Personalized Birthday T-Shirts

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Think about it: everyone loves a personalized t-shirt. Whether it says just their name, their favorite quote or phrase, or just a picture they love, a t-shirt made just for them is always a hit. Out of all of the special things we did for the kids’ rainbow party, their personalized birthday t-shirts was my favorite to create. It was inspired by a pin I saw on Pinterest where the person used cut outs of letters, but in the words of Sweet Brown, ain’t nobody got time for that! I created the lazy mom, shortcut way and here’s how I did it:

1. Purchase an inexpensive t-shirt. For the kids’ shirts, I went straight to Walmart. I got the little girl’s shirt for 1.00 on clearance and Sonny’s shirt for 2.50. I made sure to get them in their favorite colors, since all guests were supposed to wear their favorite colors to the party.

2. Go to the craft for hardware store and pick up these puppies. I know you recognize these; these are the letters and numbers you put on your mailbox or anything else you need to place your last name or house number on. They are durable and have an adhesive on the back, both characteristics that will come in handy later on in the steps. Make sure you get all of the letters you will need. For example, if the name has two “As” in it, get 2 “As.”

3. Put some bleach in a small spray bottle. You don’t need lots of bleach, so no need to fill the bottle up. Maybe go a quarter of the way up the bottle, if you are only doing one shirt. If you are doing more than one shirt, fill the bottle half way.

4. Lay the shirts on a flat surface with a towel or sheet under it. Since you will be working with bleach a bit, you probably should use a sheet or towel you don’t mind getting covered with bleach.

5. Carefully peel the stickers off the backing and place them on the shirt. As you can see by the Duchess’s shirt, I did her name a funky way. But, with Sonny’s shirt, I went diagonally down the chest area. It will all depend on the size of the shirt and your taste.

6. Lightly spray the shirt with bleach. If you want a more drastic change in color on the shirt, spray it a little more. Because the stickers are weather proof, the bleach will not bleed under them and you can make the shirt as light as you’d like without any worry. That’s hard to do with paper cut-outs.

7. After a few seconds, peel the stickers off. The letters will be dark on the shirt while the rest of the shirt will be light! Once all of the stickers are off, let the shirt completely dry and then wash. It will be ready to wear once it’s done washing.

Bonus: If you really want to make really special personalized birthday t-shirts, you can place their last name and age on the back of the shirt. The guests at our party got a kick out of this small detail, and a family friend even asked me if I would make her a shirt like this for her 21st birthday. Ha!

And that’s it! A very simple tutorial and the shirts can be used all year. Heck, you can make them a new one each year and save all the shirts in a special box for them. How cute would that be?

About Amiyrah

My name is Amiyrah and I'm an an African American fashion & lifestyle blogger based in Ohio.

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  1. 3.11.13

    I love this and plan to make for my son turning 4 next week:) One question: Did you dilute the bleach at all?…. just wondering how you got the bleaching so even.

  2. 3.11.13
    Amiyrah said:

    Hi Angelina!

    Nope, I did not dilute the bleach, but I did make sure I spray even strokes onto the shirt. Hope you all have fun at the party!

  3. 6.28.13
    Lorraine said:

    Are you able to reuse the stickers on more than one shirt?

    • 6.28.13
      Amiyrah said:

      Absolutely, Lorraine! I used the stickers to do my son’s shirt first, then used them again for my daughter’s shirt. Great question!