Be Creative: Dressing up a Tee with Fabric

Elizabeth Kartchner, columnist and member of the Creating Keepsakes Editorial Board, shares creative ways to dress up the basic t-shirt – using leftover scraps of fabric.

Supplies Needed:

• Fabric (scraps work perfectly since you only need a small amount.) If you are heading to a fabric shop you only need a 1/4 of a yard for these projects.

• Thread that matches fabric or clear thread

• Spray Adhesive (any brand you can find at any Craft Supply Store, Walmart, Target, Office Supply because it is not specifically made for fabric)

• Pins

• Sharp Scissors

• Templates of images (I used an Elephant and Cupcake)


The first 2 projects focus on how to use a template to cut an image from fabric.

I used a simple, hand drawn elephant and a cupcake from a die cut. You can use your computer to print off an image or even a simple cookie cutter to trace around.


1. Pin Template to fabric. (For best results have fabric ironed with a layer of white fabric pinned behind it, this helps with durability.)

2. Cut out shape

3. Spray adhesive onto the back of image and press onto shirt. This works as a stabilizer to keep the fabric in place while you sew. If you want your fabric to fray around the edges then don’t spray too much on the edge.

4. Add pins to help secure fabric on shirt

5. Sew with a small straight stitch around the inside of the image.


The next 2 projects are for cutting out images from fabric

I found a pretty flower pattern as well as a spaceship/planet pattern. They work perfect for cutting out and adding to a plain Tee.


1. Cut around the image leaving just enough to sew around. (For best results have fabric ironed with a layer of white fabric pinned behind it, this helps with durability.)

2. Use the spray adhesive to stabilize the two layers of fabric to the shirt.

3. Add pins to help secure fabric onto shirt while stitching.

4. Sew a small, straight stitch around the inside of the image.

I used clear thread for the space ship fabric so you wouldn’t see the thread as well and the spaceship would be the focus. Or on the flower I used a yellow stitch because I liked the added touch of color. Just depends on what you prefer.

I added a simple stitch with embroidery thread and a butterfly & buttons to shirts for an extra touch.

Make a flower pin from die cut pieces of felt, fabric, buttons, and a pin.
Layer the pieces to your liking then add a button and sew onto pin fastener.

Elizabeth Kartchner lives in Pleasant Grover with her husband Collin, and 2 daughters.

Scrapbooking has been part of her life since grade school when Elizabeth came home from 5th grade camp and started cutting up pictures and adding stickers. She has worked for numerous scrapbooking companies such as Close To My Heart, American Crafts, and Rusty Pickle. Last year, Elizabeth won the Scrapbooker of the Year for Creating Keepsakes magazine. She is now on the Creating Keepsake’s Editorial Board where each month you can read her column “Dear Lizzy.” Elizabeth was recently featured as one of Utah Valley’s 50 Most Fabulous People in Utah Valley Magazine.

Catch up Elizabeth’s crazy, everyday moments of being a mom and also creative ideas on her blog at

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