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With Memorial Day around the corner, I wanted to share how to make these easy DIY Patriotic t-shirts with your kids. You can also use them for 4th of July!

I made these shirts with my four boys last year, and I love the way they turned out. They wore them to our local Memorial Day Parade.

I usually buy Patriotic shirts for them to wear and you can find a ton of shirts for $5 or less at Old Navy, Walmart, Kohl’s and many other places. The benefit to making them, is the hand-print keepsake you will have after and the fun involved in crafting with your kids.

What you need:

  • White T-shirts
  • Blue & Red Fabric Paint
  • Paint Sponge (The sponge makes it easier to make straight lines)
  • Paper Bag or cardboard to place inside the shirt while you are painting.


  • Place the paper bag or cardboard in the t-shirt.
  • Paint your child’s hand with the blue paint. Make sure the entire hand is well covered. I used a paper plate and dipped my kids hand in the paint, I think painting the hand would be less messy.
  • Press the hand in the upper left chest area of the shirt. Press down hard to get a good hand print with fingers spread.
  • Finish by painting the red stripes. Using a sponge paint tool instead of a brush for easy straight lines. Let dry. Approximately 30 minutes to an hour.

Remember the great thing about DIY, is it does not have to be perfect. It will look great on, and the cuteness of the hand-print will help overlook any imperfections.

My youngest was not even one and so it was a little difficult when it came to placing his hand on the shirt, then he ended up grabbing the shirt with his painted hand so I ended up washing the first attempt of his hand-print in the sink. Then I traced his hand with pencil on the shirt and painted in his hand-print. You could still see my oops when up close but it was still cute and festive.

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Read my post on the importance of reflecting on Memorial Day.


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