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How to Make a Handprint T-Shirt for Mothers Day Gifts

Updated on May 6, 2013
Homemade Mothers Day Gifts - check 'em out!
Homemade Mothers Day Gifts - check 'em out! | Source

Mothers Day Gifts

It’s that time of year again – for Mothers Day gifts. My mom is no longer with us, so I no longer have to shop for or make gifts for Mothers Day. I wish I did, as I always enjoyed showing my appreciation to my wonderful mother. Now I’m a happy recipient only. I have three grown daughters and nine grandchildren, so I usually make a pretty good “haul” on my special day. Of course, hubby always gives me something, too. If you’re stumped coming up with Mothers Day gift ideas this year, or if you don’t have much extra money lying around, consider some homemade Mothers Day gifts. Honestly, these are usually my favorite types of offerings, and I got one several years ago that I loved, and I still do. It’s a handprint tee shirt. It was given to me back when I had only four grandkids, so I think the family needs to do a more recent version, with all eighteen handprints! If this sounds like a Mothers Day gift you might be interested in, I’ll tell you how to make one. Also, I’m including some other Mothers Day gift ideas you can make by using the same process.


Creative Mothers Day Gifts are easy to make.
Creative Mothers Day Gifts are easy to make. | Source

Creative Mothers Day Gifts

I’ve always appreciated creative Mothers Day gifts. I’m pretty creative myself, so I appreciate that quality in others. Also, I like the idea that my daughters and grandkids went to the trouble and effort to make something for me themselves instead of just going to a store and purchasing something. If you want to make a unique gift for mother or grandmother for Mother’s Day, consider a handprint tee shirt! This is a project that the kids can help with, and it’s also inexpensive. The final project will be not only an apparel item, but also a treasured keepsake.

You can purchase kits for this, but you don’t really need one. These are easy to make if you follow a few basic instructions:

What you’ll need:

A plain tee shirt. White and pastel shades work best.

Poster board or butcher paper.

Different colors of acrylic paints. The kind in the tubes will be more durable than the ones in the bottles, and since they’re thicker, the paint won’t run, so your final project will turn out better. You’ll need a color for each child. Strong, bright colors often work best.

Different colors of permanent paint pens or permanent markers.

Acrylic or Swarovski stones, if you like. The Swarovskies will be more expensive but will maintain their sparkle through many washings.

If you want to add rhinestones, you’ll need E6000 glue. You can find this at craft stores and in the craft section of Walmart.

This is a great craft for kids!
This is a great craft for kids! | Source

How to Make a Handprint Shirt

The first thing you need to do is wash and dry the shirt. Next, place a piece of cardboard inside the shirt and lie it out flat on a table or other work surface. Smooth out any wrinkles, but don’t stretch the material.

Have each child dip their hand in a different color of acrylic paint. Lightly blot the hand on paper towels to remove excess paint. You’ll probably want to experiment a little with the handprints on paper towels before committing them to the shirt to get just the right impression.

Have the kids place their painted handprints on the tee shirt. Allow the shirt to dry overnight in a dry place. You might want to ensure proper drying with the use of a blow dryer.

When the painted handprints are completely dry, write the name of each child in his or her handprint, if you like. Use the paint pens or a black permanent marker for this. You might also want to add the date the shirt was created, or the child’s birth date.

For extra bling, you can use the stones to make rings or bracelets on the handprints of the female children. Just coat the back of the stones with the E600 glue and press them onto the desired location on the shirt. If you’re using very small stones, place a dot of E6000 on the shirt with a toothpick, then press a stone onto each dot. You might find it easier to use a pair of tweezers for placing small stones.

Allow the shirt to dry overnight again, and it’s done!

I have one of these tees that my grandchildren made for me, and I love it! This shirt makes a truly unique gift for Mother’s Day – for mothers and grandmothers!

T shirt designs can include paints, rhinestones, and appliques.
T shirt designs can include paints, rhinestones, and appliques. | Source
You can even use buttons for T shirt designs.
You can even use buttons for T shirt designs. | Source
Decorate a shirt using a combination of glitter paint and rhinestones.
Decorate a shirt using a combination of glitter paint and rhinestones. | Source
If you prefer, use stones only.
If you prefer, use stones only. | Source

T Shirt Designs

If your mom or grandmother already has a handprint shirt, or if you don’t think she’d like one, create some other type of decorated tee shirt. T shirt designs are limited only by your imagination! Use freeform designs, geometric shapes, or specific motifs. You might even want to create an entire scene. If you’re not good at drawing, it doesn’t matter. You can use stencils to create the T shirt designs. In fact, you might not want to use paint at all. Sometimes I use rhinestones by themselves. You might also want to add or use plastic or wooden beads or fabric appliques. All these can be firmly attached with E6000 glue. That stuff is awesome!

Before you commit your T shirt designs to your actual shirts, do some experimenting on paper first. Trace the outline of the shirt onto a piece of posterboard or butcher paper. That way, you’ll be working with the same size area. Draw out the designs on the paper or poster, and experiment with different colors. If you want the colors to really “pop,” test the paint colors against the shirt fabric.

Once your T shirt designs are drawn the way you want them, cut them out and place them on the shirt. If you like, you can trace the outlines of the designs with permanent markers. Just be sure to use markers in the same colors your designs will be.

If you’re using stones only, you’ll need to decide on the designs or spacing of the rhinestones. For this, you can use a small stick of chalk. Just place a tiny chalk mark where you want to place a stone. When you’ve “zeroed in” on the exact location, wipe off the chalk mark and replace it with a dot of glue. Press the stone onto the glue and move on to the next stone.

Decorate flip-flops with rhinestones and/or paint!
Decorate flip-flops with rhinestones and/or paint! | Source
Make a simple blue jeans beach bag.
Make a simple blue jeans beach bag. | Source
Personalized Mothers Day gifts can be practically anything you want.
Personalized Mothers Day gifts can be practically anything you want. | Source

Mothers Day Gift Ideas

The handprint motif and the other T shirt designs I’ve mentioned here aren’t restricted to decorating tee shirts only. You can use the same process to create unique totes, beach bags, and handbags. Really, as long as an item is made of fabric, you can embellish just about anything with paints, beads, and rhinestones! I’ve used beach cover-ups, robes, sundresses, beach bags, blue jeans, shoes, shorts, capris, fabric beach chairs, and pocketbooks.

Personalized gifts are always special, in my opinion. Why be just like everyone else when you can be unique? Use your imagination to come up with some great but inexpensive Mothers Day gift ideas that can be personalized or decorated. Think about what the recipient enjoys. Does she wear flip-flops? If so, add some stones and/or a silk flower to some cheap flip-flops. If she likes the beach, make her a beach bag from a pair of old jeans and add a few stones to give it a little bling. You could do the same thing with a floppy sun hat, a canvas chair, or a simple sundress. Just don’t let your Mothers Day gifts be ordinary!



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    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, Sandy!

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 8 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      A great idea. Love it!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Glad you liked it, Love!

    • loveofnight profile image

      loveofnight 8 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

      this is truly a good idea.....thx

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Audrey, sounds like Bob's list is getting pretty long! lol

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      You're welcome, Jen!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Glad you liked it, HH!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 8 years ago from Washington

      Totally great idea - kids would love doing it! I wonder if I could get Bob to make me one for Mother's Day - it would give him something to work on other than Griffin's 'antics'.

    • JenDobson27 profile image

      JenDobson27 8 years ago

      Thanks a really cute and simple idea. Thanks for sharing Habee!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 8 years ago from London, UK

      Well that is definitely a super idea. Thank you for an interesting hub.

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Thank you, dear Maita!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Yeah, Pam, I'm scared to wear mine! I'm thinking about framing it!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      You can do it, Johnny!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Hi, Eth! Nice to see you!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Nope, Sheia - no talent required! lol

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Jan, the apron is a great idea!

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 8 years ago from US

      easy as that and I like that it is colorful, hmm Mothers Day is again here, nice one habee, Maita

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 8 years ago from United States

      Habee, I love things like that. Those shirts are adorable. Its' fun to keep them for years and look at them once they are grown also.

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, Bpop!

    • kowality profile image

      kowality 8 years ago from Everywhere

      Guess what Mom's getting this year? Thanks for giving instructions Habee. I would make a mess for sure.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      What agreat idea Habee

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      I know exactly what you mean, Lily!

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 8 years ago

      I was afraid I'd have to have some painting talent, so I was glad to learn all I need is patience. Great idea to share!

    • askjanbrass profile image

      askjanbrass 8 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      A handprint T-shirt...what a cute idea! I think I will have the kids make this for their grandma this Mother's Day. I might even have them do this to an apron instead.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 8 years ago

      What a great idea. I love it!

    • Lily Rose profile image

      Lily Rose 8 years ago from East Coast

      That T is so cute! I wish my husband would think to do something like that for me, but it would never happen unless I tell him AND provide him with step-by-step instructions!

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