Select Page

Attack the craft stash: embellished t-shirts

Written by editor Nicole Bennett of Gidget Goes Home.

Every year my family loves to catch a couple of Spring Training baseball games. It’s a sign of the changing of the seasons and we all look forward to the sun and to ending our winter baseball fast.

We may live in San Diego county but we bleed Dodger blue in this family. I realized my kids had mostly grown out of last year’s L.A. garb so it was time to make them something new to cheer on our favorite team.

If you’re looking for a more-handmade way to wear your colors, here is a fun way to embellish a t-shirt with a favorite team logo, or really anything you want– letters, numbers, shapes, a name-the sky’s the limit here. It is of course, super fun to make a special birthday shirt for a child in this same manner.

And naturally, this was a great activity for using up some of my craft stash. In fact, I used the same blue fabric and template I used when I made a similar shirt for my oldest daughter two years ago {See, honey? There’s a reason I keep so much in my craft stash!} I also had the Wonder-Under on hand from other old projects as well.

How to embellish a t-shirt with Wonder-Under

1. Gather your supplies:

  • a t-shirt/tank top
  • fabric for embellishment
  • your template (I just found an image online to trace)
  • Pellon Heavy Duty Wonder-Under
  • iron, pressing cloth

2. Trace your image on the back so you have a reverse copy of it. Skip this step if you are using a non-directional shape like a heart, or if you printed yours out already reversed (go you!). Trace it onto the paper side of the Wonder-Under (not the bumpy side).

3. Cut out your shape of Wonder-Under and place it on the wrong side of your embellishment fabric.

4. Use your iron to attach the Wonder-Under to the fabric, paper side up (bumpy side down). You want to press for 5-8 seconds only here (see your Pellon instructions for more details on this). After it’s attached, cut out your shape around the edge of your Wonder-Under.

5. Carefully pull the paper backing off your shape.

6. I like to slide my t-shirt onto the end of ironing board now. Find the center of your shirt, and smooth out the shirt with your iron. Lay our your shape and position it where you want it.

7. You can follow the instructions Pellon gives to iron with a damp cloth, but I actually use a plasticky pressing “cloth”– this thing is a great utility item for your sewing stash (I also use it when I’m hot glueing as the glue peels off it perfectly!). Press evenly on your shape for 10-15 seconds, making sure you cover the whole shape by moving your iron if necessary.

And now it’s time to sit back and admire your handiwork!

I also recommend at this point going all around your shape with a zig-zag stitch to secure it even more and keep it from fraying in the laundry. It adds a cute detail as well (if you look close you might be able to see it in the top photo of this post). I’ll be sure to photograph the finished product when I finish stitching the new ones I just made!

Wonder-Under is so fun to use- I also love to embellish baby onesies with a cute shape of fabric as a baby gift. Have you embellished with Wonder-Under?

Reading Time:

2 minutes





  1. Heather

    This is a great idea, and definitely something that my kids would be excited about!

  2. Lynda @ Rhody Reader

    Love this! So easy! I used Wonder Under (or a similar product) several years ago for a shirt, but since I didn’t have a sewing machine I traced the picture with puffy fabric paint to finish it. A zigzag edge would be nicer…now I need to figure out if I can do that!

  3. Suzi

    GO DODGERS! Sorry, had to…it’s in the blood. 🙂
    Thanks so much for the idea!

  4. stacy Cobb

    This looks awesome! Thanks for the great project idea.

Join thousands of readers
& get Tsh’s free weekly email called
5 Quick Things,

where she shares stuff she either created herself or loved from others. (It can be read in under a minute, pinky-swear.)

It's part of Tsh's popular newsletter called Books & Crannies, where she shares thoughts about the intersection of stories & travel, work & play, faith & questions, and more.