We started a tradition a few years ago where we make our own flag shirts for the Fourth! It started years ago when the girls were little and now – we try something a little different every year.
Inspired by a shirt design we saw online, Sara and I devised a plan to create this fun DIY look!
Here’s what you need:
- tank or t-shirt (we used mens/boys tanks purchased for $3-4)
- fabric dye (we used Rit Royal Blue)
- paint (we used Apple Barrell craft paint)
- foam brush
- latex gloves
- rectangle pans (2)
- star punch or shape to trace
- masking tape
- spoon or other utensil
Let’s get to it!
1. The first thing you want to do is prepare your dye according to the label instructions. We mixed the dye in the tin pan shown. If you are doing several shirts you may need to refresh your dye at some point. Also- use HOT water for a more vibrant color. You can use a second pan to fill up about 1″ with water and then add a cup of vinegar.
2. Fold shirt in half lengthwise and in half again…so that it fits in the pan. Put your gloves on now if you haven’t already.
3. Gently place shirt in dye so that it immerses just below the arm-hole. Use a spoon to gently immerse and the dye should cover most of the fabric.
4. Let the shirt soak for about 10 minutes. Have someone with clean hands help you and pull the shirt out of the dye- bottom up. Gently wring the excess dye from the shirt. If you want a super neat and white bottom to the shirt…be very cautious during this step. This is where happy accidents happen 🙂
5. Next place the dyed area of the shirt in the vinegar water. And let it saturate the fabric. Repeat the removal process above- clean hands on the white area of the shirt, wringing out the vinegar water.
If you’re doing several shirts – just remove to a place (like the back of a chair) to drip dry and then you can wring them all at once.
6. Throw the shirt into the wash- a short cycle on cold to set the color; dry. The dye WILL bleed even after the vinegar dip…but it lends a more vintage look to the style.
7. Tape off sections of the shirt to make vertical stripes. We made some skinny striped shirts and some wide- it just depends on your taste. Place a piece of cardboard between the shirt layers and apply a coat of red paint. Let dry thoroughly and remove tape.
8. Make a stencil to paint stars through…a heavy card stock will go a few rounds and if you have a punch or craft knife you can make various sizes.
The colors are very vibrant and I love how the blue and red bleeds together.
Here were the first shirts we made years ago with scrapbooking stamps and acrylic paints. So fun. As you can see – they helped.
Last years these were a hit and a fun DIY project for friends that were over on the Fourth.