DIY for Kids: Make a Custom Handprint T-Shirt for Father’s Day

For father’s day this year, forget purchasing a mass-produced gift at the store and instead help your kids to make a fun and personalized gift. This project is suitable for children of all ages including babies, toddlers, and older children.

Materials Needed:

1. Blank t-shirt in color of your choice. Be sure to get a size that will fit dad. Check Old Navy or Target for good basic t-shirts in a variety of colors.
2. Fabric paints. Select your favorite colors, but be sure to purchase paints that will NOT wash off. Available at local craft stores.
3. Fine tip fabric paint. Select a fine tip fabric paint pen for writing. Available at local craft stores.
4. Paper plates.
5. Newspaper.

How to Make a Father’s Day Custom Handprint T-Shirt

1. Spread the newspaper over your entire working surface and the floor below. This step is important because fabric paints are very difficult to remove from carpeting if spilled. You may also want to change the kids into play clothes for this project.

2. Decide on a design for the handprint t-shirt. You can do random patterns or choose to create a special design. You may also want each child to create his or her own special custom handprint shirt for dad. Or, you can combine all the handprints onto one shirt.

3. Pour a small amount of fabric paint onto a paper plate. Add one fabric paint color per paper paint.

4. Flatten the t-shirt onto the working surface. I suggest adding protective paper in between the layers of the t-shirt to prevent the fabric paint from leeching into the backside of the shirt.

5. Have your child spread enough fabric paint onto his or hand to ensure a good impression on the t-shirt. Be careful that your child does not have too much paint or the handprint will not be crisp.

6. Press your child’s hand onto the t-shirt in a random pattern or a special design. Older children can handle this step without assistance, but babies and toddlers will need your help to make a clean hand impression. Be sure to press each finger down onto the t-shirt.

7. Use the fine tip fabric paint to write a special message. Remember to include the child’s name, date, and age.

8. Let the shirt dry per the recommended instructions on the fabric paints. You’ll most likely need to keep the shirt drying flat for at least 24 hours so find a good hiding place!

9. Wrap the t-shirt in festive father’s day wrapping paper and surprise him this father’s day with a fun and unique custom handprint t-shirt.

Custom Handprint T-Shirt Design Ideas for Father’s Day

Make a pirate skull shape. Purchase a solid black t-shirt and use white fabric paint. Draw out a pirate skull ahead of time for reference. Have your child overlap handprints to create the skull outline on the shirt. This design idea is a great one for older children.

Make a patriotic t-shirt. Purchase a solid white t-shirt and use red and blue fabric paints. Your children can create a pattern with their hands to simulate exploding fireworks.

Make a moose t-shirt. Purchase your favorite color of t-shirt. Use one color of fabric paint and have your child press their left hand and right hand a few inches apart and slightly angled outwards. Use the fine tip fabric paint to draw the moose head under the handprint antlers.