DIY Vintage Patriotic T-Shirt

DIY Vintage Patriotic T-Shirt

Last year I made some patriotic shirts for Carter and I to wear on the 4th of July using a bleach pen technique. (No, they were not matchy matchy!) This year, for mine, I decided to try my hand at a DIY vintage t-shirt look using fabric paint and… wait for it… plastic wrap!

DIY Vintage T-Shirt - Love US Map cutout

It all started when I saw a cute t-shirt design with LOVE as a cut-out within the United States map outline. Unfortunately I could only find this as a kids t-shirt.


What’s a DIY addict to do? Of course I fired up my Silhouette Cameo and created my own stencil. This stencil would be basic enough to create with a print out and an Xacto knife though. I wanted to get a vintage look, so I tried a new technique through some trial and error.

Supplies (some links go to affiliate links on or other retailers).

  • T-shirt
  • Stencil
  • Fabric paint, matte finish
  • Plastic wrap (I used Glad Press and Seal)
  • cardboard to put in between the layers your t-shirt

First I created my stencil and placed it on my t-shirt.



Next, I tried a few different materials to try to blot on my fabric paint. I remembered an old decorative wall painting technique I read about a long time ago where you use crunched up paper bags to create a crinkle effect. I decided to try a plastic bag squished up first, but then I moved on to the plastic wrap because it created a little more texture. To do this I used a wad of the plastic wrap and dipped it in my paint. I blotted some of the excess paint onto a paper towel before applying to my shirt.


Then I dabbed the paint onto my stencil. At first it looked exactly like sponge painting, which wasn’t quite what I was going for, so I ended up doing 2 coats, letting the paint dry in between.



After letting the paint dry fully, I removed the stencil.Then I washed the shirt inside out as directed with the fabric paint. Voila, a custom vintage looking shirt. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look quite as vintage-y in my picture here. I’ll have to see if I can get it in better lighting when I wear it on the 4th.


Here’s a sneak peak at Carter’s shirt.

USA Rocks Shirt

Have a great 4th of July!

Linked Up At: Whimsy Wednesday; Whatever Goes Wednesday


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