I don’t usually make holiday-specific clothing for my kids, outside of Christmas pajamas. But I’ve had an idea in my head for two years now, and when I explained it to my boys, the two younger ones thought it was genius. The older boy said, “Um, no offense, by no thanks.” So I made some masculine Valentine shirts for my more supportive children.
I used Ottobre Let it Be shirt from 6/2010 to upcycle a couple of thrifted men’s army-colored tees. Then I slapped on my little homemade graphic. The graphic is a soldier silhouette shooting a cupid’s boy and arrow, with the phrase “Soldier of Love”. Get it? Well, I thought it was clever.
I’ve had Eddie Vedder’s Soldier of Love running through my head for two weeks while I’ve been planning these tees. There are a few other Soldier of Love songs out there, but I love me some Eddie. And I think he’d approve of the thrifted tee thing.
First download the graphic. I’ve put two images on the PDF, one with text, and one without. They are on Craftsy and the links are affiliate links. The images are free. You have to have a Craftsy account, but it’s also free, and it’s cool because you can store any patterns you get from Craftsy there on your account, rather than on your computer.
Anyway, graphics, they are HERE
To use the images, you have a few choices. You can use a freezer paper method, where you trace the image onto freezer paper, cut out the stencil, iron it onto the fabric, and paint it in. You can do a screen print method like HERE. Or, what I did, use Transfer Artist Paper, or TAP (affiliate link. I love this stuff!). I’m going to go over the TAP method.
Print your graphic onto the TAP as a mirror image. On my printer, the option is “T-Shirt Transfer”. You want to insert the TAP into the printer so that the waxy side will be printed on.
You can either leave the image as is, or cut close to the graphic. Leaving it as is will create a sort of white “shadow” border around the graphic, like here:
Cutting around will minimize that. Pick your poison.
As you are ironing, the paper will start to take on a really slight discoloring as it adheres. If you cut close to the image, you will also notice that the ink will start to show up at the edges on the fabric.
Pull the paper up slowly. If it sticks, lay it back down in place and iron some more. It should come off pretty easily. If it doesn’t, it’s not done and you’ll get a distressed look if you keep pulling it off.
And that’s it!
You can also use the graphics to make cards. Toss in a plastic “army guy” and some candy, and you’ve got a legit Valentine.