Easy Fathers Day Shirt Personalized With Your Childs Handprint

Posted on Jun 13, 2012 in Clothes, Do It Yourself, Gift Ideas | 16 comments

Need a simple and inexpensive gift that is special and unique just like Dad for Fathers Day?  These personalized shirts are adorned with your child’s hand print and can be made with things that you already have in your house!  A quick and easy project to do with your kids to show Dad how much you care.

When Fathers Day rolls around I am always at a loss for gift ideas and what the kid’s can give to Dad.  I always want it to be thoughtful, and homemade, but not cost a lot of money.  The hubby isn’t much for getting gifts on holidays, but I like to do something to make him feel special.  For that reason I like to make giving him gifts into a project for the kids, and make it fun for them to make and give.  Last year we created these hand print shirts for him for Fathers Day and he absolutely loved them.  These shirts were so easy to make, and they turned out really neat.  The magic ingredient is a common household product, bleach.

I originally made them for him to wear working around the house, mowing the lawn and such, but he wore them all summer long and wore them proudly, I might add.  He wore them so much that we had to replace one this year!  They are so special because the kids were involved in the process of making them, and their little hand prints are the actual image on each shirt.  The kid’s were not only very proud to give them to Dad, but they are excited when he sports their hand print on any given day.

My son’s hand print is on the gray shirt and my daughters on the black shirt.   I also added a little heart in the palm of each little hand to remind Dad that he is loved!  If you buy Dad a plain colored cotton shirt you can create these with stuff that you already have in your house – so cheap and so easy!  Even my kid’s, who were 2 and 4 last summer, had the attention span to get this project done.

All you will need to create these shirts is:

  • 100% Cotton Shirt In Dad’s Size – I used gray and black (not sure how other colors would turn out after bleach is applied)
  • Contact Paper (from any craft/hardware store)
  • Spray Bottle
  • Exact o Knife & Cutting Board
  • Marker Or Pen
  • Bleach (small amount put into spray bottle)
  • You will need to barrow your little ones hand to make the hand print too

Here is a quick step by step on how to make these shirts:

  1. Gather your supplies and head outside.
  2. Cut a piece of contact paper into a large square.  Trace your child’s hand (or let them if they are old enough) onto the square and draw a small heart in the palm.
  3. Cut out the hand print and the heart in the center using your cutting board and knife.
  4. Decide where you want to position your hand print.  Think about where you want the design on the shirt (make sure the shirt is laying flat and smooth on a hard surface.
  5. Peel the backing off of the contact paper and carefully place the clear contact paper onto the shirt smoothly and firmly (if it is not attached well you will get bleach seeping through onto the hand print design.  You can also put another piece of contact paper on the inside of the shirt to protect the back of the shirt from bleach seeping through (if you are allowing your older kids to spray I would suggest this in case they get a little crazy)
  6. Hang you shirt somewhere outside out of reach of anything that bleach would hurt.  Add some bleach to your spray bottle and spray directly onto the shirt where the contact paper hand design is.  Be careful to not spray too much or it will seep through the shirt to the back and do NOT allow your small kids to spray bleach!  I did this step for the kids.  If you have older kids that understand the dangers of bleach they could help with this step under your supervision.
  7. Let the shirt hang outside for 15 minutes to half an hour.  You will see the bleach starting to work in just a few minutes.
  8. Put the shirt in the washing machine with the contact paper still attached and wash according to the shirt’s directions.
  9. Remove from washer and dry, wrap, and give to Dad for a special Fathers Day gift!

This is what you should get after you are all finished.  A totally unique and very cool shirt for Dad, that his his little one’s hand prints close to his heart.  I picked up our shirts for about $7.00 each (but have seen them between $5 and $10) and had everything else I needed on hand.  You can use any kind of shirt that Dad would like as long as it is 100% cotton.  Try shirtsleeves, polo shirts, long sleeve, or anything Dad would wear.  You can see the difference between using a black and a gray shirt and the different effect the bleach has on them.  it would be fun to experiment with other colored shirts too – but I can’t say for sure what you would get since I have not tried it.  I would imagine it would turn out neat though.

I think these are a really fun alternative to store bought Fathers Day shirts.  They are fun to create and can really be made to fit Dad’s style.  I was so surprised at how much these shirts seemed to mean to my husband and am so pleased that he loves them so much.  Of course, for the kids it was as much fun to make them as it is to see Dad wearing them all summer long.

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16 Comments

  1. This is an awesome idea! I am going to do this for Father’s day – thank you!

  2. I have Self Adhesive paper..is that contact paper?

    • That should work, as long as it adheres well enough to the t-shirt fabric that the bleach doesn’t run underneath of it.

  3. I was just curious why the shirt has to be 100% cotton? Would it work with say a 60% cotton 40% spandex shirt?? I already bought the 60/40 and forgot to check until I already bought them :S

    Thanks!

    • darn – I wish I could say, but I have only tried it on 100% cotton. I can;t imagine the results would be that different, but I really am not sure!

  4. Ok, so I just did the spray part and the shirt is hang drying.
    I may have to do it a few times. Yours looks better and I made ours with both hand prints on one shirt ( green, baseball 3/4 sleeve)

  5. did you wash your two shirts together or separate?

    • together with the contact paper still on them

  6. Do you dry the shirt with the contact paper still on? Mine is in the washer with the contact paper, but I’m scared to put the contact paper in the dryer due to it possibly leaving the sticky on the shirt….

    • I did and there was no sticky mess or problems – I’m sure all brands of contact paper are a little different though

  7. What kind of contact paper did you use? I have done this 4 times now and the bleach bleeds through everytime. My kids are tired of having their hands traced!

  8. I did this tonight with laminating sheets( simply cause I wasn’t going to pay 24 bucks for something im likely to not use again)and it seems to work just as good as contact paper. I also used a red and turquoise shirt. Will post pics for everyone. I am curious to see how the laminating holds up through the wash. Will update!!

  9. I tried this 4 times with contact paper with no luck it kept bleeding and the hands came out looking horrible. I fixed the problem by using freezer paper. You iron it onto the shirt shiny side down and it came out perfect! Also to get a more concentrated design use cardboard on a flat surface outside and spray that way instead on hanging it. I also did it with a 50% cotton and a 90% and it worked fine! Blue turns out white if you do it with a blue shirt!

  10. I can’t wait to try this!

  11. Love love love this but HELP!! I just made 3 of these for my husband for Xmas tomorrow and I got so excited I pulled the contact paper off before I finished reading your directions. Do you think if I wash them now the bleach will run and ruin the hand print? I hope you see this soon and have a very Merry Merry Christmas!!

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