Super Easy Glitter T-Shirt in 12 Simple Steps

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DIY Glitter T-Shirt

I know you’ve been snookered by the words, “super easy” before so you don’t believe me yet. But it’s true. With just 12 simple steps, YOU can make a custom glitter shirt for your Princess in one evening.  I say “Princess” for fear of excluding any boys that may have a fondness for all things sparkly – but if you didn’t want to use glitter, you can modify this with fabric paint and get the same, albeit unfantabulously shiny, results.

So I’ll admit that I initially bought all the fixin’s for this project for my munchkin and did not execute.

THEN the Cotton Bowl came around and guess what. College football gamewear is really tough to find for:

a) a girl if you still want to look like a girl, and

b) when your team isn’t even in the same state as you and

c) you didn’t have time to focus on acquiring said rally wear until the week of the match-up. And no thank you, I’m not interested in paying for overnight delivery.

So sorry Princess Cupcake, I am borrowing your glitter because this one is for the Mommies. You’re in bed anyway, and I promise if it turns out, we’ll glitterize whatever your little heart desires…

Here’s what you need:

  • T-shirt – mine was a cute girl shirt washed and dried withOUT fabric softener
  • Computer with printer – unless you are brave enough to free-hand. I. AM. NOT.
  • Fabric glitter – I got mine at Michaels – they have a rainbow of colors sure to satisfy the most discriminating princess
  • Fabric glitter glue and sponge  Again, Michaels
  • Freezer paper – any grocery store or Wal-Mart
  • Pen or pencil
  • Xacto knife – art supply store
  • Cutting mat – craft store
  • Tape
  • Iron
  • Magazine

How to:

1. Design your graphic on the computer. The toughest part of this project is deciding what to put on your shirt. I – being the Tiger fan – chose to go with a simple “LSU” centered with a fleur di lis on the top and bottom. Nothing crazy. Using Microsoft Word, I set the page orientation on horizontal, picked a fun font and enlarged it so it would fill up the paper to the edge of my margins. Then I hopped online and found some line art for a fleur di lis. I copied the image and dropped it onto my page, sized the image and then copied it so the images would be identical top and bottom and ta-dah! I had my pattern. (Did I lose you? That was just the long way of saying, create your design in Word.)

2. Next I printed out the pattern and laid it underneath a piece of the freezer paper.

3. Trace the pattern onto the freezer paper with a pen or pencil. Be sure to put the shiny side of the freezer paper away from you. You will be drawing on the coarse side.

4. Lay your freezer paper on your cutting mat and using your X-Acto knife, CAREFULLY cut out your design. Depending on how intricate of a design you made, this could take a while. If your knife is sharp, it should cut very easily though. Make sure you are not getting help from little ones during this process. I have a scar on my thigh from college when a kitten startled me and I dropped an X-Acto knife in my lap. First instinct was to “catch” it by closing my legs together really tightly – you know, so it wouldn’t fall on the ground — with the knife perpendicular to my thighs– yeah. Not so good. I never did like graphic design class after that. But if that professor could see me now…

5. When you are done cutting it out, take your pattern stencil and tape it to your shirt where you want it to be.

6. Now iron the freezer paper to your shirt. Crazy, I know but it’ll stick to it. You want to make sure it’s well-bonded to the shirt otherwise your edges are not going to be sharp. Don’t iron the tape though, that’s just to keep the stencil from sliding when you first start to iron. You can take the tape off as soon as you have got the freezer paper adhering to the t-shirt.

7. If you’re getting really intricate with your design and colors, you might consider masking off areas by color so there’s no chance of the colors mixing. I didn’t – I just went for it. I’m that kinda gal.

8. Put your magazine under the stenciled area so the glue won’t seep through to the other side of the shirt.

9. Take your glue and the sponge it came with and wipe the glue creating a decent layer of it onto the exposed areas of the stencil where you are going to want the glitter to stick.

10. Sprinkle the glitter onto the glue. Make sure you cover it completely! Shake off excess. Cheapskate that I am, I thought I would try and save the excess, and if you’ve read my previous experience with glitter you’ll know that wasn’t a good idea. I then shook it and everything it now clung to into the sink. Hint: a wet paper towel will pick up the fly-aways on your countertops and wood floors so the pugs don’t eat it.

11. Let it dry for at least 4 hours. I let mine dry overnight. But because I waited until the last minute, it wasn’t for much longer than 4 hours.

12. Peel off the freezer paper stencil and VOILA! Game Day Tailgating Shirt!

LSU Glitter T-shirt(Sorry it’s not laid out flat so it’s hard to tell – but it turned out perfect!)

It passed muster with the hubs. When Princess discovered my creation the next morning she yelled, “GO TIGERS!” (She can’t read yet but she knows what to do!) And then she said, “I LIKE your SHIRT!”

Well precious puddin’ pop, that just earned you one of your own.

And don’t you know, one of the GUYS at the tailgate later that day –unprompted — asked the hubs where I got my shirt “because you just can’t find good looking logo wear for women.”

All in all, I’d say it’s a winner and I’m pretty darn impressed with it if I do say so myself. I still cannot believe how easy it was! I’ll be making more of these for sure – forget those stupid iron on letters that I used to use. Those are SO 2010.

Looking for supplies? Here’s what I use (affiliate links). Click the image for additional details and to order: 

   

 

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38 Comments
  1. JACOBA says

    I HAVE DONE A LOT OF CRAFTS IN MY TIME AND THE FREEZER PAPER TIP IS THE BEST TIP I’VE EVER HAD!!! THANK YOU SOOOOOO MUCH FOR SHARING!

  2. GG The Glad Gardener says

    This sounds awesome. My little one was telling me the other day that she wants to put glitter on some dresses that she has so that she can be “Pretty as a Princess” Will the glitter stay on through the washing machine?

    Thanks!

    1. Trista says

      Yes! GREAT question – I wondered that myself the first time. I envisioned the walls of the washing machine coated with purple glitter, LOL.
      Here’s how I washed mine:
      Inside out – I may have even done it on a more delicate cycle but I can’t remember
      In cold water
      Hang dry
      Looked good as new.
      I’d love to see what you end up glitterizing! Send me some photos!
      Thanks for your comment!

  3. anna says

    I’m thinking about doing glitter t-shirts for a Breaking Dawn party at my library (I’m a librarian for teens). I’m stuck on how much to buy in terms of supplies. At my Hobby Lobby they have 2 oz. bottles of PLAID glitter adhesive. Any idea how many T’s I might be able to make with that size bottle assuming my stencil is comparable in size to yours?

    1. Trista says

      I have not run out of the 1oz bottle that I have of the Tulip Glitter Bond for all the shirts you see on my site (LSU, Martha x 2, Rays Baseball, etc.) – but I do have a back-up bottle. I’m going to say budget for 4-5 shirts per ounce? Depending on the template of course. Don’t skimp on the glitter bond or you will have the problem I did with my first Martha shirt.. If I were you, I’d say 8 shirts per 2oz bottle that you saw at HL. Be sure to follow the directions ahead of time (prewash, no fabric softener). And I’d LOVE to see your shirts when they are done! Please send me a photo 🙂

      1. anna says

        Thanks so much for your help! When I saw this idea online, I simply couldn’t resist it with the whole glitter theme of Twilight! I’ll definitely let you know how they turn out!

  4. maddie says

    will this shed?

    1. Trista says

      Mine hasn’t shed. Maybe a few flecks here and there but I’ve washed it several times and worn it and it’s great.

  5. Melia says

    Wow, did not even know there was a such thing as Fabric glitter glue…. Oh, I am going to have a busy week. Thanks Trista!!

    1. Trista says

      Yep, we will be using it to — ahem — “modify” the VBS shirt the Princess has to wear every day this week.

  6. Heather says

    My daughter is being a candy corn princess for Halloween this year. I was wondering what the best way to take a plain long sleeve white shirt and orange leggings and turn them sparkly for her would be?

    The tutu, wings, and wand all have glitter, and well she’s four so EVERYTHING has to be sparkly mom…. Geez, you’d think I’d know that by now right?

    1. Trista Perot says

      I simply ADORE that idea! I had a lot of luck making glitter shirts but I think I would get some sparkle fabric or layer ribbon and sew it to a shirt instead. Less work!

  7. roro says

    how many times can I reuse the freezer paper with the stencil cut out design? I need to make at least ten shirts. once I iron the freezer paper on a shirt would I be able to use the same stencil freezer paper again?

    1. Trista Perot says

      Hi Roro. You can only use it once. It won’t stick again. But the good news is that a roll of freezer paper should be plenty for 10 shirts!

  8. […] pretty much followed the advice and tips in this post, which worked reasonably well. The only thing I’d really say is that the glitter does not […]

  9. Diamond says

    I am trying to put a glitter pumpkin that says 1st Thanksgiving in it on a baby onesie, I can’t figure out how to do it and I was just wondering if you could tell me how to do it?

    1. Trista Perot says

      Try tracing it onto the freezer paper and making a template? Then you can iron it on the shirt and use the fabric glitter glue, sprinkle the glitter on and let it dry. 🙂

  10. Ashley says

    Could you tell me how well this washes? Would it be hand wash only and no dryer? Thanks!

    1. Trista Perot says

      I have washed mine several times in the washer on cold and I have forgotten and dried it too but I try to hang dry just to be safe.

  11. Karen says

    I am trying to add glitter to an already screen printed shirt. I just want glitter on the letters. Would this work for that?

    1. Trista Perot says

      In theory, yes. The application would work, but I’m not sure how well it would adhere to the letters and I’d be afraid that the iron might melt the letters. Just my guess though. If it were me, I don’t think I would try it on a shirt that I loved. Maybe try it on a throw away shirt first.

  12. Alex says

    I’m confused about the last step where you peel the freezer paper off. How are you doing that with glitter on top of it? Or am I reading that wrong?

    Thanks!

    1. Trista Perot says

      You can pull it off right after you apply the glitter, however I let mine dry before I pulled it off.

      1. yvette says

        There is no way the glitter can permeate thru the thick paper and end up on the shirt. This is insane.

    2. Vanessa Lynn Ferguson says

      I thought the same thing, but you cut out the shape you want from the paper and use the sheet with the letters missing, not the cut letters only. I was confused too.

  13. Michelle says

    What if I already have a shirt with a design on it but I want to glitterfy it, is this the same process with the glue and glitter?

    1. Trista Perot says

      Sure! Just make sure you don’t wash with fabric softener, and the glitter won’t stick to something already screen printed. I have used rhinestones on pre-printed shirts on the regular. For example, those VBS shirts that they give the kids to wear all week and they’re gender neutral? The Cupcake always wants to sparkle it up and make it unique. Good luck!

  14. yvette says

    How is the glitter going magically go thru the thick freezer paper when you pull it off. Impossible. She is not giving out correct instructions. The glitter cling to the paper and comes off with it….there is a missing step or I am losing my mind……….

    1. yvette says

      OK…..I am an idiot..It’s a stencil! Sorry…..

      1. Dawn P says

        OMG, I was thinking the same thing. It doesn’t specify that you are cutting out the letters and NOT using the cut out part. LMAO! Sheesh, I think I need to go back to school on this one. HAHA

        1. Nicole says

          Yeah… great idea. Confusing instructions. I just wasted a sweatshirt. 🙁 thankfully k hey it now. It’s the outline… it’s not the surface to be glued and glittered on.

          1. Nicole says

            I hate autocorrect. I meant to say, ” I get it now”.

  15. Jamie says

    Thank you so much for the amazing tutorial .
    I am thinking of decorating a onesie for my daughter’s first birthday (with glitter).
    How do I pick a font size?

    1. Trista Perot says

      I think you’ll need to measure the height of the area on the shirt that you want to apply it to, and then set it up on your computer. Print out your best guess and then increase or decrease from there. 😉 If you’re using a program with a personal cutting machine, they have 1″ grids that are helpful. Good luck!

  16. Drue says

    Just wondering if you think this would work on canvas too? I am going to make some custom canvas bags for my bridesmaids and flower girls and would love to add glitter to it. I am also wondering if you’ve had any fallout or if you ended up using something to seal on the glitter?
    Thanks!

    1. Trista Perot says

      I think it would work on canvas too, for sure! It held up really well, and I still wear it. I’ve washed it a lot too. I think you could spray it with poly to seal it. Or, you could even put a clear resin on it if you wanted to seal it with a hard coating.

  17. Raquel says

    Your links are broken. I see that the post is older, but I figure you might want to know.

    1. Trista Perot says

      Thanks! Looking into it now. :0

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