The Dirty Floor Diaries is like the Canal Street for haute toddler couture. As I established in my DIY Glitter Bow Shirt tutorial, I do NOT like paying a whole lotta’ money for a shirt that my daughter is going to wear for a season or less, or something that is going to get hot chocolate dumped all down the front complete with a sleeve dipped in spaghetti sauce. The rub is, I love fashion and I want my kids to look like they just stepped off of the hottest runway in Milan.
In the past, I’ve waited for things to go on sale or looked for coupons and discount codes before running to the mall before every other fashion-conscious mommy out there. My bank account reflected my ridiculous urgency to have the best dressed kids on the playground, and as a result I had very little money for myself.
I’m becoming a little more selfish in my old age, and I want to be able to get a pedicure here and there, or to be able to go see a movie about hot male strippers on opening night after indulging in a bottle of wine with a friend.
Because of my new-found (or increased) selfishness, I have been lurking in windows at the mall like a super runway creepster, scrutinizing their displays for ideas of outfits I can make on my own. Luckily, I don’t have to look very far to find inspired designs that are easy enough to knock out in 2 hours or less (NAP TIME!), and that cost me less than $10. Then I’m able to bring inspired designs and shirt tutorials to you and your closet. You’re welcome.
My most recent knock-off shirt tutorial is from a shirt that we saw at the GAP. It had a sweet Peter Pan collar painted on it with a bow tie painted underneath that, and buttons painted all the way down the shirt. I decided to up the ante a little bit and add real buttons, but I think my version is SUPER cute and it took me all of less than $2 hours and $10 to make, which is 41% less than the cost of the original shirt.
- Shirt in appropriate size, washed and dried without fabric softener (I used a Garanimals shirt from Walmart that was purchased for $3.88)
- Fabric paint (I used a set from Walmart that was purchased for $6.88 and will paint MANY, MANY t-shirts)
- Small Paint Brush
- Buttons (the buttons I used were $0.97 for a package of 10)
I bought this girl’s ruffle shirt from Walmart for $3.88. You can often find them for even less once they are “out of season” and spend your season painting and sewing away for the next year.
I started by painting short lines from the center of the neckline and the top of the shoulder to mark the placement of the collar. If you take the time to do this super-simple step, your collar will be much more uniform than if you just started drawing lines.
Once you have your lines drawn, begin filling them in with your metallic-colored paint. This shirt would look amazing in ANY color combination! Take a few seconds to step back and look at your design to make sure they are as uniform as you can get them. This absolutely does NOT have to be perfect, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Just do what you can.
After filling the collar in, I lightly drew the bow out in pencil. Again, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Even a rudimentary bow would look SO cute on this shirt. You do NOT have to be an artist to make this work. Anyone can draw two triangles, a circle, and two triangles, right? Once you have the bow where you want it, trace over it with your white fabric paint. I tried to add some depth to mine by lightly filling in the spots where a natural shadow would be but I don’t think I’d do that again. It almost looked like I messed up a bit. Don’t worry if you DO mess up, there are fun fixes for EVERYTHING!
Once my bow and the collar were dry, I outlined the collar with white fabric paint and created polka dots in the bow. You could leave your bow plain or do stripes, or glitter, or whatever suits your fancy! Make it yours! DEFINITELY outline the collar, though. The added outline really makes it pop.
You’re done with your paints so go ahead and put them away!
The next step is to set your buttons out and arrange them the way you would like. Then mark where the center of each button should go with a pen or pencil. I would like to let you all know that I have NO idea how to sew, but I am fully capable of sewing buttons on, so if I can do this, so can you. Once my buttons were marked out, I sewed them on. It took me a few buttons to realize that the easiest way to get them in a straight line is to insert your needle just below the dot that you made, thread the button on, and sew it down. I also learned a little trick from my mom years ago, where if you wrap the thread around and around and around the button after you have it sewn into place, it won’t come off, EVER. My buttons were polka dot and stripes. I love the mismatched, fun contrast of the stripes and polka dots, especially when paired with the polka dot bow.
Your shirt is DONE! Can you believe how easy that was? And how stinkin’ cute is this shirt?
This is a fantastic idea for an easy and inexpensive DIY birthday gift for your niece or other little girl in your life. It goes with just about any pair of pants and can be made in any color you choose!
Look out for a similar craft for BOYS coming next week!