Two 4th of July T-Shirt Designs to Celebrate Independence Day!

Updated on July 9, 2018
RTalloni profile image

Robertatalloni means creativity. Whether in writing or in more typical art forms, artistry (and a bit of fun) must be part of the work.

Cascading stars size 3T and 18 months.
Cascading stars size 3T and 18 months. | Source

Make Two Patriotic T-Shirts for Two Sisters!

Although I made these t-shirts for two sisters, the designs would actually work well for kids of any age. Even little children could paint their own with this design and give them as gifts!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
 2 white tee shirts waiting on stars.Gathering supplies.
 2 white tee shirts waiting on stars.
2 white tee shirts waiting on stars. | Source
Gathering supplies.
Gathering supplies. | Source

What You'll Need

  • 2 White T-Shirts: Be sure to get the correct sizes and to wash and dry them before painting. The sizing in the new fabric can prevent the paints from setting correctly.
  • Red, Blue, and Gold Craft/Fabric Paints: I used craft paints for these designs. VirginiaLynne offered a good tip: Putting textile medium into any paint turns it into fabric paint!
  • 3 Paper Plates
  • Paintbrushes: I needed one for fine lines and one for filling in larger areas.
  • Assorted Star-shaped Cookie Cutters
  • Paper: You'll use this to protect your work surface.
  • Paper: You'll need a different type of paper to insert between the front and back of the shirts while you're painting. I just used a sheet of junk mail for these small shirts. You can do the same, but do not use newsprint!
  • New Cardstock: Make sure it's unprinted so you can use it to insert in the shirts for ironing.
  • White Tissue Paper

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Insert junk mail to protect back from paint that might bleed through.Frist stars are bright red.The design was going well until after this point.The effect of the gold stars and gold dots seemed to finish the design at this point.  It was bright and busy, just like the girl who would wear it.  The finished 3T shirt.Close up of the finished design on the 3T shirt.
Insert junk mail to protect back from paint that might bleed through.
Insert junk mail to protect back from paint that might bleed through. | Source
Frist stars are bright red.
Frist stars are bright red. | Source
The design was going well until after this point.
The design was going well until after this point. | Source
Source
Source
The effect of the gold stars and gold dots seemed to finish the design at this point.  It was bright and busy, just like the girl who would wear it.
The effect of the gold stars and gold dots seemed to finish the design at this point. It was bright and busy, just like the girl who would wear it. | Source
The finished 3T shirt.
The finished 3T shirt. | Source
Close up of the finished design on the 3T shirt.
Close up of the finished design on the 3T shirt. | Source

1. A Scattering of Stars

  1. Think through the design you want to paint. It might be helpful to draw it out on paper so you can scale it properly.
  2. Begin by inserting junk mail paper inside the shirt and positioning it where your design will be painted. I painted mine freehand and let it grow as I went along. This was a good thing because I had a paint spill in the middle of the project.
  3. Put red paint on a paper plate and "load" your smallest cookie cutter by using it like a stamp on a stamp pad. I left enough space between the first small stars to fill in around them with the larger cookie cutters.
  4. Began adding blue dots.
  5. When I started to go back in with medium-sized red stars I spilled the paint. Yes, right on that shirt!
  6. I simply used that size star to make solid-colored ones, beginning on the blotched spot.
  7. After the red stars are filled in, use the fine-liner paintbrush to go over the blue stars again.
  8. Begin adding more dots and using gold paint to make small stars. I tried not to make a pattern of them but worked to make sure they were random.
  9. When the gold stars were on the red ones, the shirt called for more gold. Solitary gold stars and gold dots on top of the red and blue ones seemed to finish this project well.
  10. After I hung it to dry, I realized it needed a little more balance with some pizzazz. I added small blue stars to the gold ones which were on the red stars and small blue stars on top of the small red stars until I was satisfied. Thankful, too, that the spill did not have to ruin the project!

I hung the shirt to dry for before the ironing process and went to work on the next tee shirt.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Junk mail inside shirt to protect back side.Red stars cascading down the front of the t-shirt.Beginning to add blue stars.Adding in red dots around blue stars.Gold accents rounded out the design very nicely.The design is bright and happy, but not too busy for such a little one.Close up of the design.The sister's shirts are similar, yet enough different to be suitable for their ages.
Junk mail inside shirt to protect back side.
Junk mail inside shirt to protect back side. | Source
Red stars cascading down the front of the t-shirt.
Red stars cascading down the front of the t-shirt. | Source
Beginning to add blue stars.
Beginning to add blue stars. | Source
Adding in red dots around blue stars.
Adding in red dots around blue stars. | Source
Gold accents rounded out the design very nicely.
Gold accents rounded out the design very nicely. | Source
The design is bright and happy, but not too busy for such a little one.
The design is bright and happy, but not too busy for such a little one. | Source
Close up of the design.
Close up of the design. | Source
The sister's shirts are similar, yet enough different to be suitable for their ages.
The sister's shirts are similar, yet enough different to be suitable for their ages. | Source

2. Bold and Beautiful Stars

  1. Again, think your design through ahead of time, even if you want to have a random look for the finished project. Consider how the colors will work together and how you want the design scaled.
  2. As with the 3T shirt, I put the junk mail in place to protect the back of the shirt in case paint bleeds through the front.
  3. Using the star and paint on a paper plate like a stamp and stamp pad again, I arranged red stars, leaving enough room to add the same size in blue.
  4. I began filling out the design by adding blue stars and red dots.

After this one dried, it was time to finish both projects.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Placing the tissue paper over the paint.Sliding the card stock inside the shirt.Pressing the paint so that it flattens out and sets up.
Placing the tissue paper over the paint.
Placing the tissue paper over the paint. | Source
Sliding the card stock inside the shirt.
Sliding the card stock inside the shirt. | Source
Pressing the paint so that it flattens out and sets up.
Pressing the paint so that it flattens out and sets up. | Source

Make Sure to Finish the 4th of July Shirts With This Step!

The craft paint I used is permanent on porous items, but on clothing, it needs to be steam ironed to set it correctly before washing. Even so, washing by hand in cold water is a good idea for these intense colors.

  1. Put a clean piece of cardstock paper under the design inside the shirt.
  2. Heat the iron to the steam setting.
  3. Put white tissue paper over the painted areas.
  4. Steam iron the shirts in sections for 60-second intervals. Press well, and do not hurry. The paint needs time to flatten and set up.
  5. I went over my designs twice.
  6. Peel tissue paper off when the design is ironed well.
  7. Take the card stock out of the t-shirt.
  8. Hang the shirt up to cool and dry for an hour or so.
  9. Check to make sure the paint is not tacky before folding it for gift giving.

Is this a design you would like to use?

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How to Paint Tee Shirts:

Questions & Answers

    What do you think of this simple patriotic project?

    Submit a Comment

    • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR

      RTalloni 

      3 years ago from the short journey

      ezzly:

      Thank you for popping in to check out these kid's t-shirt ideas for patriotic holidays. With flag day around the corner you might decide to design some similar projects!

    • ezzly profile image

      ezzly 

      3 years ago

      Wonderful hub and very appropriate for the coming weeks, July 4th is just around the corner ! Voted up , awesome and sharing on twitter :)

    • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR

      RTalloni 

      4 years ago from the short journey

      Denise Handlon:

      Thanks much for your your feedback here! I'm trying to remember to mention that when we design and paint tees for little ones and they out grow them, the tees can be made into throw pillows, or at least throw pillow covers. Probably need to do a hub on that, but it won't be soon…

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      4 years ago from North Carolina

      Oh boy! I know many little girls who would LOVE this splash of stars across their shirts. Great job with the directions here. :)

    • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR

      RTalloni 

      4 years ago from the short journey

      CraftytotheCore:

      No doubt, tee shirts are a beloved garment and there is money in them 'thar hills, as they say ;), but making special ones for special little ones can't be beat. Thanks for checking out this craft hub!

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 

      4 years ago

      This is such a cute idea. I used to try to buy my children matching July 4 outfits when they were smaller because they are only a year apart. Boy and girl. This would have been such a handy guide for me for making them their own matching shirts. T-shirts are such a huge commodity in my area. There is a new screenprinting place that opened up and is really making a ton of money.

    • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR

      RTalloni 

      6 years ago from the short journey

      So glad you enjoyed seeing this hub--thanks for letting me know the tips are helpful!

    • lezsaysit profile image

      lezsaysit 

      6 years ago from New York, NY

      I love crafts and these are some great tips!

    • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR

      RTalloni 

      6 years ago from the short journey

      Snurre:

      Thanks for letting me know this is helpful. It is a neat craft, and so easy to personalize. I hope you get to paint a t-shirt again some time. Have fun designing and painting it!

    • Snurre profile image

      Snurre 

      6 years ago

      This is a really informative hub. I painted a T-shirt once and it was great. Can't think why I forgot to do it again. Loved the detailed instructions. Thanks for posting.

    • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR

      RTalloni 

      6 years ago from the short journey

      Jamie Brock:

      Thanks bunches for letting me know you liked the projects. I wish the pictures did them justice, but anyone who uses the same design will see how the gold makes them pop. So appreciate your input!

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 

      6 years ago from Texas

      These shirts are super cute for the 4th! I like the pattern a lot. Thank you for the how-to and for all of the wonderful photos. Now off to see the brother and sister shirts. Voting up!

    • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR

      RTalloni 

      6 years ago from the short journey

      MsDora:

      Yes, these are fun projects. Thank you for taking a look at these 5th of July tee shirts and for leaving your input on them!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      6 years ago from The Caribbean

      So creative and I'm sure its fun too. Thanks for sharing. Voted useful and beautiful!

    • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR

      RTalloni 

      6 years ago from the short journey

      The Dirt Farmer:

      It is easy--they are a guaranteed to please project!

      Thanks for letting me know you like the hub.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 

      6 years ago from United States

      You make it look so easy! Great hub.

    • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR

      RTalloni 

      6 years ago from the short journey

      Giselle Maine:

      Thanks very much. You made my day by saying the 3T looks like fireworks. :) So appreciate your input on these shirt projects!

    • profile image

      Giselle Maine 

      6 years ago

      This is beautiful! The design on the 3T shirt looks just like fireworks! I really loved this hub on making 4th of july T-shirts.

    • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR

      RTalloni 

      6 years ago from the short journey

      Pollyannalana:

      Thank you for stopping in. These two hubs on painting sets of patriotic t-shirts have been fun to do.

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 

      6 years ago from US

      Wow this is great, thanks!

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