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Turn a T-Shirt Into Wall Art

Updated on June 15, 2013

T-shirts have become one of the great art forms. Want to convey something sarcastic? Put it on a t-shirt. Want to show off your artwork? Put it on a t-shirt. What happens when the t-shirt no longer fits your needs, or just plain no longer fits?

Several of my favorite t-shirts, including my Giant Squid shirt shown here, are too big to wear regularly, so I'm turning them into wall art for my studio.

It's a fun way to show off shirts that no longer fit. Can you imagine a bunch of these in a kids' room?

All you need to get started is a form to attach your shirt, a staple gun, scissors, and of course, a t-shirt. The one shown here cost me $0.78!

Find a form to fit

I hemmed and hawed over what to do with this particular t-shirt. I almost turned it into a tote bag, but then I thought it would make neat wall art for my SquidWall. I was going to turn this wood frame into a serving tray but didn't think it would be safe with the open slats. With my luck, I'd drop the edge of my coffee mug through a slat and spend the next hour cleaning the carpet on the staircase!

I decided it was nearly perfect to use for a frame for this particular t-shirt.

Find a frame

This pack of canvas frames is all you need to get started with an awesome t-shirt display.

Smooth your shirt over the frame

To add a bit of padding, I left the t-shirt intact while placing it over the frame. I set it on top, arranged it to the proper angle, smoothed it out, and gently pressed over and around the edges.

I cut the excess t-shirt off, about two inches from the frame, then gently pressed my fingers around the long edges and flipped the project.

Trim the botton layer of shirt

Since I left the back of the shirt for padding, but didn't want bulk as I wrapped the shirt around the frame, I trimmed it before stapling the shirt. If you can slide the edge of the frame over the edge of your work surface, it is easier to cut closer to the frame without shifting the shirt or cutting the top layer (which, remember, is on the bottom when your artwork is upside-down).

Start with the corners

Start by pulling your corners into your frame and stapling them. This will help reduce bulk in the corners.

Need a great staple gun?

The Stanley Sharpshooter lightweight staple gun is adequate for household projects. It has a safety clasp, is simple to load, unload, and reload, and it's easy to find replacement staples and brads that fit.

Fold up the rest of the corners

Finesse (like that fancy word?) the shirt over the corners of the frame so they line up as close to the edge as possible. This creates tidy corners.

Staple around the inside of the frame

After stapling the corners I started with the middle of each side, then stapled in the middle of the frame between the center staple and edge, and so on. Basically, start in the middle, then in the middle of each space you create. This keeps your shirt evenly spaced around the frame.

That's it! So easy!

That's it! So easy!
That's it! So easy!

Which shirts will you transform?

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    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 5 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Cool craft!

    • auntjennie profile image

      Jen 5 years ago from Canada

      I love this idea. Thanks for sharing.

    • Close2Art LM profile image

      Close2Art LM 5 years ago

      very cool and creative, Blessed, love it!