Simple Toddler Birthday Shirt

Toddler Birthday Shirt Project reveal

Our youngest daughter just celebrated her second birthday a couple of weeks ago!  I can’t believe how she has grown from such a tiny thing to an active toddler!  And what a blessing she is to our family; she is so sweet!

As we were getting ready to celebrate her birthday, I was in the midst of one of the busiest seasons of my year.  I was teaching Bible study, making costumes for our annual visit to Mickey’s Halloween Party, working on a major contributor post for another blog, and keeping this family close to on-track.  And we found out that another one of our friends was having a birthday party for her son on W’s actual birthday.  Instead of thinking of that as a headache, I thought it was a blessing, because I just didn’t have the time to plan a full-blown party.

I had gotten through almost all the hurdles of the week and just had W’s birthday left as something BIG to do.  And I was in the shower the morning before her big day when I suddenly had a great idea for a cute birthday present for her!  Last year, G made her a really cute onesie for her first birthday that was so fun and simple, that I thought it would be fun to do another one for her second birthday.

That got the wheels turning and soon I had a fun idea for a birthday shirt for her that gave a wink to all the guests at the birthday party we were going to that it was her birthday, too!

Toddler Birthday shirt, messy face, cute shirt

It is so, so simple to make a shirt for kids with just a couple of ingredients: crayons and sandpaper.  Here is a quick tutorial for how to make a unique shirt for your kids:


  • t-shirt (we used a onesie)
  • crayons
  • sandpaper
  • iron (with steam option OFF)


1.  Draw a design on the sandpaper (the rough side) with crayons.  It is best to go over the sandpaper with a thick layer of crayon for the boldest colors to show up on the shirt.  I used some stencils to create the phrase, “Me 2.”  Also make sure that you reverse the design or words so that they come out right on the shirt. Cut the design out of the sandpaper, removing excess paper

Toddler Birthday Present t-shirt prep

2.  Place the t-shirt on a flat surface.  It helps to put cardboard or a paper bag between the layers of the shirt to ensure the crayon does not bleed onto both sides of the shirt.  Place the sandpaper design side down where you want your design to be.

3. Heat up iron with steam setting OFF.  Run the iron over the back of the sandpaper, pressing down and insuring that the entire surface of the design has been ironed.

toddler birthday shirt project

4.  Set the iron aside and peel the sandpaper away from the t-shirt.  Your design should be clearly embedded in the fabric, like magic!  Put the t-shirt in the dryer for a few minutes to set the crayon design into the fabric.

A video posted by Leah Hudson (@ussleah) on


5.  You should be able to wash and wear your shirt for a while. The crayon will fade over time.  If you want it to last even longer, you may want to use, non-washable crayons and dry on low settings or line-dry the shirt.

Isn’t that shirt adorable?  I just love doing projects like this!

Since I was working on projects during nap time, I decided to go the extra mile and make a circle skirt for W, too!  Don’t look too close at my stitching –  I do not really know how to sew, I just know enough to get myself in trouble.  If you are looking to make a similar skirt, check out this great tutorial for making one.  I used two bandanas, instead of a fat quarter.

easy DIY toddler birthday shirt project

This Post Has One Comment

  1. evonne

    Looks adorable! Hope she had fun.

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