Summer T-Shirt Ideas

Posted by on July 30, 2013 in Crafts, T-Shirt Ideas | 22 comments

Summer T-Shirt Ideas

Summer T-Shirt Ideas!

There are so many ways to make fun summer t-shirts! Summer is the perfect time to do many of these ideas outside!  No mess to clean up inside! I’ve included 10+  Summer T-Shirt Ideas. Most of them are kid friendly! It is a good way to reuse a stained shirt and make it new again! Most work best if done outside, however, some ideas require less mess and are fine to do inside. So, don’t limit these ideas to just summer! (or to just t-shirts)

Summer T-Shirt Ideas

1. Tie Dye

This is old, but there are so many ways you can do it depending on how it is tied! Experiment with two primary colors and see how they mix to form a different color. There is an excellent site for ways to tie the shirt to create unique patterns here.

Tie Dye Swirl Shrt #1


Another design  for a  Tie Dye Heart is here

Don’t forget you can do hats, shoes, pants, pillow cases, etc.

t-shirt ideas

We made these shirts and hats using premixed dye. The kids loved the way they turned out!


2.Tie Dye with Permanent Markers

This is an easy method and turns out different every time. This one can be done indoors!

Create a special design like this….

Tie Dye with Permanent Markers

Or mix colors together to create this….

Tie Dye with Permanent Markers


Complete directions are found on an earlier post of mine here.


3. Bleach Techniques

Here are some ideas using bleach. The first one is using a bleach pen.

Bleach Pen T-shirt tutorial

Directions for the bleached shirt above are found here at The Trendy Treehouse

Another technique is what I used for our 4th of July shirts. The idea is easily varied to do with any theme. It uses bleach solution in a spray bottle. With proper supervision, it is easy for kids to do.

DIY 4th of July t-shirts

All instructions are found on an earlier post  here

Red star stamps were added after the bleach technique.

4. Taped and Painted Techniques

By applying painters tape or duct tape, areas of a t-shirt are blocked off and open areas are painted.

4th of July Flag t-shirts

This was the method we used for a 4th of July t-shirt, but any color can be applied for a great look! Place tape diagonally, criss-cross, vertically or a combination of all for a unique look! Dab paint with sponge brushes into areas that are left uncovered. Use a variety of colors or stick to a few! Your choice!

Hint: If you have lots of acrylic paints, just add Folk Art Textile Medium to your paints to make them permanent on fabrics! No need to buy fabric paints.


5. Stamped

I love the way they use foam stickers to stamp this shirt. This opens up a multitude of possibilities. Check it out!

Use stamps made from corrugated cardboard as seen in the bleach technique. Stamp with fruit, veggies, etc. The possibilities are endless!


6. Glue Batik Techniques

Elementary kids can do this and come up with a unique shirt using glue and paints!

7. Coloring Book T-Shirt

This is a great idea for another t-shirt project. This can be permanently colored or by using washable markers, it can be repeated over and over with each washing! An adult or older child needs to do the first part, however.


Go to for complete instructions here.

8. Sand Paper Printed


Complete instructions are found on

9. Sun Printing Technique

This technique is a bit more involved, but certainly turns out interesting! This was used on a piece of material, but is able to be done on a t-shirt as well.



Finished sun printed piece


Go to for complete instructions.

This technique requires use of

Jacquard Dye-Na-Flow Fabric Colors

  which is available through Dick Blick Art Supplies ( happens to be a sponsor of mine and ,yes, I get a little bit from them, perhaps a cup of coffee! Ha! Thanks!).

Order through their site here….

When doing a T-shirt, do one side at a time and be sure that you put something in between so the colors don’t bleed to the other side.

10. Stenciling Technique


 Complete instructions are found at

I have also used sponge brushes to use with stencils. Just make sure you don’t have too much paint on them!

10+  Here’s the “+”

(Remember, I said 10+?)

This next technique uses a product called Design Dye. You cut out a design from their special colored paper and iron it on to fabric. Only the color remains. The design you cut is removable and able to be used over and over again! This gives you all sorts of possibilities of making your own uniquely designed shirts, bags, napkins and pillows (just to name a few). It even works on wood!

Design Dye, Design Dye, crafts, art, material, silkscreen, t-shirts, scrapbooking

There is no mess with this product. All you need is scissors and an iron!  By overlapping a design, the colors blend together! The kit comes with pre-cut letters, too! You won’t want to throw a scrap away as every little bit can be used!

I made a simple butterfly design and found that I could easily do it three times at least. It was easier to adhere the design together before ironing. The colors were better that way. The color variation is due to how long you keep the iron on it. I liked the variations so kept it that way. Remember to always use fresh tissue as the color bleeds on it and by reusing it, you’ll get some color where you don’t want it. Making some special onesies for a baby shower would make a great gift!.  Use white or a light colors with this product for the best outcome.

Design Dye Butterfly

Check out this technique here at Design Dye!  

Now comes the creative part!

All these Summer T-shirt Ideas can be combined. Combine the bleach technique with the stencil or stamping! Combine the crayon technique with the bleached shirt! OR… Combine the Tie Dye with a stencil! Combine the bleach technique on light colors with the Design Dye. You see, there are endless ways to make your shirt unique! Hope this gives you some great summer t-shirt ideas to try on your own! Don’t limit them to just summer as many can be done indoors year round.

All of these same ideas would be great on a bag, pillow case, hat or skirt or whatever!

Now, off to the thrift store to find some items to make new again!

Which one will you try?

Have fun!

Phyllis (Oma)

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This post is linked to these fabulous parties….


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  1. Very cute idea! Thank you for sharing this post at City of Creative Dream’s City of Links last Friday! I appreciate you taking the time to party with me. Hope to see you again this week 🙂

  2. I love the coloring book t-shirts! What a fun way to get a unique shirt that looks great. Thank you for linking at the In and Out of the Kitchen Link Party. Hope to see you again next week.

  3. The idea for the coloring book t-shirt is just brilliant and one that I might have to set up! Thank you for sharing at Tell Me About It Tuesday.

  4. Thanks for the list. These t-shirt ideas are really cute.

  5. I love this list! We have painted t-shirts at many of our parties and it is one of my daughter’s favorite things to do. There are lots of new ideas for us to try. Pinning this! Thanks for sharing,

    • Thank you for pinning! Have fun!

  6. These are AWESOME! I will definitely be using a couple of them to “cover up” some stains:)

  7. We love these ideas! Congrats on being in the Feature Friday Post! You rock! Great job and thanks for linking it up in the Bowdabra Crafty Showcase! Check out the new linky!

    Have a super week,
    Susie @Bowdabra

  8. What a great idea to do with the family. Thanks so much for sharing your craft idea at “The Saturday Spotlight party”!
    Have a great weekend and hope to see you at this weeks party!


  9. What a fun collection of idea. I’m going to let my children pick one to try. Thanks for sharing at Inspire Us Thursday at Organized 31.

  10. Fun collection!

  11. So many cute ideas! I’ll have to share this with my sister to do with her kids.
    Thanks for sharing at Tuesdays with a Twist. There’s a Giveaway link today!
    Come on over and share a new post!

  12. awesome ideas I have thought about making tees for our family trip in october thank you for offering more ideas
    come see us at

    • Thanks and I’ll stop by!

  13. Great ideas! Thanks for sharing this on Waste Not Want Not Wednesday, I’ve pinned it 🙂

  14. Great, fun ideas for tees. I love this post. Thank you! 😀

  15. what a wonderful round up of ideas! oh, the possibilities.
    pinning this, so I can come back for more inspiration. Thank you for the terrific ideas!
    (popping over from 123Homeschool4Me)

  16. Visiting from What To Do Weekends- wow, what a fun post!! Love all your ideas. The kiddos (big and small) would love these. I did not know there are bleach pens. Thanks for all these inspirational ideas 🙂

  17. What fun ideas to do with the kids this summer! Thanks for linking up this post to The Weekend re-Treat Link Party on The Best Blog Recipes!

    Pinned your post to my Link Party Recipe Board while I was here tonight too!


    • Thanks for pinning!

  18. Really cute ideas!

  19. Thank you for featuring this post on your blog!


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