High School…College Alma Mater…Summer Camp….Football…Baseball….Cheerleading….Concerts…
The list seems endless, as does the collection of T-shirts we have accumulated due to our apparently very busy lives.
So how many T-shirts can four people actually own and wear? Certainly not the 50 or so I currently had spread out on my living room floor!
What To Do?
I thought about making one of those cool T-shirt quilts you see floating around Pinterest for everyone in the family. But, I don’t sew and I don’t have $100 to drop on each quilt to be made.
Back to my problem: How can I preserve and display the important shirts instead of just shoving them back in a drawer for another 5-10 years?
The answer is the same way you’d preserve and display anything else in your home – you frame it!
Preserving Precious Memories
Creating DIY T-shirt display frames means taking the shirts out of a drawer and putting them up on your walls! It adds a warm and personal touch to any room, by combining texture and important pieces of your family’s lives into actual wall art.
Once you start making these, it’s hard to stop. They are inexpensive and easy to make.
Dad can decorate his man cave with his favorite sports teams. Grandma will love wall art featuring the grandkids’ hand prints and you will love preserving those adorable shirts your babies wore before they started talking back to you!
Dig out those shirts and let’s get crafting!
How to Make T-Shirt Display Frames (Tutorials)
Level of Difficulty: Medium
Time Required: 1 hour or less
Things You Will Need:
- T-shirt with interesting prints (I used one of my child’s old T-Shirts)
- Method 1 – Artist’s canvas (Size will depend on the size of the shirt you choose)
- Method 2 – Wooden picture frame (Size will depend on the size of the shirt you choose – some craft stores sell adjustable wooden frames)
- Stapler and staples (The bigger the better)
Method 1: Using the Artist’s Canvas
Step 1. Decide on the orientation of your t shirt frame art–whether it should be portrait or landscape. (This will depend on the orientation of the print on your T-shirt.)
Step 2. Cut around the print, make sure that it can cover the entire canvas and has at least an inch allowance that will extend to the back. You can always cut off excess fabric but you can’t add it back if you cut off too much!
Pro Tip – You want your design to be centered in order to look the best, so choose your canvas size appropriately.
Step 3. Stretch the shirt around the entire canvas.
Pro Tip – Double check to make sure your design hasn’t shifted off center during the stretching and stapling process. It’s easier to adjust it at the beginning rather than once you’ve stapled all the edges down!
Step 4. Staple the edges to the back of the canvas.
Step 5. Hang your beautiful creation! You can add hanging wire while stapling to make it easier to hang.
Method 2: Using the Picture Frame
Step 1. Similar to what was done in Method # 1, gauge how big you need to cut based on the size of the picture frame and whether you want it to appear in landscape or portrait orientation.
Step 2. Then cut around the print, but leave an allowance of at least one inch in excess of your design.
Step 3. Remove the wooden board from the frame. Stretch the fabric and staple one side to the back of the board.
Pro Tip: You might want to use a smaller stapler and smaller staples, as the included board tends to be thin and not very sturdy. Personally, I prefer to invest in a piece of foam board cut to size and use that as my stapling surface instead of the board included with the frame.
Step 4. Continue until you have secured all sides. Once again – before you get too far along in the process you’ll want to make sure your design hasn’t shifted off center during the stretching and stapling.
Step 5. Return the shirt-covered board back inside the frame. You might find that you need to trim the fabric in the back in order to ensure it fits well inside the frame and looks neater in the back.
Step 6. Mount or display your t-shirt display frame creation!
If you ever find yourself drowning in excess T-shirts and contemplating what to do with them all – now you know! By creating t-shirt displays you can literally capture the years for your children and their lives.
Follow them through schools, sports teams, activities, first jobs, and all of their achievements:
- Remember that soccer season where Junior spent the entire season picking flowers while the team played around him?
- What about that family reunion a few years back?
- Who could forget the three days your oldest spent working at the fast food joint before declaring themselves a vegetarian?
Share the Memories
Mementos and memories are made to be shared – not stored in drawers or boxes waiting to be pulled out on occasion. I only wish my Mom had thought to hold on to my keepsakes so I could share my memories with my children this way.
Now that you know what to do, dig those shirts out the drawers and start crafting! In fact, this is the perfect opportunity to retire Dad’s ratty, old Van Halen concert shirt to his man cave for good.
Have fun with this one and let us know how your creations turn out.