Make A Personalized T-Shirt Design {Pirate Style}

My son wanted a Pirate T-Shirt for his birthday. Having just seen this this re-purposing t-shirt post by Ashely over at Make It and Love It and I was inspired and was prepared to give it a go. It would be fun, right?!?! :-) The day before I was about to start the project I found a perfect plain baseball styled t-shirt for $3 bucks at a local store. That saved me a lot of time and now all I had to do was add the pirate. I realized I applied my design differently than Ashley did (it is about half way down her post), so I will show you what I did, too. It is a super cute and fun idea!

My son was beyond excited about his new shirt! Kind of makes me want to make him some more. ;-)

What You Need:

  • 2 t-shirts (pre-washed) – 1 in will be the main t-shirt to put the design on and the other will be the scrap t-shirt which you cut the design out of (can be an old shirt/another size).
  • Paper
  • Sewing machine (or needle and thread)
  • Iron
  • Iron-on adhesive (I used Heat-n-Bond Lite)


Step 1:Decide on the design you want to have on your shirt. You want to aim for a silhouette look (one solid piece/not a lot of small pieces). Draw or search for images on the Internet that can be enlarged in a word document and printed. I am not talented enough to draw things other than doodles, but my mom is and she was awesome enough to sketch out the pirate design! I also recommend choosing something a little thicker than my pirate patch straps. Those had a hard time being sewn on.

Step 2: The iron-on adhesive has paper on one side and the adhesive on the other. Place the design/drawing under the side of the adhesive with no paper on it. Trace your design with a dark marker on the paper attached to the adhesive.

Step 3: Follow the directions for your iron-on adhesive and with the iron apply the adhesive to your “scrap t-shirt” (not the shirt you actually want your child to wear).

Step 4: Leave the paper attached to the adhesive/shirt and cut out your design. Remove the paper once your design is completely cut out.

Step 5: Flip over your design so the adhesive is now down and layout it out on the main t-shirt where you would like it to be permanently. Iron the design again securing it permanently to the t-shirt. You may want to use a light cloth between the iron and the t-shirt during this final process. I always seem to get the adhesive stuck to the iron which makes a mess later or if I use a paper towel (instead of a cloth) it gets stuck to the design (which is not pretty!).

Step 6: Finally secure your design in place by zigzag stitching around the entire design.

Step 7: Sit back and enjoy your child’s excitement about their new shirt! To see how excited my son was about my silly creation really made my month!

I attempted to get nice picture of the shirt just after he put it on. I could not get him to stand still or give me a happy face, to which he replied “Mom, Pirates are supposed to be mean!” lol Gotta love 5 year-olds!


I am linking up to these parties!

About Michelle (AKA Fun On A Dime Lady)

Michelle is the creator of Fun On A Dime where she shares her ideas for having simple and affordable fun through crafts, tips, recipes, games and so much more. She lives in the sunny valley of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, 3 busy kiddos (ages 7, 5 and 8 months) and equally energized dog!


  1. That’s super cute! I made a birthday shirt for my little boy last week using freezer paper and fabric paint. Easy and inexpensive. Here’s the tutorial I used:

  2. Awesome! He definitely seems to be enjoying his new shirt! I absolutely love your blog!
    I’ve nominated you for a blog award here

  3. You were featured at Today’s Top 20! WOo HOO!


  4. This is soo adorable! I made a similar one for my little guy’s Valentine Birthday.. Pirates rock! Hope you will share with my Pink Hippo Party @

  5. Wow! The pirate shirt is sooooo cute. Your son looks so adorable in the shirt. I think I will also make my 4 year old son a pirate’s shirt so he can wear it on my nephews birthday party. Thanks for sharing your great printing idea.

Speak Your Mind


Hide me
Sign up below to keep getting fun ideas, games and craft ideas right to your inbox!
Subscribe to our mailing list * indicates required First Name Email Address * Last Name
Show me
Check Google Page Rank Disclosure Policy