T-shirt Art Guest Tutorial

So Monday I showed you the cape I made inspired by the reuse of a t-shirt. Today I have a guest that is going to share with us how to turn those very loved t-shirts that you just can’t bear to part with into works of art.

Welcome today, Rose from Pumpkin and Butterfly! We met a while back when we were both featured in an etsy treasury together. I just love Rose’s sweet and simple art prints. And you know I’m a sucker for the silhouettes!  She mentioned a great project she had done and I asked if she’d share how she did with us. So without further ado….

Welcome Rose!


I first came up with this project because I couldn’t part with some of my sons little onesies and t-shirts (and maybe the fact that he was growing up so fast. He is turning six)

Most of the shirts on his wall are from 9 months to 2T, but this project will work with any size t-shirts just make sure you adjust the canvas size for bigger t-shirts. My son still loves looking at the shirts and saying, ‘I used to wear these when I was a baby.’

1. Materials Needed. Favorite T-Shirt, Scissors, Canvas (I used 8×8), staple gun

2. Get Started. First, size up the shirt with the canvas. You want to eyeball how it will look and how it will fit on the canvas.

3. Wrap Around the Canvas. Try to center it on the canvas to get a good idea of the finished product.

4. Survey. If you are happy with how it looks, you’re ready to move on.

5. Ready to Cut. Start by cutting up the seams on the side of the shirt

6. Keep Cutting. Then I cut from the center part of the neck hole down the sleeves.

7. Still Cutting. Move on to opposite side

8. Cutting Finished. It should look as close to a rectangle as possible

9. Getting Ready to Put on Canvas. Now you want to center the picture and layout the shirt

10. Start Attaching. Make sure the picture is centered. This is a tricky part because most of the time on little shirts the picture is directly under the collar. Try to put the staple in as close as possible to the edge.

11. Centering the shirt. Once you start to put on the shirt it is kind of like upholstering a chair seat. You have to be careful that you are centered and are pulling tight enough so that the pattern is lined up but not too tight that it is stretching the pattern.

12. Check as you go. Make sure it is looking centered

13. Keep working around the canvas. Making sure to pull tight enough and keep staples close to each other

14. Trim off extra material. Once you have all the sides on I find it easier to do the corners with the excess material off

15. Corners. This can also be tricky if you haven’t done it before. Fold the corners down the same way you would if wrapping a gift. Staple down the flaps as you are tucking them

16. Finished Corner. Should be tucked and tight

17. Trim. Take any extra material off

18. Finished! You are ready to hang! This looks great in a grouping!

Thanks for sharing Rose!