Patriotic T-shirt Makeover

patriotic tshirt makeover

Independence day for our family is probably different from most of you.  My husband grew up selling fireworks every year with his family, and we’ve taken on the tradition.  Our family runs 3 different locations.  The 4th of July is one of our busiest selling days.  We usually miss the big fireworks show.  Not that we don’t make up for it later.  We have a big barbecue and invite everyone who helped us sell to light off some of the leftover fireworks.  But, the one thing my kids do love to do every year is go to the little parade we have here.  I always try to have all 3 kids dress patriotic.

After I did the “Love” t-shirt makeover, I’ve been wanting to try more.  The other day, I had a fun idea for a Patriotic t-shirt. Here’s what I came up with:

patriotic tshirt makeover 3

Here’s what you need:
patriotic tshirt makeover supplies

A white t-shirt
An old red t-shirt
An old pair of jeans
Something to make the stars (I used Silhouette white heat transfer, you could probably also use a white fabric marker to draw the stars.)
Fusible Fabric interfacing (just a small square. I only used it for the jeans)
Freezer Paper

The first thing you need to do is cut the strips of Freezer Paper. You need four. Two that are 4” x 1” and two that are 8 1/2” x 1”. When you have those cut out, then iron them on to the outside of your t-shirt.  Make sure the freezer paper is shiny side down.  It’s hard to photograph white on white.   I didn’t measure or anything, I just eye-balled the placement.  The cool thing about shirts like this is they are meant to look a little shabby, so perfection doesn’t matter as much.

patriotic tshirt makeover step 1

After the freezer paper is ironed on, cut out a slightly larger square of the red t-shirt and pin it on the inside of the shirt.

patriotic tshirt makeover step 2

Turn the shirt right side out and stitch around the freezer paper.  If the freezer paper starts to peel up, just iron it back on. I used red thread, but if you’re worried about mistakes showing up, you can totally use white. When you’re done, just peel off the freezer paper.

patriotic tshirt makeover step 3

After you’ve stitched around all four rectangles, turn the shirt inside out again and trim the excess red.

patriotic tshirt makeover step 4

Then turn turn the shirt right side out and cut out the stripes. Just make sure you’re only cutting the white and not the red underneath.

patriotic tshirt makeover step 5

Now for the jeans and stars.  Cut out a square that is 4 1/4” x (slightly over) 2 1/2” .
patriotic tshirt makeover step 6

If you’re using the silhouette, cut out and iron on the heat transfer stars.  If you’re using fabric markers, draw the stars on.  Iron the fusible fabric interfacing onto the back of the jean square. Then, iron the jean square onto the shirt.  I don’t have pictures from that part. Sorry! I was getting excited to see this finished!

When the square is in place and ironed on, stitch around the square. I’m hoping that after lots of washing, the edges will fray a little bit.

Patriotic tshirt makeover step 7

And that’s it! You’re finished and all ready for the 4th of July!! This is a really simple afternoon or naptime project.

patriotic tshirt makeover 2


  1. says

    I love your t-shirt…so creative! Such a cute little model too :) I’m pinning this to my All Star Block Party feature board on Pinterest. Thank you for linking up with us.

    All Star Block Party

  2. says

    What a cute idea for a shirt… I actually “pinned” this it’s so cute…

    Thank you for linking up to the ALL STARS BLOCK PARTY!!!


  3. says

    SO CUTE! I love that you made a shirt for a little boy that looks SO awesome; hard to do! Thanks for sharing on Saturday Show & Tell at Cheerios and Lattes last weekend! We love having you join us and hope to see you again this weekend! See you soon!
    Mackenzie :)

  4. says

    You are so creative! I love that shirt! I’ll be added this project to my list of to do’s! I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. Please stop by to check it out :)

  5. says

    I love how the stripes are sew on from behind and the t-shirt is cut away. It creates an awesome look. Great Job! Thanks for sharing at Terrific Tuesdays.

  6. says

    Shatzi!! That is AWESOME!!!!!!!!! LOVE IT!!! Really I do!!

    Thank you so very much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream to Reality! :)

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