Cute DIY Handprint Flag T-Shirts
These cute shirts have been a fun, family tradition for Independence Day Celebrations. We used to buy matching shirts for Fourth of July fun, but these became a fun and memorable way to dress for the occasion!
What is even better is that these have ended up being cheaper than any sets of matching shirts we could find. We made these shirts for less than $3 each. We found many of the supplies on sale, but even without a sale these DIY handprint flag shirts may cost less than any patriotic shirts you can find.
Here’s the supplies and approximate costs at nationwide craft stores:
- T-shirts in plain colors – white is best (and cool on a hot July day!). These can be found for about $3.50 each at most national craft stores, or less with a sale or the common 40% off coupon.
- Foam brushes for $0.10-$0.25 each.
- Fabric paint in red and blue. You can also grab clear or white sparkle for finishing touches. Fabric paint runs between $0.77-$1.29 each in Walmart and nationwide craft stores.
- Cardboard for the form to put the t-shirt around (free from home).
- Optional: If you want to make stars on the handprints, you can get a foam star stamp for about $0.25.
Here’s how to make your Handprint Flag T-Shirts:
1. Form each t-shirt around a cut piece of cardboard. Secure the shirt in the back with tape and pull the sleeves together and tape them down so they aren’t loose and flapping all over. You want the shirt to be snug and secure so your prints and paints don’t get messed up.
2. Have your kids wash their hands – you don’t want dirty prints!
3. Next, simply paint their hand with the foam brushes with the blue paint – it is the left hand you are painting. You want the paint thick – not like painting a wall. I often fill in spots that look more bare with more paint. I find it best to “pat” it on instead of brushing it.
4. Have them relax their hand and let you do the work of placing it exactly where you want it on the t-shirt. Press the hand down.
5. Press down on each joint and the palm so the paint will “peel” off their hands and onto the t-shirt. The more you press, the more paint will get onto the t-shirt.
6. To remove their hand, use your other hand to push against the shirt to pull it off their painted hand. It sticks just a tad. You don’t want smudges and accidental touch of a painted finger or hand anywhere else…. it does NOT come of clothing! It comes off skin super, super easy with a bit of soap and water, but not clothes. So mistakes will be unforgivable.
7. Have them wash their hand, as a loose hand with paint can wreak havoc around the home or the clothes they are wearing! I am always surprised how easily it washes off skin when it is made to not come out of clothing.
8. Paint the flag stripes using the tip of the foam brush. T-shirts don’t really allow you to make “strokes,” you really just have to dab the lines across. You might want to practice first on an old piece of fabric so you know what to expect with this part – again, mistakes are unforgivable. I just eyeball it, which means the stripes are not perfect at all, but fun and rustic.
9. You can leave it just like this – which is really cute – but you could aslo add some extra flourish by using the sparkle to make stars. If you want to do this step, you need to let this first round of paint dry completely (usually a couple of hours).
You will be able to wash the t-shirt as you normally would once it is completely dry! Enjoy your easy, affordable, cute and memorable creation!