May 24, 2011

10 Ways to Make Clothing Your Own

If you're coming over from Sabra's "Make It Work" series, then welcome!  Today I'm going to give you a run down on 10 of my favorites ways to embellish clothing.

Let's get rolling.  These are in no particular order, but all are easy ways to take clothing from boring to unique.  AND, you don't need a sewing machine for a lot of them.  (Some of the examples pictured use multiple techniques, but the link to the full tutorial of each item is below.)

1) Freezer Paper Stenciling.  This is so fun and addictive.  Whether or not you have a cutting machine (like a Silhouette or Cricut) you can still do this.  All you need is an exacto knife.  For the full video tutorial click HERE

2) Applique.   Whether creating a full design or using existing prints on fabric, applique is a fun way to spice up a shirt or purse.

3) Bleaching/Bleach Pen.   While a bleach pen isn't great for fine detail, and fun and easy for a messy or funky look.  For a full video tutorial on using a bleach pen click HERE.  The bottom picture uses bleach sprayed from a squirt bottle and a freezer paper stencil.  Bleaching is fun and fairly easy, but it does wear the fabric faster. 

4) Embroidering.  I love embroidery floss.  You might have noticed it on several of the shirts above.  It's fun and it's inexpensive.  I especially love it on boy's and men's clothing. 
5) Fabric Markers and Sprays.  Fabric markers are so fun because you can actually just draw right on the shirt.  I love the Tulip ones and they have tons of colors to choose from.  You can also use them with stencils for fun.  The spray paint is also great used with stencils.

6) Iron On Photo Transfer.  Have an old school fettish?  Then you need photo transfers.  Rex fell in love with the Thundercats and I was excited to be able to easily make him a shirt since finding one would have been difficult or expensive.
7) Sewing.  I'm listing this as a different things than appliques because you can sew a lot more than just appliques.  I love embellished tees.  They have add texture and interest to a plain shirt.  You can sew on contrasting fabric.  You can take a long sleeve tee, make it a short sleeve tee, and use the extra fabric to create a fun tone on tone tee.  You can sew on lace, buttons, ruffles, or petals.  The options are endless.

8) Stamping.  You can purchase foam stamps or even make your own.  Then get out your fabric paint and have fun.  This is a great way to create interesting knits.  The shirt that says "Bosco" was made using bubble wrap as a stamp.  It was really fun to make.

9) Small Details.  Sometimes a small, small details can make the clothing.  I bought these vintage name patches and added them to my boys' clothing.  The cardigan below became more interesting after adding some small tabs and buttons to the opening.

10) Heat Press Vinyl.  Once again, you don't really have to have a cutting machine to do this.  Heat press vinyl is pretty cool stuff.  I made the shoes by cutting it with an exacto knife.  The more detailed shirts I made with my Silhouette.  The fun thing is that it can look so professional.

And that's my round up!  Pick a technique you've never tried and go for it.  It's so fun to make it your own.  Thanks for dropping in.  See you tomorrow for Wake Up Wednesday!


  1. Awesome post! Sometimes I forget some of the simple ways to embellish....thanks for lising some great ideas!!

  2. what a inspiring post, cheri!! thanks for sharing!!

  3. Amazing, Cheri! And super cool to see so many projects all together! Thank you, again, and again, and again, for particpating in my little project. You're the best!

  4. These are awesome! Be sure to stop by & link up at MY Favorite Things Party going on all week =D
    Much love,

  5. What great ideas! Thanks for sharing. I will definitely be referencing this post!

  6. Everything is so darn cute! You are the epitome of awesomeness.

  7. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this post!!! And I am going to make those super hero high tops stat!

  8. You've inspired me to drag out all of those Tshirts I've been collecting to "do something with." I love having all of these techniques/ideas in one post! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Great line up Cheri ~ Love it!! And how cute is Rex?!?! He's getting so big!
    p.s. loved the rocks yesterday ~ totally making those!!
    Thanks for continually inspiring us!

  10. Great inspiration!! I linked to your post on Craft Gossip:


  11. Hi there! I'm a new follower ;) Thanks for sharing these ideas; now I know some great ways to make fun t-shirts for summer--for me AND my son :)

  12. I wonder if it's possible to do all of these projects TODAY! They are so darn cute:)

  13. My first time at your site and these are some great ideas! I'll be back often:)

    The Tuckerbag

  14. I reaaly like your tees! I´m writing a post about embellishing tees, and if you don´t mind I will write also about you!
    Come and visit if you want!
    Nice job!

  15. I love that all this info is compiled in one place! Thank you!

    Link back -

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