, the designer and patternmaker at Grainline Studio:

Though I personally won’t make the July 8 deadline, I do have some yellow and blue lightning bolt jersey knit left over from a hooded sweatshirt project I was working on for the little guy that I will definitely be turning into a “Scout” T-shirt for myself!

[ No Comments | Posted on July 3rd, 2013 ]

How to: No-Sew T-shirt Grocery Tote!

Move over potato stamping! There are some other fruits and veggies that want in on the action. Printing with fruits and veggies is nothing new — but when applied to a grocery or green market bag, you get a tote that forecasts what should go inside (apples, onions, peppers, celery, corn…). Not to mention, you can construct this sturdy bag from an old T-shirt without sewing–a single safety pin is the closest you’ll get to any specialty tools. I worked out the bag particulars while I was in residency at a workshop up in NH (I’ve since discovered a great tutorial for a very similar technique by Lee Meredith over at Leethal.net, which I imagine works particularly well for larger T-shirts, where the bottom bunching can be redistributed between several gathers). And I was inspired to use an apple after seeing Kayte Terry’s lovely apple-printed tote (I wish my apple had had a stem on it!).

-Plain old T-shirt (I used a kid’s size 6-8 for this particular one)
-Tulip Dimensional Paint or Tulip Soft Fabric Paint Tubes
-Plastic lid to use as a paint palette
-Half an apple (or bell pepper, or onion, or…) to use as a stamp
-Safety pin
-Scrap paper (optional)

Make it:

Head on over to iLoveToCreate blog for the complete step-by-step tutorial! You’ll be ready to hit the farmer’s market (or beach! or park!) in no time.

And don’t forget to share your bounty!

Stay tuned: Another veggie-printed, no-sew tote bag tutorial is coming your way right here on Generation T next week!

[ No Comments | Posted on June 25th, 2013 ]