Updated date:

How to Make a Handprint T-Shirt for Mothers Day Gifts

Author:
Homemade Mothers Day Gifts - check 'em out!

Homemade Mothers Day Gifts - check 'em out!

Mothers Day Gifts

It’s that time of year again – for Mothers Day gifts. My mom is no longer with us, so I no longer have to shop for or make gifts for Mothers Day. I wish I did, as I always enjoyed showing my appreciation to my wonderful mother. Now I’m a happy recipient only. I have three grown daughters and nine grandchildren, so I usually make a pretty good “haul” on my special day. Of course, hubby always gives me something, too. If you’re stumped coming up with Mothers Day gift ideas this year, or if you don’t have much extra money lying around, consider some homemade Mothers Day gifts. Honestly, these are usually my favorite types of offerings, and I got one several years ago that I loved, and I still do. It’s a handprint tee shirt. It was given to me back when I had only four grandkids, so I think the family needs to do a more recent version, with all eighteen handprints! If this sounds like a Mothers Day gift you might be interested in, I’ll tell you how to make one. Also, I’m including some other Mothers Day gift ideas you can make by using the same process.


Creative Mothers Day Gifts are easy to make.

Creative Mothers Day Gifts are easy to make.

Creative Mothers Day Gifts

I’ve always appreciated creative Mothers Day gifts. I’m pretty creative myself, so I appreciate that quality in others. Also, I like the idea that my daughters and grandkids went to the trouble and effort to make something for me themselves instead of just going to a store and purchasing something. If you want to make a unique gift for mother or grandmother for Mother’s Day, consider a handprint tee shirt! This is a project that the kids can help with, and it’s also inexpensive. The final project will be not only an apparel item, but also a treasured keepsake.

You can purchase kits for this, but you don’t really need one. These are easy to make if you follow a few basic instructions:

What you’ll need:

A plain tee shirt. White and pastel shades work best.

Poster board or butcher paper.

Different colors of acrylic paints. The kind in the tubes will be more durable than the ones in the bottles, and since they’re thicker, the paint won’t run, so your final project will turn out better. You’ll need a color for each child. Strong, bright colors often work best.

Different colors of permanent paint pens or permanent markers.

Acrylic or Swarovski stones, if you like. The Swarovskies will be more expensive but will maintain their sparkle through many washings.

If you want to add rhinestones, you’ll need E6000 glue. You can find this at craft stores and in the craft section of Walmart.

This is a great craft for kids!

This is a great craft for kids!

How to Make a Handprint Shirt

The first thing you need to do is wash and dry the shirt. Next, place a piece of cardboard inside the shirt and lie it out flat on a table or other work surface. Smooth out any wrinkles, but don’t stretch the material.

Have each child dip their hand in a different color of acrylic paint. Lightly blot the hand on paper towels to remove excess paint. You’ll probably want to experiment a little with the handprints on paper towels before committing them to the shirt to get just the right impression.

Have the kids place their painted handprints on the tee shirt. Allow the shirt to dry overnight in a dry place. You might want to ensure proper drying with the use of a blow dryer.

When the painted handprints are completely dry, write the name of each child in his or her handprint, if you like. Use the paint pens or a black permanent marker for this. You might also want to add the date the shirt was created, or the child’s birth date.

For extra bling, you can use the stones to make rings or bracelets on the handprints of the female children. Just coat the back of the stones with the E600 glue and press them onto the desired location on the shirt. If you’re using very small stones, place a dot of E6000 on the shirt with a toothpick, then press a stone onto each dot. You might find it easier to use a pair of tweezers for placing small stones.

Allow the shirt to dry overnight again, and it’s done!

I have one of these tees that my grandchildren made for me, and I love it! This shirt makes a truly unique gift for Mother’s Day – for mothers and grandmothers!

T shirt designs can include paints, rhinestones, and appliques.

T shirt designs can include paints, rhinestones, and appliques.

You can even use buttons for T shirt designs.

You can even use buttons for T shirt designs.

Decorate a shirt using a combination of glitter paint and rhinestones.

Decorate a shirt using a combination of glitter paint and rhinestones.

If you prefer, use stones only.

If you prefer, use stones only.

T Shirt Designs

If your mom or grandmother already has a handprint shirt, or if you don’t think she’d like one, create some other type of decorated tee shirt. T shirt designs are limited only by your imagination! Use freeform designs, geometric shapes, or specific motifs. You might even want to create an entire scene. If you’re not good at drawing, it doesn’t matter. You can use stencils to create the T shirt designs. In fact, you might not want to use paint at all. Sometimes I use rhinestones by themselves. You might also want to add or use plastic or wooden beads or fabric appliques. All these can be firmly attached with E6000 glue. That stuff is awesome!

Before you commit your T shirt designs to your actual shirts, do some experimenting on paper first. Trace the outline of the shirt onto a piece of posterboard or butcher paper. That way, you’ll be working with the same size area. Draw out the designs on the paper or poster, and experiment with different colors. If you want the colors to really “pop,” test the paint colors against the shirt fabric.

Once your T shirt designs are drawn the way you want them, cut them out and place them on the shirt. If you like, you can trace the outlines of the designs with permanent markers. Just be sure to use markers in the same colors your designs will be.

If you’re using stones only, you’ll need to decide on the designs or spacing of the rhinestones. For this, you can use a small stick of chalk. Just place a tiny chalk mark where you want to place a stone. When you’ve “zeroed in” on the exact location, wipe off the chalk mark and replace it with a dot of glue. Press the stone onto the glue and move on to the next stone.

T shirt designs - supplies:

Decorate flip-flops with rhinestones and/or paint!

Decorate flip-flops with rhinestones and/or paint!

Make a simple blue jeans beach bag.

Make a simple blue jeans beach bag.

Personalized Mothers Day gifts can be practically anything you want.

Personalized Mothers Day gifts can be practically anything you want.

Mothers Day Gift Ideas

The handprint motif and the other T shirt designs I’ve mentioned here aren’t restricted to decorating tee shirts only. You can use the same process to create unique totes, beach bags, and handbags. Really, as long as an item is made of fabric, you can embellish just about anything with paints, beads, and rhinestones! I’ve used beach cover-ups, robes, sundresses, beach bags, blue jeans, shoes, shorts, capris, fabric beach chairs, and pocketbooks.

Personalized gifts are always special, in my opinion. Why be just like everyone else when you can be unique? Use your imagination to come up with some great but inexpensive Mothers Day gift ideas that can be personalized or decorated. Think about what the recipient enjoys. Does she wear flip-flops? If so, add some stones and/or a silk flower to some cheap flip-flops. If she likes the beach, make her a beach bag from a pair of old jeans and add a few stones to give it a little bling. You could do the same thing with a floppy sun hat, a canvas chair, or a simple sundress. Just don’t let your Mothers Day gifts be ordinary!



More gifts for her:

  • Free and Inexpensive Mother's Day Gifts II
    Mothers work extremely hard for their families, and they deserve Mothers Day gifts on their special day, along with some gratitude and recognition. If you want to provide your mom with some great...

Comments

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on March 29, 2010:

Thanks, Sandy!

Sandy Mertens from Wisconsin, USA on March 28, 2010:

A great idea. Love it!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on March 26, 2010:

Glad you liked it, Love!

Loveofnigjht Anderson from Baltimore, Maryland on March 26, 2010:

this is truly a good idea.....thx

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on March 26, 2010:

Audrey, sounds like Bob's list is getting pretty long! lol

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on March 26, 2010:

You're welcome, Jen!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on March 26, 2010:

Glad you liked it, HH!

Audrey Kirchner from Washington on March 26, 2010:

Totally great idea - kids would love doing it! I wonder if I could get Bob to make me one for Mother's Day - it would give him something to work on other than Griffin's 'antics'.

JenDobson27 on March 26, 2010:

Thanks a really cute and simple idea. Thanks for sharing Habee!

Hello, hello, from London, UK on March 26, 2010:

Well that is definitely a super idea. Thank you for an interesting hub.

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on March 26, 2010:

Thank you, dear Maita!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on March 26, 2010:

Yeah, Pam, I'm scared to wear mine! I'm thinking about framing it!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on March 26, 2010:

You can do it, Johnny!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on March 26, 2010:

Hi, Eth! Nice to see you!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on March 26, 2010:

Nope, Sheia - no talent required! lol

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on March 26, 2010:

Jan, the apron is a great idea!

prettydarkhorse from US on March 25, 2010:

easy as that and I like that it is colorful, hmm Mothers Day is again here, nice one habee, Maita

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on March 25, 2010:

Habee, I love things like that. Those shirts are adorable. Its' fun to keep them for years and look at them once they are grown also.

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on March 25, 2010:

Thanks, Bpop!

kowality from Everywhere on March 25, 2010:

Guess what Mom's getting this year? Thanks for giving instructions Habee. I would make a mess for sure.

Ethel Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on March 25, 2010:

What agreat idea Habee

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on March 25, 2010:

I know exactly what you mean, Lily!

sheila b. on March 25, 2010:

I was afraid I'd have to have some painting talent, so I was glad to learn all I need is patience. Great idea to share!

askjanbrass from St. Louis, MO on March 25, 2010:

A handprint T-shirt...what a cute idea! I think I will have the kids make this for their grandma this Mother's Day. I might even have them do this to an apron instead.

breakfastpop on March 25, 2010:

What a great idea. I love it!

Lily Rose from A Coast on March 25, 2010:

That T is so cute! I wish my husband would think to do something like that for me, but it would never happen unless I tell him AND provide him with step-by-step instructions!