The Graphic Tie Tee: A Father’s Day Project

I don’t always get myself together enough to make gifts for specific holidays. I’m more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants and sew-whatever-the-darn-she-feels-like-it type of gal. But this year, the kids and I had a ton of fun making Brian’s Father’s Day gift.

I was inspired by this awesome DIY Toddler Art T-Shirt tutorial by Small+Friendly. It was cool for dad and easy for the kids, which is a combination we really like around here.
To make it unique for Brian, we put our own spin on things. Since I was already planning on ironing some metallic tie graphics onto shirts for the boys, I took Brian’s shirt in the same direction and created The Graphic Tie Tee:

Here’s what I did:

I took one of my dad’s ties and traced around it on a piece of paper. Then I cut it in half (the full tie looked too long for a graphic tee in my opinion) and taped the heck out of it on a t-shirt. I had to cut some of the painter’s tape to fit the contours of the tie. Then I taped a square on the front of the shirt.

FYI, I got this heathered red t-shirt from Target Saturday night for $8. They had a TON of great t-shirts for $5-8 and you better believe I brought home a lot of them. Oh yes I did.

Here is a close-up of the taped tie. (Try saying that 10 times fast).

Then the kids got busy with the permanent markers, something they’ve always wanted to do.

It was hard to keep them drawing on the shirt when all they wanted was to draw on the blue tape.

They enjoyed seeing the image begin to take shape.

When they finally got bored, we removed the tape and, VOILA!

Hudson and Abby were very proud of themselves. It’s not perfect, and there were some “accidental” spots outside the lines, but that’s what makes this shirt so special to their daddy.

The night before I made my boys these little t-shirts with ties using a metallic iron on from Joann Fabric and Crafts (sorry, they don’t carry it on their website or I would give you the link). There were only a few at the store and a friend and I grabbed them all.

Here’s Stryder in his little man shirt. It’s hard to get a picture of a straight t-shirt on a baby boy, I tell ya!

We headed to Panera Bread with Brian this morning after he got home from work. It was a great way to celebrate the BEST DADDY IN THE WHOLE WORLD. I love this man. And he loved his shirt.

Abby was there, too, sporting her Tied Summer Dress in Red. She didn’t have a tie, though, and that is a bit of a sore subject with poor Abby. (Mamma learned a lesson today about not leaving Abby out.)

There they are, my four loves.

A belated Happy Fathers day to your men. Hope you had a wonderful day together yesterday!


  1. says

    Those turned out great! I love it and it will be a keepsake worth never getting rid of! When it wears out you can use it in a quilt made from old T’s. (A project that I have packed away somewhere to do!) Maybe Abby could have a T done like daddies and daddy could be the one to help her decorate it! But with a ribbon style bow design??

    • says

      That’s a great idea, Teri-Mom! I think about doing that with the things I’ve made the kids but don’t fit any more. Maybe the ones I can’t pass down can become a quilt someday? That would be wonderful! And I think Abby needs a matching shirt, like you said. Maybe a ribbon (great idea) or pearls?? 🙂