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How to make a family t-shirt


We’re not suggesting you don matching neon orange shirts and head to the amusement park. We’re talking about creating much more tasteful tops, which can make a fun style statement and give your kids a sense of unity and family pride. Here are a few simple ways to make your own non-dorky family t-shirts.

Girl with tie dyed shirtMake tie-dyed family t-shirts for a holiday

Red, white and blue tie-dye shirts are perfect for Memorial Day and Fourth of July celebrations.

What you’ll need:

  • One white cotton t-shirt for each family member
  • Fabric dye
  • Soda ash
  • Plastic gloves
  • Rubber bands
  • Plastic tub
  • One zip-top plastic bag for each shirt
  • One plastic squirt-top bottle for each dye color
  • Plastic table cloth or garbage bags and tape
  • Bowl of soapy water


  1. Cover your work surface with a plastic tablecloth or garbage bags, taped securely in place.
  2. Soak shirts in water.
  3. Place rubber bands on shirt in desired pattern.
  4. Dissolve soda ash in a tub of water and soak shirts for 20 minutes.
  5. Fill squirt-top bottles with dye.
  6. Squirt dye onto shirt.
  7. Place dyed shirts in a zip-top plastic bag over night.
  8. Remove shirts from plastic bag and remove rubber bands.
  9. Let dry for one more day.
  10. Rinse shirts in cool water (wearing gloves) until water runs clear.
  11. Wash shirts in cold water separately, so they do not bleed onto other clothing.
  12. Hang to dry or tumble dry on cool setting.

Instructions for creating sunburst, circles and lines >>

Make iron-on transfer paper family t-shirts

Iron-on transfer paper makes it easy to create hip and modern family t-shirts. Get inspired by the cool custom family reunion t-shirt designs sold at Kin or those featured on Inchmark , a blog written by Brooke Reynolds, a former creative director for Martha Stewart.

What you’ll need:

  • One white cotton t-shirt for each family member
  • Iron-on transfer paper for light colored fabrics
  • Craft knife
  • Iron


  1. Create on a design on your computer for your family t-shirt.
  2. Print your design onto the iron-on transfer paper.
  3. Cut out the design with your craft knife.
  4. Place the design on the front of your shirt and iron on, following the directions included with your transfer paper.

Feature your kids’ artwork on t-shirts >>

Make fabric paint family t-shirts

Put on your smocks, grab your stencils, and create a set of family t-shirts with fabric paint.

What you’ll need:

  • One white cotton t-shirt for each family member
  • Fabric paint
  • Paper plates
  • Sponge brushes
  • Heavyweight paper
  • Craft knife
  • Cardboard


  1. Pour fabric paint into paper plates.
  2. Place cardboard inside t-shirt so paint does not bleed through.
  3. Print design for template onto heavyweight paper.
  4. Use craft knife to cut out template.
  5. Place template in desired location on shirt and paint in with sponge brush.

Tips for taking family holiday photos >>

Are you a tie-dye newbie?

See how easy it is to make spiral designs in this instructional video.

More family fun

Family game night essentials
How to stock your pantry for impromptu family nights
50 Fun family night ideas

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