Growing kids can drive parents crazy. Instead of spending a fortune on a sundress that will likely turn into a tight shirt in less than one year, make a customized t-shirt dress. Girls clothing does not have to make parents cringe when they see the price tag. Enjoy summer fun, and enjoy a DIY project that you only need a few basics to make fabulous.

plain shirt

What You Need

You can have a pretty short shopping list for snazzy new t-shirt dresses. However, it is important to invest in fabric paint instead of the regular stuff. You can find special paint at your local craft store.

The basics include:

  • A plain white t-shirt long enough to be a dress
  • Fabric paint
  • Two different paintbrushes
  • Parchment paper
  • A large plastic bag
  • Newspaper
  • An iron and ironing board

How to Make the Dress

Sketch a few cute ideas on paper before painting the dress. First, cover the workspace with newspaper to avoid mess. Place the plastic bag inside the t-shirt so the colors do not bleed through. Carefully paint your design, or have your little ones paint their own designs. Let the paint dry for about an hour, and replace the plastic with the parchment paper. Iron both sides of the t-shirt dress, and voila! You have just created a cute dress that your little girl can grow out of in no time and later wear as a regular t-shirt.

Tips for Kids and Crafters

Make a simple t-shirt dress more glamorous by investing in a few new accessories. Abstract t-shirt dress art by a 5-year old can look more polished when colorful leggings, cute hair barrettes, and sparkly shoes are purchased to complete the look for the first day of school. An adult can draw clear patterns for special events or write names in pencil or paint them in light yellow, and kids over the age of 6 can usually follow the pattern without getting frustrated.

When creating gifts, adults should start painting with the lightest colors first so the paint does not look mucky. Also, adults can use more than two brushes if desired. Using a different brush for every color can streamline the process when painting t-shirts or t-shirt dresses for an entire gaggle of little girls for an upcoming birthday bash.

Wash t-shirt dresses with extra glitter by hand to make them last longer. Additionally, wash t-shirt dresses with glitter in the wash once by themselves before mixing them with other items. No one wants glittery business shirts.

Take the Pain Out of Growing Pains

Growing girls do not need to hurt your wallet. Teach your little fashionista how to make a customized t-shirt dress for the summer and first part of the school year. Have fun with fashion, and only worry about purchasing new leggings when the ones you bought last week have a few grass stains and come up to your girl’s knees. New shoe purchases are inevitable, but that’s just the way it is. Invest in a few staple items of clothing for growing girls, and inform other parents in the most casual way possible that one cute t-shirt dress only cost an hour of family fun.