Cute-ify your T ~ I {heart} my State

Freezer paper stenciling is probably one of the easiest ways to make a shirt your own, and customize it to your liking.  Really, the sky is the limit with what you can create.
I really love the heart embellishment too.  It’s representation is two-fold; not only your love for your state, but where your love is…in the city with your family and friends!
We live right in the {heart} of California, which I love!
Within a few hours we can travel to San Francisco, Los Angeles,
or the gorgeous Pacific Ocean
Where do you live?  Let’s get started so you can make your own…

A prewashed T shirt
Freezer Paper
Exacto knife
Fabric Paint & Paint brush
Adhesive backed crystals and heat setting tool (click here for more heart options)


1.  Begin by googling “silhouette of {your state}”  Mine of course is California and the best one I could find was here. Print out the picture, making sure the scale is good for your shirt size
UPDATE: Shannon gave me this link for the states, or any country for that matter….
2.  Place your freezer paper shiny side down over the image and trace the outer edges.  Using your exacto knife, carefully cut out the image.
3.  Place the freezer paper {shiny side down} centered on the shirt.  Press.  Do not iron!  Press and hold the iron down for about 5 seconds in each spot until all the edges are adhered.
4.  Place a piece of cardboard or another piece of freezer paper between the two shirt layers so the paint does not bleed thru.  Take your fabric paint and paint the edges keeping the brush strokes towards the center of the shirt.  In other words, be careful on the edges so the paper does not lift.  Once dry, paint another layer.
5.  Let dry for at least 4 hours.  Remove paper by just peeling it off to reveal your favorite state!  Heat set the paint by placing a tea towel or other scrap fabric over the painted area and press.
6. Find your approximate location on the state.  Take your crystals and heat set tool and arrange your heart by eye.  OPTION:  Instead of using the crystals you can use the state shape that you cut out. Cut out a heart on the state shape, then iron it back onto the shirt and just paint in the heart with a different color fabric paint.  Easy!  Click HERE for more heart options
And oh, so cute.  You will get lot’s of
“Oohh, I want one… where did you get that?”  with these shirts
Have fun!  And post to flickr when you make one  :)
You can see a similar version from
Emily at The Boy Trifecta .  She made this cute Ohio one for her little munchkin

Online Sewing Class

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  1. says

    Oh my Goodness, I love it!! California and the T! I’ve had freezer paper sitting in my closet for over 6 months. I think this just might be the project that finally brings it out of hiding. Thank you for all the great step by step photos.

  2. says

    Thanks for linking to mine! :)

    I love these, and am actually getting ready to stencil another for a friend. Also, seems like “local” is really big right now, so these are a hit with my hipster friends, all of whom are much cooler than me! :)

  3. says

    Let us know how well the embellishments hold up, I’ve been eyeballing those tools at the craft store but I have a bedazzler, which I didn’t like because the metal will rust and get all over the shirt. Not cool.

  4. says

    Oh my- this is SO cute! I want to make a California one too! Thanks so much for the great idea, I’ll be linking.

  5. says

    Have you had luck with the crystals staying on? I did a bunch on a pair of my daughter’s pants and within one wash *poof*. I think I’ll stick with the paint-a-heart method until I figure out what I’m doing wrong with those crystals! Now to convince my husband to move to a state with a prettier outline, lol. (We’re in Colorado. Maybe I need to get creative with some mountains?) Thanks for sharing this with us!

  6. says

    That is PRECIOUS!! I love that idea!! I know some kids that may just need to have one of those :) I started a linky party called “Handmade Tuesdays.” I feature a tutorial first and then I have a linky at the bottom where you can link up your tutorials :)

  7. says

    this is cute. i was wanting to make a jack-o-lantern shirt for my halloween costume and this would be a perfect way.
    -Cate from Random Crafty Georgia Girl

  8. says

    So happy to see you at A Crafty Soiree! That is a great idea and I think the rhinestone heart really kicks it up a notch into super fabulousness! We used to live outside of San Fran and oh how I miss it! Thanks for sharing this terrific no sew tshirt makeover, looking forward to seeing you next time too:)


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