10 Fun & Easy T-Shirt Crafts for Kids

I’m so excited to have Joe Huges from HeatPressReview.com with us today. An expert in DIY crafts, he is here today to share some fun and easy t-shirt crafts that you can do with your children. And these kids crafts are a great way to keep your children entertained on weekends or on summer holidays.

10 Fun & Easy T-Shirt Crafts for Kids
10 Fun & Easy T-Shirt Crafts for Kids

A Guest Post by Joe Hughes from HeatPressReview.com

Crafts are the perfect opportunity to let kids exercise their creative minds while keeping them busy. If you have old t-shirts laying around (who doesn’t?), there are plenty of inexpensive crafts that kids can make. Here are ten of our favorites:

1. Classic Tie Dye

Tie dye t-shirts are so fun and easy to make. Kids will love being able to choose their own color combination, and the folding techniques are so simple, anyone can do it. From start to finish, this is a craft that kids can tackle on their own (with your supervision, of course).

The spiral tie dye is the classic 70s look, and it’s extremely simple to do.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • T-shirt (100% cotton)
  • Tie dye kit (big box and craft stores carry these)
  • Rubber bands (if not included in the kit)
  • Gloves (if not included in the kit)


  1. Pinch the fabric in the center of the t-shirt, and twist into a spiral.
  2. Bind the t-shirt using the rubber bands. The shape should create 6-8 wedge shapes
  3. Apply the dye inside the wedges. Let the kids pick the colors.
  4. Flip the shirt over, and repeat the dye application on the other side.

Tie dye shirts are a fun craft for a rainy afternoon or a party, and the kits come with enough dyes to create several shirts.

2. No-Sew T-Shirt Tote

T-shirt bags are a fun craft for kids because they get the chance to create something they’ll actually use.

It’s important to note that this craft is ideal for kids who are old enough to use a scissor safely.

The great thing about this craft is that it requires just two items, and kids can use old shirts they’ve outgrown. A free craft is always a great craft.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • An old t-shirt
  • A pair of scissors


  1. Cut off the sleeves of the t-shirt.
  2. Cut out the neck of the t-shirt. If using a kids shirt, try cutting below the neckline stitching so that the opening of the bag is large enough to put things in.
  3. Cut fringes at the bottom of the t-shirt. Make sure that both the front and back sides are cut. The fringes should be wide. Remember: the longer the fringe cuts, the shorter the bag will be.
  4. Tie the fringes together to create a bottom “seam” for the bag.
  5. To close the holes between each set of fringes, tie the fringes next to each other as well.

These totes are so fun to make, and kids can choose t-shirts with designs of their favorite characters, movies or colors. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can crochet your own tote to match your t-shirt bag.

3. Scribble T-Shirt

The scribble t-shirt craft lets kids put their artistic talent and imagination to work. And the end result looks like a design fresh off a heat press machine (without having to buy one!).

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • White t-shirt (cotton preferably)
  • Stained Sharpie fabric markers
  • Freezer paper


  1. Start out by creating a stencil for your design. You can have the kids create their own fun designs, or you can create a stencil of their initials to use. Be sure to leave white space around the letter or design.
  2. Cut out the design to create the stencil.
  3. Iron the freezer paper onto the shirt where you want the design to be.
  4. Let the kids go to town scribbling and drawing inside the cut-out shape.
  5. Peel off the freezer paper.
  6. Enjoy!

This is another craft that would be fun for parties. Plus, the Sharpie fabric markers can be used for future projects as well.

4. T-Shirt Bracelets

T-shirt bracelets are a quick, easy and fun craft that requires minimal tools. If the kids are stuck inside on a rainy day, this is one way to keep them occupied while using their creative minds.

And when they’re done creating, they can wear their new bracelets.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Old t-shirts
  • Hot glue gun


  1. Cut the t-shirts into strips. To save you time and sanity, you (mom or dad) may want to tackle this task.
  2. Stretch out each strip so that one end curls over.
  3. Gather several strips (3 to 6) together, and lay them flat on the table.
  4. Using the hot glue gun, attach the strips together (another task for mom and/or dad).
  5. Braid the strips together.
  6. Tie onto wrists to get the size just right.
  7. Trim off any excess fabric.

There should be plenty of fabric leftover to create multiple bracelets. These bracelets would pair well with the O-ring bracelet craft.

5. T-Shirt Dreamcatchers

Make fun and unique dreamcatchers with old t-shirts and a simple embroidery hoop. This craft is even more fun if you have t-shirts with fringes or crochet designs (like the design in this pattern).

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • T-shirt
  • Embroidery hoop
  • Scissors
  • Beads (preferably with larger holes)


  1. Remove the back of the t-shirt. You’ll only need the front for this project.
  2. Loosen the screw at the top of the embroidery hoop, and place the inner hoop under the shirt. Make sure the design you want to preserve is inside of the hoop.
  3. Place the outer hoop over the top, and stretch the fabric into place. Tighten the screw to secure the design in place.
  4. Trim off the bottom seam of the shirt.
  5. Fringe the bottom of the t-shirt into 1/2″ strips.
  6. Trim off any other excess parts of the t-shirt from around the hoop.
  7. String the beads onto the bottom fringes. Tie knots under the beads to keep them in place.

T-shirt dreamcatchers are so fun and inexpensive to make, but they may be better suited for older children.

6. Color Spray Shirts

Want to replicate the look of tie dye shirts without having to fuss around with folding and tying? Color spray shirts are the way to go. Four simple items is all it takes to get the look you want, and you probably have all of them in your home already.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • White cotton t-shirts
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Permanent markers
  • Spray bottle


  1. Fill the spray bottle with rubbing alcohol.
  2. To recreate the tie dye look, have the kids color circles on the shirts with permanent markers. Be sure to use a variety of colors.
  3. Lightly mist the entire shirt with the rubbing alcohol.
  4. Spray heavily on the center of the circles.
  5. Let the shirt air dry.

The alcohol will spread the colors to create a cool tie dye effect. The kids will love watching the colors magically blend and come together. And they’ll love the fact that they did this project on their own.

7. Sponge Painted Shirts

Sponges, paint and t-shirts? What more could kids ask for in a craft? Sponge painted shirts are a simple and fun afternoon craft that lets kids use their imaginations.

Kids can create cool designs by cutting sponges into fun shapes, and you can feel free to use any color shirt you want.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A cotton t-shirt (whichever color the kids prefer)
  • Sponges
  • Fabric paint
  • Disposable bowls
  • Apron
  • Cardboard

This craft can get messy, so make sure the kids wear old clothing and an apron for extra mess protection.


  1. Cut the sponges into whatever shape you or the kids want.
  2. Place a piece of cardboard between the top and bottom layer of the shirt. This extra layer of protection will prevent the paint from soaking through to the other side.
  3. Pour the fabric paint into separate bowls, and make sure the kids are wearing their aprons.
  4. Have the kids dip the sponges in the paint, and press it into the shirt.

It’s important to let the kids create their own designs and have fun with their creation. They’ll love being in charge of their own project.

8. Moon Phase Shirt

The moon phase shirt is a fun and educational craft – the kind we moms love. This Brandy Melville inspired craft will let kids tap into their creativity while learning about the phases of the moon.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A black t-shirt
  • A sponge brush
  • White fabric paint
  • A circle template
  • Freezer paper
  • Scissors or an Exacto knife


The first few steps will require some help from mom and/or dad.

  1. The first step is to create your moon phase template. The simplest way to do that is to arrange four rows of four circles in Paint or a similar program. Print out the template on the freezer paper.
  2. Using the scissors or an Exacto knife, cut out the circles. Save a few of the cut-out circles to use as stencils when creating the moon phases.
  3. Iron on the freezer paper to the shirt.
  4. Using the sponge brush and the cut-out circles as templates, paint each phase of the moon.

It may be fun to teach the kids about each phase of the moon as you move through them to make this a fun but educational experience.

9. Side-Tie Shirts

All kids have shirts that are just too big for them. Maybe they like dad’s old game day shirt, or they picked up a souvenir shirt that was three sizes too big. The side-tie shirt craft allows you to transform oversized shirts into properly-fitting tops.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Measuring tape
  • Chalk
  • Scissors
  • Pins


  1. Start off by having your child wear the shirt, and marking off the desired length with pins. Be sure to mark off the sleeves as well.
  2. Place pins along both sides to create the appropriate width.
  3. Have your child remove the shirt, and mark off the length and sides with chalk. Make the marks in 1-inch increments.
  4. Using the scissors, cut along the chalk lines on the bottom and sides of the shirt.
  5. Next, have your child cut 1-inch wide fringe strips into the side of the shirt to your marked off seam line. Use the chalk lines as guides.
  6. Cut off the sleeve hems, and continue cutting fringes into the bottom of the sleeves.
  7. Cut off the ends of each fringe to create two separate pieces.
  8. Tie each pair of strips to a tight knot.

Kids will love tying the knots in each fringe pair, and creating their own project.

10. T-Shirt Pom Poms

This next craft is ideal for older kids who have a pile of old t-shirts they want to get rid of. While a little more complex, making pom poms is a fun way to repurpose old shirts and use them as decor.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Old t-shirts (one shirt makes one pom pom)
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors


  1. The first step is to create a cardboard template. To do this, you’ll need two round objects (one larger, one smaller). Trace however many circles you need onto the cardboard. You’ll need two circles to create one pom pom.
  2. Cut out the circles, and snip off a portion to create “C” shaped templates.
  3. Cut your shirts into 1/2″ strips.
  4. Place one strip on top of one “C” template, using the strip to trace along the inner circle.
  5. Place the other template on top to sandwich the strip in between the two pieces of cardboard.
  6. Take another fabric strip, and place it along the edge of the template. It should be even with the outer edge.
  7. Wind the strip around the template, making sure to pull tightly so the material stretches.
  8. Once you reach the end of the strip, add another and continue winding. Make sure you overlap the old strip with the new strip to keep it secure.
  9. Repeat until you reach the end of the template.
  10. Add two more layers of strips.
  11. Take the sandwiched strip, pull each end tightly, and wrap them around each other once.
  12. Using one hand to hold the strips in place, cut the fabric along the outer edge of the template. Warning: This step is messy.
  13. Once the strips are cut, pull the string and tie it into a knot.
  14. Remove the templates, and trim off any excess fabric.

While the pom poms craft is a little more complex, it’s a fun, challenging exercise for older kids or even teens.

Do you have a favorite t-shirt craft? Share in the comments below!

Bio: Joe Hughes, known by most as the Heat Press Guru, is an expert in DIY crafts, with a particular focus on utilizing heat press machines to create beautiful, long-lasting creations. He runs the very popular website, https://heatpressreview.com, which provides the latest heat press techniques, tricks, and ideas. He can be reached at Joe@HeatPressReview.com.

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