How to customise your existing clothing with uplifting slogans

If ever there was a time for a motivational slogan tee, it’s now. Obviously, I’m not going to the shops to buy one, but that doesn’t stop me from making one (or two!) at home. Here’s how to customise your t-shirt with an uplifting slogan…

STEP 1 CHOOSE THE PHRASE

I listened to the BBC Radio Suffolk community sing-a-long at the start of lockdown and the first song they sang was Que Sera Sera by Doris Day, which means ‘what will be, will be’. I remember my mum singing this to me as a child so I thought it was the perfect uplifting slogan to print on my t-shirt.

You could choose any motivational slogan or lyrics from a favourite song:

  • You are my sunshine
  • Somewhere over the rainbow
  • Enjoy the little things
  • Warrior not worrier
  • Hello Spring
  • Be kind
  • Happy mind, happy life
  • High fives for good vibes

2 CHOOSE YOUR CLOTHING

If you’ve already got a plain or patterned t-shirt or sweatshirt in your drawers that you no longer wear you could customise it and turn it into something you’ll love by adding your favourite slogan. I rummaged in my wardrobe to pull out some clothing that I’d previously got from my local Barnardo’s charity shop and set to work creating my design. I don’t mind having a go at upcycling charity shop finds because I haven’t had to spend out too much on them in the first place – the sale rail is a great place to find upcycle-able pieces.

Before…
…After

3 CHOOSE YOUR METHOD

You can add a slogan to your clothing in three ways:

  1. You could use fabric pens or fabric paint to free-hand the slogan onto the t-shirt. I would recommend using a vanishing fabric marker (used in dressmaking) to sketch out the design before going in with the pens or paint. Depending on the type of vanishing pen you get, the ink either vanishes in the air or washes away.
  2. You could use t-shirt transfer paper that can be ironed onto your clothing. You can print any design from your computer onto the paper and then cut it out and iron it on, following the instructions on the pack. Just make sure that you’re printing onto a pale coloured t-shirt so that the design is visible – or buy a pack or printer transfer paper that’s especially for darker t-shirts.
  3. You could cut out the text from heat-transfer vinyl, either with a cutting machine or a cutting mat and craft knife. Then all you need to do is stick the vinyl to the t-shirt using a heat press or iron, following the instructions on the pack.

4 CHOOSE THE FONT

When you are using heat-transfer vinyl or t-shirt transfer paper, you can use any font you like for your slogan, as the printer will replicate it perfectly. Just don’t forget to print it back-to-front if the transfer instructions require it! I picked a favourite swirly font and wrote out the phrase Que Sera Sera on the Canva computer programme that enables me to send the design to my Brother ScanNCut machine to cut out the text from the vinyl. If you’re going to be cutting the font out by hand, you might want to use a simple blocky font to make the cutting process easier.

5 CHOOSE THE COLOUR

I bought a rainbow pack of heat-transfer vinyl from Amazon and, of course, you can use any colour of ink from your printer if you’re using iron-on t-shirt transfer paper. I decided to use a bubblegum pink to contrast with the monochrome striped finish of my t-shirt (and match my hair!) but you could use any colour you like; a bright sunny yellow perhaps? A metallic-finish vinyl? Neon?

6 CUSTOMISE YOUR CLOTHING

Now all you need to do is print or cut out your slogan and use heat to transfer it onto your t-shirt or sweatshirt. Once the message is stuck to the fabric you can peel away the backing sheet and reveal your newly upcycled item. Wear it with pride, knowing that you made it yourself and that no-one else in the world has the same uplifting slogan t-shirt as you!

Let me know if you have a go at making your own customised tee and I’d love to know what slogan you’ve chosen so please leave me a comment below 🙂

PIN IT FOR LATER


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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.

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