Monday, September 12, 2011

Tutorial: car shirt

The Car Play Shirt is the shirt that lets daddy stretch out and relax while playing with the kids!  They make great Father's Day/birthday/Christmas gifts (for grandpa's too!) and offer a unique and fun way to interact with your children.

I first made one of these for my husband several years ago using Sharpies, and it has become a favorite activity to do with dad when he comes home from work or on lazy Saturday mornings.

For those who want one of these shirts but do not have the time, resources or desire to actually make it, we are now selling them in our Etsy shop!  We are offering both a full color version and a black and white version that can be colored in by your kids (or you) at home.  Check us out!  And for those who are interested in the tutorial, read on...


Following is a short TUTORIAL so you can make your own car shirt.  I have printouts of the map I created and everything you'll need to know.



What you'll need:
- Plain white shirt (you can buy these at Walmart in a pack of 2 or 3 for just a few dollars each)
- Printer and paper (if you want to use the map I created)
- Fabric paint or fabric markers
- Cars to drive on your map!

If you'd like to use the map I created, the following images can be printed. Each quarter of the map needs to be printed on an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper. If you don't want to use my map, then get creative and design your own! I think it works best to design it on paper first, and then trace it onto your shirt (the following steps will explain how to do this).

Click on the images below, drag them to your desk top and print them.






Once you've printed each quarter, tape them together.



Then slide the paper in between the front and back of the shirt, with the back of the shirt facing up. This also protects the paint from bleeding through to the front.



Start tracing! I used fabric paint, but just a warning, it took FOREVER! About 3 hours longer than I had hoped :) Next time I make one I want to try fabric markers. It seems like they would make smoother lines and would save a lot of time.



And ta-da! You've created your very first car shirt!



**This tutorial is meant for individual use only.  Please do not use my images for the purpose of selling shirts for profit.  Thank you!

93 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for this idea! I totally made one yesterday for my husbands birthday. I took your note about how long it took you to paint it. Instead, I opened up your pictures in my paint program, and filled it in like a coloring page. I then set my computer setting to print a mirror image and printed onto iron on paper. It worked liked a charm. The total project took only an hour and a half. My husband and kids love it.

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    1. Hi Holly!!

      I'm curious can you email those pages? I have iron on paper but I don't have the paint program you speak of - plus I'd like to personalize the town name ;) Could you email them to me? tisha_dawn@hotmail.com Thank you!

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    2. Did she send you the file? I'm would like a copy too please! :). Jenn.magbuhat@yahoo.com

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    3. Holly, I have printer paper as well but not the painting program. Do you still have those papers you could email to me as well? ashdansie@gmail.com

      Thank you!!! So excited about this!

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    4. I would be interested in those pages as well...could you email me them? toblerones5@yahoo.com

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    5. I'd love a copy too, please! :) dr.ms.sanderson@gmail.com

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    6. I would also LOVE the pages. Could you email them to me also? cyndinordfelt@gmail.com Thanks

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    7. Could I have the pages, too, please? Plcalloway@gmail.com

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    8. Such a fantastic idea! Can I get the email, too, by chance? beckybeto@gmail.com

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    9. Hi Holly,
      I know it has been awhile since you did this, any chance you still have the pages saved as a pdf? If so, would you mind sending them to me: michelle_444@hotmail.com

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    10. Yes, what a great idea! Would you still happen to have the pages saved and willing to share? Thanks so much. You can send them to me at turnmill21@gmail.com

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  2. I love this idea and am making one for my hubbie for Christmas. I want to make one for my Dad also. He lives in Sequim, Washington and wondered if you could post your drawing for your Seattle one. I'm obviously not as artistic as you. Thanks for a great idea!
    -Ashley
    Rochester, IL

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  3. It's kind of funny that I found this because I was just remembering how when I was a senior in high school my little brother who was like 8 at the time would drive his cars on my back every time I was laying on the floor and I remember it being relaxing.

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  5. I LOVE this idea! I think I'll try it with a bleach pen on a colored shirt :)

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  6. Ah, I agree, would you post Seattle? I live here and would love to make one as a gift but after trying to draw a little myself I must default to your talented idea.

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  7. this is fabulous!!! my husband watches tv on the floor so this is THE perfect gift for him. Thank you!

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  8. Oh wow. You should consider seeing if you can get CafePress to make these for you to sell... This is brilliant!

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  9. This is pure genious. My husband will love one I am so going to make him one for Christmas. Thanks for sharing.

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  10. Thank you for sharing! I can't wait to make one for my husband! He saw it and said it was brilliant and that he would love one!!! It's going to be a great surprise!!!

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  11. I love this idea! My husband loves the boys to "tickle his back," and they love cars, so this is a win all over. I think I have found Daddy's Christmas present from his little buddies!

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  12. Love this idea!! So creative. I am a crafter for Crafters 4 Kids (http://c4k555.org) I made sure to share your link on our facebook page.

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  13. Loved this! I featured it on my blog, Mischief & Mudpies :) Thanks for the inspiration

    http://mischiefandmudpies.wordpress.com/2011/11/16/32/

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  14. This is such an awesome idea! I am pinning it right now :) p.s. I am a new follower.

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  15. Best idea EVER. My husband would absolutely love this. I'm definitely making one for my three youngest kids to give him for Christmas. Thanks so much for sharing the template!

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  16. Can't tell you how much I love this idea! I found it via pinterest and just shared it in a blog post to my readers. I showed it to my husband, he cracked up, and said "that is GREAT."

    So congratulations for eliciting the first laugh/smile ever from my husband regarding a pin ;) and thanks for sharing! New follower :)

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  17. This is brilliant! I am sharing this over at my blog today! Come by and grab a featured button!
    Tara
    www.thetrendytreehouse.blogspot.com

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  18. I love this idea! I am definitely going to do this. I linked back from my DIY Guy gifts Roundup (http://www.homesweethomebodies.net/2011/11/diy-guy-gifts-roundup-of-my-favorites.html) Thanks for sharing! PS- I looked at your profile picture and realized that I recognized you from my first married student ward... small world!

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  19. This is waaaaaaaaay cute!! What a fun, creative idea! LOVE it! I am your newst follower! I'd love for you to follow me back, if you want to =-) I also wanted to invite you to link this up to my TGIF Linky Party http://livinglifeintentionally.blogspot.com/search/label/Linkey%20Parties - I know my readers would LOVE this as much as I do!
    Beth =-)

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  20. And I was just wondering what I was going to get my hubby from the kids this year! This is perfect! Thanks so much! :)

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  21. Love this! Just posted about it on Craft Gossip!

    http://lessonplans.craftgossip.com/?p=5162

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  22. We actually have everything we need in the house already! I have four boys ages 5 and under and they all ( father included ) LOVE cars! Can't wait to try your template and personalize it. Great idea!

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  23. Great idea! I pinned it, and not I'm printing your map. This will be the kids Christmas gift to their daddy! Thanks for sharing! :-)

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  24. I'm totally going to make one of these for my husbands birthday next month...and maybe one for me too. Thanks for the fun idea! :)

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  25. Love this! Thank you I am making it right away!
    I am going to include Lake Powell because that's my husbands favorite place, thanks for the idea!

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  26. Somehow I am missing something. How do I print it?

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  27. I used this idea, but customized the design to include some of our favorite places from when we lived in Pennsylvania. If you want to see how mine turned out, you can check it out on my FB page. Thanks for the great idea! I want to make them for the grandfathers and uncles now ;) https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150559347797565&set=a.10150404798137565.411885.627482564&type=1&theater

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  28. I love it! My boys and I just made this for my husband for Christmas... we used fabric markers which made it easy and fun. Thank you!

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  29. I just made this (stayed up way too late!) but it is SO cute! Thanks for the idea and the pattern, my hubby and two boys are going to love it! I am going to have the boys help me decorate the front of the shirt, maybe with their hand prints or something!

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  30. Thank you so much for a great tutorial! The children and I made this for my husband this week as a Christmas gift. We used the fabric markers on your suggestion - and had a great time! My 4yo son tested out the roads. He loved it so much it broke his heart to wrap it up. So... Daddy got an early Christmas gift when he got home that night. Thanks for such a great idea and wonderful instructions and photos. Merry Christmas! ~Tricia

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  31. I made two of these for Christmas. One for my husband and one for my brother-in-law. I traced the map using puffy paints (I don't know what the new term is for it) and then once that dried I colored it with a paintbrush and fabric paint. I also used freezer paper to make a stencil that says I *heart* playing with my kids, on the front. My kids picked out a car to go with it from the store. Thanks so much for such a wonderful idea!!

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  32. I absolutely LOVE this idea! I've pinned it and we'll be making one for Daddy's birthday in July! :) Love it!

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  33. This is such a fabulous idea! Thanks for posting.
    http://minipiccolini.com/2012/02/its-friday-6/

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  34. I love this! I clicked over from Dating Divas. I'm your newest follower!

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  35. This is an awesome idea! My husband is going to love this.

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  37. We absolutely LOVE this idea!!! And we will definitely be making these T's for our hubby's when we have kids!!! We loved it so much we put it in our "Father's Day Buyers Guide!" on LinenLaceandLove.com :)

    http://www.linenlaceandlove.com/2012/06/fathers-day-buyers-guide.html

    Best,
    Jen & Jess

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  38. This is awesome!!! Daddy loves back scratches, so now I HAVE to make this! (funny coincidence: that last night I was drawing on an old shirt to make a game for my little girl) :)

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  39. This is such a great idea! I am printing them out as I type this and WILL be doing this tomorrow! Thank you! So creative!!!!!

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  40. I highlighted this great idea on my little blog at http://wadelmat.blogspot.com/

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  41. This is such an awesome idea! I simplified the map and made a freezer paper stencil to let my 3 little girls make one the other day. I'm repeating it for children's church this week for Father's day. I wrote it up over at my blog- http://pureandsimplelife.wordpress.com/2012/06/15/pre-school-craft-able-back-rub-shirts-for-fathers-day/
    Janice

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  42. I just finished one for my husband for Father's Day. We just bought a house so I changed it to add "our street" but incorporated all the buildings since we live right across the street from the hospital and the rest of the buildings just fit perfectly. Such a great idea. Thanks for sharing.

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  43. Thanks. We used sharpie markers to draw and color. It might fade a little over time but it just gives my kids a chance to color it again. We threw it in the dryer before giving to see if we could set the ink. You can see it at www.jerisesh.blogspot.com.

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  44. I found this on pinterest and I made it tonight for Father's Day! I absolutely love how it turned out and my daughter is soooo excited to play with it. Thanks so much for the idea and template! I'm definitely not talented enough to create my own.. lol

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    1. I'm not sure if you'll be able to view it on my fb page or not, but here is the link.

      http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151234941399572&set=a.10150855489474572.517523.788419571&type=1

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  45. This was a lot of fun! My son and I made a freehand version with fabric markers as a Father's Day gift. You can read about it here: http://www.gratefullynourished.com/gratefully-nourished/2012/6/17/massage-shirt-and-high-five-card-fathers-day-gifts.html

    Papa loved his shirt and so did my boys! Awesome idea, I am so glad I found your site through pinterest.

    Thank you!!!

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  46. I made one of these for Father's Day and I'll be sharing it on my blog tomorrow with a link back to you. Thanks for the amazing idea! My husband loves it!

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  47. I'm in the middle of making one right now! I'm using your stencil because I have pretty much 0 drawing talent! I've got Crayola fabric markers and it's interesting. I think if I had something to stretch the shirt over and clip it to, it would be easier, but I'm having to do a lot of short feather-y strokes and stipling, but it's still coming out super cute! It's going to be Daddy's birthday present! I found this via Pinterest and am SO glad I did!! Thank you for this, so much!!!!

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  48. George Takei just posted a picture of this on his facebook page!! I commented with a link to your tutorial :)
    I used your tutorial to make my husband and dad their father's day present from my boys. The both agree it's the best present ever!

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  49. Thanks for sharing your map! :) Here is my t-shirt: http://www.bielemorele.pl/koszulka-dla-taty-prezent-urodzinowy/

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  50. This is the greatest! Thanks for uploading the pattern for us all to share. I made one for my husband and son to play together. I personalized it for Seattle!

    http://tinkerbean.tumblr.com/post/36359482098/a-track-on-papas-back

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  52. Hello, I saw this beautiful picture and good idea and wanted to ask if I can use it as an introduction to an article on Father's Day in this newspaper (http://issuu.com/tasteandmore/docs/rivistan1). Of course, if you give us permission then we will quote the source. Sorry for the bad English but I speak only Italian;-)
    Please contact me at lara137@alice.it

    Thanks

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  54. Jess
    after you originally posted this, i loved it, so I pinned it on pinterest, i have since seen it floating around there and it always makes me smile that the creative person who thought of this knows my name. I was reading an article on KSL yesterday, and your shirt made the article, I thought I would share
    http://www.ksl.com/?sid=23898515&section=featured-story

    I imagine Pete is one of those great dads, so it is appropriate he is in the article, but I get the idea from your blog that you are an amazing mom, and I love looking at your blog, thanks for all the great ideas and for inspiring me to be a better mom

    -Heidi (Evans) Myers

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  57. en el blog ananavarrogarcia5@|gmail.com en fb ana navarro

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  58. Here's a version I designed myself using train tracks.

    http://kapitolaphotography.shirtstore.net.au/shop/view_product/Massage_Express?n=3534733

    It uses train tracks because:
    1. Trains are fun, and
    2. Trains have nice big wheels for massaging.

    Also, my painting skills are nowhere near good enough to paint it myself, so this way I could just order it online. Now you can too!

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  61. Hey - great idea! Can i Make it using sharpies?

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  62. Such a cute and original idea! LOVE it!

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  65. I love this!!! I wonder if I can sneak and make one for my hubby while he's at work! :-) Such a cool idea!

    Navy Wifey Peters @ Submarine Sunday Link Party

    http://www.usscrafty.blogspot.com/2013/05/submarine-sunday-31.html

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  66. That is such a cute idea!! I posted a link from my blog lifesjourneytoperfection.blogspot.com.

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  67. Thank you for this! We're going to attempt to make one this week for Daddy's birthday/father's day! A few weeks ago my kids were driving cars on my hubby's back for fun, and he loved it, so this is PERFECT!

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  68. I would love to include this in my Fathers Day Round up post. Would you mind? Thanks so much!

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  69. This is a brilliant idea ! I am sure my husband will love it too :-)

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  70. Love this! Thank you so much!

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  71. wow... really cute design... I love it.. do you have other designs like that?


    regards,
    loi =)
    nitrous for cars

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  72. Congratulations on having one of the most sophisticated blogs I've come across in some time! Its just incredible how much you can kids tee shirt take away from something simply because of how visually beautiful it is.

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  73. I like it. we can diy it at home. children will be very happy to design their own car tshirt.

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  74. The fathers all over the world will be so flattered that many generous bloggers are writing about them, even about the best ways to pamper them on this special day to honor them. These fathers day gift ideas all over the net are very nice, might add some of them to my own list. Thank you very much and Cheers!
    http://meowchie.snydle.com/fathers-day-gift-ideas.html

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  75. Thanks so much for this.
    I just did it with my kids and shared it on my blog.

    http://www.redandcrafty.com/?p=154

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    ReplyDelete
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