DIY gift project – Be your own clothing designer

Some items in this blog post have been gifted

I’m excited to share a fun project I’ve been playing around with this week. Yes, I’ve been designing my own clothing. I’ve been spending time picking out my favourite photos and choosing my ultimate ‘girl boss’ quotes in order to make a few designs of my own. And that’s because I’ve just discovered a new design website Spreadshirt. It’s a pretty cool site that not only allows you to shop a whole range of designs created by a fabulous community of artists, photographers and creatives, but that also lets you get involved with creating your own designs too. Who can honestly say they designed their own t-shirt? Well, I can, and I’m pretty chuffed with the results.spreadshirt design your own t shirt mug hat gift.jpgI actually stumbled onto the Spreadshirt website because I wanted to create a personalised gift for my husband’s birthday. As an artist and photographer, he doesn’t really like mass-produced styles and would prefer to choose to wear something hand-made or designed by a fellow creative. Which is precisely why I turned to Spreadshirt when I needed to treat him to some clothing for his birthday. Let me explain; once you’ve picked out a basic t-shirt, sweatshirt, bag, hat (or even mug) you can get to work adding your own designs OR browsing the hundreds of designs that other creative folk have added to the design hub.spreadshirt design your own t shirt diy step by step spreadshirt design your own t shirt diy step by step beards

If you upload your designs on Spreadshirt, you can sell them for other people to use on their t-shirts

Yes, there are hundreds of designs, quotes and images that you can add to a simple t-shirt to make it a truly personalised gift. For my first t-shirt, I was certain of the colour (burgundy is one of my husband’s favourite shades) but I was getting a bit of a writer’s block. I couldn’t think what text to add to the t-shirt so I popped open the design gallery and started browsing for inspiration. Once I started, I just couldn’t stop – so many designs were SO good. I played around, adding different images to T-shirts in the design software and fiddling around with changing the colours of different elements of the design. It was really easy to get an idea of what the finished top would look like so I’m confident that I’ve picked a logo he’ll like.spreadshirt design your own t shirt diy step by step camera polaroid spreadshirt design your own t shirt diy step by step camera

Personalising design with different colours or adding text is easy in the design software

Having just returned from a holiday in Yorkshire – where it was all about the steam trains – I decided to pick out a photo that my husband had taken himself and get that printed onto a simple grey t-shirt. I did a bit of photo-editing to create a contrasting black and white image before uploading it into the t-shirt editor. There I had full control of sizing the image and could even add text if I wanted to. I know that my husband will like this design, because the only thing we bought on our holiday was a North Yorkshire Moors Railway top – so having a t-shirt printed that reminds him of the trip will be a your own t shirt diy step by step clour train design your own t shirt diy step by step black and white train spreadshirt design your own t shirt diy step by step train topBut I couldn’t just order treats for him, now could I?! As I was browsing through the vast selection of products available to design, I came across a tote bag. Something to carry all my books and notepads when I’m working out of the office? Yes please! I typed in some text that I’ve wanted to use for ‘something’ for a while now, because it ties in with my cruelty-free ethos; “I just want to drink tea, save animals and take naps” – love it! I discovered that I could change the size, font, colour and position of the text and could instantly see how my new carry-all would turn out. I added it to my basket and with just a few clicks, I’d ordered the lot.spreadshirt design your own t shirt diy step by step ladies spreadshirt design your own t shirt diy step by step toteI can’t wait for the t-shirts and my new canvas tote to arrive, and I am bursting to show hubby the designs I’ve created. Whether they’ll remain a secret until his birthday is yet to be seen (it depends if he spots this blog post, I guess!) but I’ve just had a dispatch notification so I know the order is on it’s way to me now. As soon as they arrive I’ll add photos of the finished items below so that you can see exactly how they turned out.

What do you think of my finished designs? Would you like to create your own t-shirt for yourself? What logo, quote or photo would you choose? Have you already designed a top of your own but just need to get round to making it? Let me know by leaving me a comment below or

Some items in this blog post have been gifted to me and the pink links indicate a gifted product, affiliate link or information source. All thoughts and opinions in this post are based on my own experience and I am not responsible for your experience 🙂


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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

2 thoughts on “DIY gift project – Be your own clothing designer

  1. Same here Laura + they’re a similar price to t-shirts in stores so it’s better to have something individual 🙂

  2. That is such a good idea! My hubby hates chainstore clothing tshirts and loves personalising things so this could be just the thing for him – thanks for recommending it!

    Laura xx | Loved By Laura

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