Fourth of July is coming up so fast! Every year we participate in our community’s parade and so we like to dress a little festive. For the last few years, we’ve made our own t shirts which is super fun. These DIY Fourth of July Shirt Ideas are quick and easy! You can make something for each member of your family in no time!
I only share things I love and think you’ll like too. This post contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase through one of these links, I am compensated. Originally posted July 1, 2014.
DIY Fourth of July Shirts are Awesome!
We make DIY 4th of July shirts every year and each kid gets to make a different one. We don’t spend a bunch of time or money on them, it’s just a really fun way to be patriotic and celebrate in style.
I wouldn’t say I’m the craftiest person in the world so my DIYs are generally really simple and not made to last for a long time. We mostly want to wear something to celebrate the day and be done. Although, my kids typically wear these shirts all summer long.
This post is mostly about the ideas and less about the technique. If you have a better way of making a shirt, leave it in the comments! I love it when my community can help each other!
Both of these 4th of July shirt designs were made with whoever was wearing it in mind. I love that both kids have their own style and I love to encourage them to be who they want.
Of course, the shirts are a mix of red, white and blue (and some black) since those are THE colors of Independence Day.
The boys love this t-shirt tradition so much that I was able to get them to help me make them. These don’t take long to make so it was a perfect summer activity to work on together.
I always head to Target first to pick up some inexpensive blank tshirts. These were both on sale for $5 each. At that price, it’s not that big of a deal if they only wear it once.
But if you hate the idea of a one and done, just keep the shirt around for when they are helping to wash the car or do yard work. And really, it always feels good to celebrate the USA. It doesn’t need to only be worn on the fourth of July!
I LOVED the blue and white tie-dye and thought it was such a great base for a DIY design.
Buy blank T-shirts from Target:
- 2 pack of White Shirts
- 2 pack of Red and Navy Blue Shirts
- 2 pack of Navy and Gray Shirts
- 4 pack of White Hanes Tshirts
And if you want to make your own tie-dye shirt, you can use this kit!
How to Spray Paint a Shirt with a Stencil
So, I’m lazy. I like to look for the easiest way to get something done. Do I sacrifice quality sometimes? Yes. And I’m ok with that. Using spray paint to create a fun custom kids 4th of July shirt makes things totally easy.
I think making this way makes them come out messy and cool. That’s just my style. Thank goodness my skill and style go hand in hand. :)
I made my own stencil since I couldn’t find one that I wanted. To do this I just printed out “USA” from the computer in a nice thick font and then used an Xacto knife to create my own stencil with craft plastic.
But there are a handful of 4th of July Stencils you could by instead of making your own.
- Put a magazine or piece of cardboard inside of the shirt to keep the paint from seeping through.
- Use spray adhesive to stick the stencil to the shirt (don’t overdo it with the spray or you end up with some glue on the shirt when you peel it off!)
- Use the side of a credit card or gift card and rub the edges of the stencil near the inside pieces of the letters. (You want to make sure it is stuck to the shirt well so the paint doesn’t get underneath the stencil.)
- Use a plastic grocery bag and tape to make sure the rest of the shirt is covered and out-of-the-way of the overspray.
- Then I did one pretty heavy spray of the black spray paint over the stencil. (I could have done another coat but I wasn’t too worried about the shirt showing through the letters.)
- I let it dry and then removed the tape, bag and stencil.
I think it turned out really cute! You can see that in some areas the spray paint did seep a little bit but it doesn’t bother me at all. It kind of works with the tie-dye effect. It would stand out way more on a blank t-shirt though.
To get a cleaner look, you can always just use store-bought stencils and special fabric paint to carefully put on your design.
How to Create a Custom Design with an Iron On
For my older son’s DIY 4th of July shirt, we used iron on paper. It’s one of my go-to methods for making our shirts. My son and I first created the flag inspired design on the computer and then printed it out on t-shirt transfer paper that is specifically made for dark color fabrics.
We got our paper at Target but I don’t see it online. (Here is a link to a version on Amazon instead). Then we just followed the instructions on the package. Super simple.
To create our design we used Illustrator but you can even use Word or an online design site like Canva! Canva even has all kinds of cool text and symbols, drawings, clip art and photos.
I love how this one came out and so did my son. They love wearing unique 4th of July t-shirt designs that no one else has!
More unique kid’s activity ideas:
- Kid’s Stencil Artwork so they can decorate their walls.
- Make Fabric Bugs even though it’s not Halloween.
- You don’t have to wait for Christmas to make a Candy Bar Train!
- 10 More DIY Patriotic Shirt ideas from Non Toy Gifts.
Pin These DIY Shirt Ideas for Later
Whether you are making a spray paint tshirt design or using an iron on, these easy DIY Fourth of July shirt ideas are perfect for you and your kids to make together! It’s a fun way to make memories year after year and get them excited for the upcoming holiday by planning out their design.