Nothing spells the start of the holidays like a fun DIY Christmas shirt. Christmas is just around the corner, and it is time to start sewing Christmas crafts for your kids. This Christmas tree shirt applique is perfect for using up some of the amazing scrap fabrics you have collected during the year and is really quick and easy to sew.
DIY Christmas Shirt Tutorial
- Blank t-shirt or clothing article - This Christmas applique would also look great on a cushion cover. Read my article on how to make a cushion cover with piping. Discount stores like Kmart and Target are great for cheap t-shirts for kids. This white one was just $3.
- Quilting Cotton Fabric - Check out some of the Christmas prints from your favorite fabric designers. Try to get a variety of colors and prints and mix them with some of the red and green scraps you have been collecting throughout the year. Fat quarters are a good way to purchase fabric for small projects while sticking to a budget.
- Sewing Supplies - Just your normal sewing kit supplies, such as scissors and thread. If you prefer to hand sew rather than by machine, you will need a hand sewing needle too.
DIY Christmas Shirt Sewing Pattern
Triangle Template - You can make triangles of any size or otherwise print out my template pattern. The triangles I am creating this shirt with are 4x 4x 4 inches (10cm).
The PDF will open in a new tab so you can print it. Don't forget to measure the test square and if you are new to printing, read my article on how to print PDF patterns.
How to Sew a DIY Christmas Shirt
Step 1 - Cut Triangles
Cut fabric triangles from your template in assorted fabrics. I have used various reds and greens to fit my Christmas applique theme. If your fabric has larger patterns, try and place the template so the design is not too cut off. For example, the reindeer is roughly in the center.
The average kid's t-shirt will fit 9 triangles but you can add or subtract rows of triangles to fit the size of the project you are working on. Women's t-shirts may use 12 or more triangles.
Step 2 - Press Over the Edges
On the WRONG side of each of the triangles press the edges in by ¼ inch (6mm). Cut off the ends that extend past the points of the triangles.
Design Idea: If you have a fabric that does not fray, or you like a shabby-chic look, you could leave the edges raw. Double-sided interfacing can stop raw edges from fraying.
Step 3 - Arrange the Tree
Flip your triangles to the RIGHT side and arrange them on your t-shirt in a triangular tree shape. Depending on the size of the t-shirt you are decorating, you may need more or fewer triangles.
Step 4 - Stitch
Pin the triangles in place and topstitch around the edges. Alternatively, use a wide zig-zag stitch to hold down the edges.
If you prefer to hand stitch rather than using a machine, use a running stitch or backstitch. I used a machine as it was faster. Make sure you backstitch the ends so your stitching doesn't come undone in the wash.
Step 5 - Decoration Time
Decorate your tree with a button or star on top. I have had these heart buttons for such a long time, and this was the perfect opportunity to use one.
Safety first - If you are sewing for a baby or young child, then decorate with a felt star cut out, which can be sewn around instead of a button or bead.
More Christmas Projects
If you are making DIY Christmas shirts, you obviously like to sew! Here are more Christmas crafts to sew. Make sure you check out my Christmas Gifts to Sew article as well.