Tuesday, February 12, 2013

DIY: 10 minute heart appliqué

With Valentine's Day just two days away, I thought I'd post this quick and easy idea for embellishing a t-shirt with a delightful raw-edge appliquéd heart.

You really can do this in about 10 minutes.  In fact, I embellished the shirt above for my son one Valentine's Day morning when he requested a heart shirt about 20 minutes before he needed to be at school.  In that case, I only had about five minutes to spare, so I ironed the heart to the shirt and waited until later to stitch it on.

This is one I made for him a few years prior.  I think we realized that it no longer fit that frantic morning when I quickly made a new one!  My daughter now wears this brown one.

Yesterday, I decided that I needed one, too!  Here's the result.  And I can honestly say that once I chose a t-shirt and the fabric, it really did only take 10 minutes -- maybe less.

What you need:

One t-shirt
A fabric scrap
Card stock or plain copy paper
Paper-backed fusible web (I like Pellon's Wonder Under)

What you do:

1.  Fold the card stock or paper in half and cut out half of a heart shape along the fold.  Unfold for a perfectly symmetrical heart shaped template.

2.  Using a pencil or permanent marker, trace your template onto the paper side of the fusible web.  Cut the shape out of the fusible web, leaving roughly a 1/4" border on all sides.

3.  Following the manufacturer's instructions, iron the fusible web to the wrong side of the fabric scrap.  Allow to cool for a minute.

4.  Cut out the heart, following the lines you drew on the paper backing, then peel off the backing.

5.  Place the heart on your t-shirt and (again following the manufacturer's instructions) iron it to the shirt.

6.  Finally, stitch close to the edge of the heart to securely attach it to your shirt.  Use a straight stitch, a zigzag, or another fancy stitch you like.  Or hand stitch with colorful embroidery floss.  Or simply forget this step if you're not concerned with the heart eventually coming detached in the wash -- it'll probably hold up through several washings, although I can't guarantee that!

Here I am in my new shirt.  Look, I even managed to match my lipstick to the color of the heart!  How did that happen?!

I'd love to hear about it if you make your own heart shirt.  Post in the comments, or email a photo or photo link to me!

Happy Hearts Day!


  1. Like this project. Seems so easy maybe even I could do it.

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