Give longer life to your cutest kids shirts

How to make an iron-on from fabric you already have.

When I saw Mike Adamick, local dad and writer, on an afternoon talk show talking about decorating cute shirts for his daughter, I thought it was unlikely I’d learn something new. I mean, I’ve already written about decorating onesies in just about every way I can think of. But behold, Mike taught me yet another technique.

He uses fusible webbing to adhere the fabric of his choice, say a giraffe-shaped piece of floral print, to the shirt he is embellishing.

mike adamick tshirt
Before you panic and think that as a not-so-crafty person you are totally unqualified to purchase something called “fusible webbing”, let me assure you that it’s not such a big deal. Purchase it by the yard at a fabric store, or in a package from Amazon, and it comes with instructions. (Ten bucks for five yards worth on Amazon.) The magic is that you iron it to one piece of fabric, peel off the paper, and then iron it to the other side. Now the two fabrics are adhered. (Keep scrolling for pictures.)

I had cut this guitar from a hipster kid t-shirt that Julian outgrew and tossed it into my “to do something with someday” pile, throwing the rest of the shirt into the rag bag.

Next, I took scissors to the aforementioned fusible webbing cut. To produce a piece exactly the size of the guitar-shaped piece of t-shirt I wanted to use, I placed the fabric on the webbing in order to cut.

Then, I ironed the guitar to the fusible webbing, and let it cool. I had decided that this red long-sleeved polo, bought by my MIL as a Christmas shirt, would be the recipient of our applique.

Then, I peeled off the paper to reveal a ready-to-iron-on applique. I placed the applique on the shirt and ironed.

Now a well-loved shirt has a new life, and a once plain long-sleeved polo shirt has more personality.

Voila! See more inspiration on Mike’s blog.