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Paint a T-Shirt for a Valentines Day Gift: Holiday Project 1

Updated on May 7, 2016
RTalloni profile image

Robertatalloni means creativity. Whether in writing, or in more typical art forms, artistry (and a bit of fun) must be part of the work.

Painted Tee Shirt for Valentines Day
Painted Tee Shirt for Valentines Day | Source

A T-Shirt is the Perfect Canvas for Painting a Valentine’s Day Design

No matter the season, making up grandchildren’s packages is always fun. Valentine's Day is certainly no exception and a painted t-shirt is a neat way to send OXOXOs. For play time or nap time a snuggly t-shirt can send a loving message to your special little one.

It's delightful to buy gifts that we know they will enjoy, and sending quality toothpaste is a good idea when we send sweet treats, but when I can tuck in something I’ve made especially for them I feel like I have reached out across the miles and given them a real hug.

This holiday is a great time to say "I love you" to family and friends through a thoughtful gift so I'm sharing the first of my painted Valentine’s Day t-shirt projects here and launching a short hub series on similar projects.

If you have a special little girl in your life, like one of my precious granddaughters, you also might enjoy adding an easy-to-make personalized gift to her Valentine’s Day package. Paint a girl’s t-shirt and create a smile! ♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡

A Sweetheart of a T-Shirt Embellished with Paint for a Precious Little Girl's Valentines Day Gift

The first step in the project is to obtain a t-shirt suitable for the craft in the correct size. What a shame it would be to go to all that trouble only to find it will not fit the girl you designed it for!

It seems obvious to say that the t-shirt you choose should have no commercial embellishment, however, that may not always run true. A screen print design might be such that you would want to add to it, as well as an embroidered design.

In this case I found a blank t-shirt with a tiny little heart pocket on the front. That one petite pocket inspired several potential ideas so I decided to let my choice of paint help focus my thoughts on one design.


Non-Toxic FabricMate Dye Ink Markers are supple, yet sturdy with a solid tip base.
Non-Toxic FabricMate Dye Ink Markers are supple, yet sturdy with a solid tip base. | Source

So Many New Paint Products to Use on a T-Shirt--How to Decide?!

One of the reasons I like to start a new project is because it drives me to the store and the web to take a look at new paint products. That’s a lot of fun all by itself! New colors, new tools, new methods--what a wonderful dilemma!

Deciding to use paint pens was not an easy decision because having tried it in the past I found it difficult to manage the pens on stretchy t-shirt fabric. However, the appeal of FabricMate Dye Ink Markers won the day as these dye pens have a solid but flexible tip and they do not require heat setting.


The heart shaped pocket seemed to grow embellishments!
The heart shaped pocket seemed to grow embellishments! | Source
Layering color was a matter of not adding a new color to the first too soon, yet not letting it dry out too much.  With a little practice it was easy.
Layering color was a matter of not adding a new color to the first too soon, yet not letting it dry out too much. With a little practice it was easy. | Source
Embellished Valentine's Day Heart on a Tiny T-Shirt.
Embellished Valentine's Day Heart on a Tiny T-Shirt. | Source

Designing an Embellishment for a Little Girl’s Valentines Day Gift T-Shirt

This pale pink girl's t-shirt seemed to call for a vibrant pink and red design. As you look at the picture of my project let your mind wander outside the box and think about what you would have done differently.

With a neon pink Q T PI on the pocket a flourish of curlicues seemed to want to grow right out of it, as if happy seeds had been planted in it. Using red to highlight most of the design and some black to highlight the letters and symbol for pi played up the pocket nicely.

Project Tips:

• Before beginning your project wash and dry t-shirt using no fabric softener.

• A word about the color black. This color can be your best friend for a project like this. Using a fine tipped marker to barely outline small sections of a design with black can make it pop. It took me a while to become convinced of this fact, but there’s no getting around it. No other color does the job like black.

• Slide a sheet of card stock paper inside the shirt before beginning to draw and paint your design so that the paints and/or dyes do not bleed through to the opposite side.

• Let paints and/or dyes dry before adding colors or you may get unexpected blends of color.

• Designs can be drawn onto the shirts or created free hand. When placing the "Q T Pie" begin by centering the T in the area (pocket in this case), then adding the Q and Pi symbol on each side.


Imagination is your best creative resource!
Imagination is your best creative resource! | Source

Want to Paint a T-Shirt for a Little Girl, but You Need Help with How To Plan the Design?

Check out this list of inspiration points:

• Old craft books from your library or new ones from the store.

• Beautifully printed fabrics.

• Framed art designs.

• Posters and greeting cards.

• Web Images

However, there are two really important reasons not to copy other artist’s work and I mention them here in order of their importance--it is unethical and it is illegal. Work ethically and you won't have to worry about the legalities. Besides that, you want to create something that is unique for your little girl!

Trust your creative instinct. Don’t be afraid to experiment on an old t-shirt before you begin your project. Take the time to practice with the paint you choose to use. Don’t let a supposed mistake deter your work, just work it into your design. Most of all, enjoy the process and have fun.

Oh yes! Take pictures so you can make your own "How To Paint a Valentine's Day T-Shirt" hub (and be sure to let me know so I can link it here).


Do you paint tee shirts as a creative outlet?

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Any Time can be a Great Time to Make a Painted T-Shirt Gift!

Dye Sticks for Painting a T-Shirt:

Use Fabric Crayons!

❥ Have You Ever Painted A T-Shirt To Use As A Gift?

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    • PageC profile image

      PageC 5 years ago

      Excellent hub. I've done Holiday shirts and they were lots of fun. What a great idea for a Valentine's gift.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Thanks much, PageC. These are fun projects--hope you get to enjoy the craft again. :)

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      This is such a great, simple Valentine's Day project! Thanks for including so many photos.

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 5 years ago

      Totally neat idea. What a way to show love with the care you put in designing the shirt yourself. Rated up.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey


      Thank's much for stopping by and letting me hear from you!

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