How to Design Your Own Kids T Shirt?

I have the world’s most beautiful nephew and in April he turns 3. Donating is always enjoyable for him, because I can find creative and clever presents that keep him busy. I think this year I would give him some activity donation that he can add to his wardrobe, so that’s a special aspect of his appearance.

I found this cool “build your own monster” shirt kit during my early pre-Christmas shopping online. And I love to do this, and it’s so awesome. There were only two reasons I couldn’t get this for my little friend: 1) he is growing so quickly, that I feared he’ll overwhelm the $40 t-shirt before it’s really cool and 2) my sister was pretty sure he’d hate the shirt beast.

So, I decided to make him a set of t-shirts, which are “designing your own robot” and “designing your own dinosaurs,” cheaper and more options. And they’d be far less scary, most importantly!

I started by ordering supplies and made things somewhat on the way, as I did with most DIY projects.

The Materials

I chose to take blank, white t-shirts, and then paint them naturally as cost was a motivator here. My sister and my boyfriend purchased my nephew some tie-dye shirts, and I figured even a fleece dye job looked cool on the finished product.

I also decided to make use of a fabric marker to draw the base animals and to give them a complete set of iron-on accessories. He can mix and match what on that shirt go ears, mouth, caps, and other stupid stuff. The goal was to achieve maximum versatility with everything scaled up.

Again, in this project, Amazon was my dear friend. I finally got everything with Prime Shipping, except organic coloring products. Time = saved

Product Total Cost: $20

Using Natural Dye only

The process of making and using a natural fabric dye might have been most exciting. This is the right amount of enjoyment and unforeseen recompense. Therefore, you’re doing a mess deliberately— what shouldn’t you really love? I opted to dye 4 of five shirts for the final product (s) and to use the lightest / best three.

After a little work on natural dyeing, I gathered and jumped in the materials I had. Once I began, I washed and dried all the shirts just to make the coton less absorptive if they had any left or therapy. Instead, I made an adjustable solution of salt and vinegar (about 4 cups of water, a cup of vinegar, and 1/4 of cup of salt).

I made my 4 dyes next: coffee, beet, turmeric and violet gentian. Coffee dye was only made with coffee grounds (a cup of liquid about a cup of grounds). The turmeric was made by boiling carrots and water on the same pieces in a pot for about 30 minutes, and then adding a turmeric tablespoon and boiling for another 30 minutes. I rendered the beet color with a cup of water to smash 3 tiny beets and to boil. And I just poured in 2 cups of water for the Gentian Violet onto the stove with a teaspoon of the content.


I trusted Noun Project in order to bring these guys to life for essential accessories. A few fast searches have encouraged my nephew to mix and match easily with a variety of hats, ears, mouths and toys. I printed and trimmed the images to determine their match after I constructed a test run based on the dimensional scale of my sketch.

I’m so happy that I did the test run on normal paper, as many of the things turned out to be wrong. The hacks were too large, the mouths were too large, and a few things (the jacket!) were just not working. So, I made notes, changed measurements, and eventually I just printed three pages.

Another barrier! Another obstacle! Printable iron-on switch works only with inkjet printers which are virtually impossible to find today (they melt in laser printers). Running printer? Work printer? Sorry. -Nope. Central printer for FedEx? I was thinking about it a few days before Christmas. Luckily my wondrous sister agreed to receive my iron order for transfers in Houston and print the accessories with her twin jet. I trimmed it all and had the gift under the tree on Christmas morning!


You can try out my ideas any time you want, however, if you really want a good design, I’d suggest heading over to and using their online t shirt printing services. This is mainly because the company offers a single design as well. The company also extends its services to Melbourne, Perth, Sydney for custom t shirt printing. Lastly, the services also cost less then the entire market.

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