How To Make Your Own Graphic Sweatshirt

When I was in middle school, I filled a notebook with my plans for a graphic t-shirt business. My idea was to have cheeky phrases that played on my then obsession with 1960s and 1970s culture. Think "I'm with Ringo" and "Love Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry" emblazoned on the front and back of shirts. I was ready to go out and buy a dozen shirts, iron-on letters and burn up my mom's iron starting my fledgling business. That lasted all of two days before field hockey season started. Little did I know that fifteen years later, tongue-in-cheek graphic shirts would be the thing. Even though I'm kicking myself for not becoming a fashion mogul at the age of twelve, it's not too late for me to get in on the trend. I started shopping around for different ones, like this one with Monday morning vibes or this one with golden rule or this return to my hippie-loving, '60s middle school obsession. But the one thing that bums me out is that they are all kind of expensive. Or if you do get one that's a decent price, the quality just isn't the same. So what's a girl to do when she wants a graphic sweatshirt and can't find one she loves? Do it herself, of course.

How To Make Your Own Graphic Sweatshirt // a diy fashion project from buttons & blossoms

If you're looking for a really complicated, takes-all-afternoon craft project, this is not for you. This project was as effortless and fun as the sweatshirt itself. Really, the hardest part of the project was deciding what to write on the sweatshirt. I went back and forth for about a week trying to think of just the perfect thing. Which is kind of ridiculous because the whole project all together cost me less than half of every single sweatshirt I'd looked at before.

Here's what you need for the project:

How To Make Your Own Graphic Sweatshirt // all together this project costs $12 and takes about 15 minutes!

a plain sweatshirt (found this $8 one at Target), a felt tip fabric pen, a ruler, straight pins (optional), pencil (optional)

How to make your own graphic sweatshirt:

  1. Before you even get started on the sweatshirt, decide what you're going to write and practice writing it. It's that famous phrase say: practice makes perfect. You'll be able to see what the word looks like and you can get used to writing it evenly. I originally thought I wanted "vacation" written in block letters but ended up hating the way it looked.
  2. Put the sweatshirt on and mark off where you'd roughly like the word or words to go. Usually it will be right around chest level and it's easy to mark that off with two or three straight pins. For lighter colored sweatshirts, you could do this with a pencil.
  3. Lay the sweatshirt out flat then lay the ruler out straight across where you want the bottom of your words to be. This helps make sure the letters are straight across and even.How To Make Your Own Graphic Sweatshirt // a DIY fashion project from buttons & blossoms
  4. Now it's time to use the fabric pen to write whatever you want on your sweatshirt! If you've never use this fabric pen before, you should depress the point a few times on a piece of scrap paper to get the ink flowing. I found my fabric pen to be a little testy: sometimes the ink would get light and I had to work it over on the scrap paper to get it flowing and it would also get little strings on the end that I had to pull off so it wouldn't leave little dots where I didn't want them. But overall it was super easy.
  5. After you're done writing, you'll want to leave it to dry overnight.

How To Make Your Own Graphic Sweatshirt // a DIY fashion project from buttons & blossoms

And that's it! Now you have your very own graphic sweatshirt for a fraction of the price of what you'd pay for it in a store. I've worn mine non-stop since making it and it looks great with everything. I'm already thinking of other words and phrases to put on future sweatshirts. The only limitation is going to be the soon-to-be summer weather. But fall will be here soon enough...