Make your own Quote T-Shirts

Ever try cleaning out your closet and realizing how many boring, old, plain T-shirts you have? It makes sense to have a basic black / white; a staple for all closets, but all the other plains laying around could be jazzed up a bit to give them new life instead of throwing them out.

Materials you will need:

  1. Pre-washed T-shirt (Lighter colors work better)
  2. Alphabet Stencil (There are tons to choose from at craft stores; see link Joann’s Alphabet Stencil)
  3. Fabric Markers (I used the bold tip black marker; see link Joann’s Tulip Fabric Markers), Spray Fabric Paint or Regular Fabric Paint in a bottle
  4. Foam or sponge brush
  5. Cardboard sheet or plastic pad
  6. Generic tape
  7. Paper and Pencil


  1. Lay your pre washed shirt on a flat surface and insert the cardboard between the shirt layers to avoid paint on the back of the shirt.
  2. Design your quote’s layout on paper (you can also print a quote from a site). You can use the alphabet stencil to directly ink the quote on the shirt or make your own stencil. To make your own:
    1. Make the quote on paper as thick and bold as you can (thickness of 0.5 inches) and color it in with the pencil (if printing the quote, make the print big).
    2. Use an X-Acto knife to cut out the colored letters to create your own stencil.
  3. Lay the paper stencil over your shirt and attach tape on all 4 sides to prevent it from moving.img_1971
  4. You can use either the markers to color the letters in on your shirt or use the paints (Paint takes longer to dry than markers; see image on right).
  5. Carefully peel out the stencil without letting the paint smudge.
  6. Leave to dry for 2-3 hours.
  7. You can darken the color with another layer of paint or marker and let dry.
  8. Some fabric colors require some heat applied to the inner side of the shirt (use an iron) after drying. Follow the instructions that come with the pack.

You can wash your T-shirts regularly as you would others and the paints won’t smudge. You can also use dimensional fabric paints to give a raised look to the font (see link Hobby Lobby Dimensional Paint ). Enjoy your new, old T-shirts 🙂

These are a few that I made. I like dancing a lot so I used silhouette dance cutouts that I printed online with the alphabet stencils. And the white shirt was made using regular alphabet stencils and some designed ones (and the shirt is not for Twitter as a lot people thought).

And of course a Harry Potter themed one shaped like Harry’s scar but filled in with the more famous spells from the Potter-verse 🙂



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