DIY: Easy No-Sew Monogram T-Shirt

Easy No-Sew Monogram T-Shirt

Funny story.

We found out we were expecting our second child in November 2011, just days after we celebrated Griff’s first birthday. We were taking a cruise with my husband’s entire extended family right before Christmas, so we decided to get creative and tell them during that trip.

I worked hard to create a shirt for Griffin to wear for the big reveal. This is what I came up with:


The whole scenario was a complete flop. The first night on the ship, Jon and I requested to have dinner with his parents, under the guise of discussing his final semester of grad school. We excitedly dressed Griff in his Big Bro shirt and met them at the table.

They didn’t even notice. After it became clear that my in-laws weren’t going to read the shirt and make the connection themselves, Jon said, “look at Griff’s shirt. Abby made it.” They both gave it a cursory glance and turned back to their food.

Finally, bursting with excitement and a touch of frustration, Jon said, a little more forcefully, “no, look at Griffin’s shirt. See what it says.” They read the words and made the connection. My mother-in-law’s reaction? “Oh, no.” But that’s a story for another time.

After making that first t-shirt and realizing how simple it is, I had planned to make another. Now, nearly a year and a half later, I’m finally getting around to it.

Easy No-Sew Monogram T-Shirt

This project is as frugal as it is easy. You can pick up a package of iron-on adhesive at Walmart for around $4 (you’ll only use a small portion of this, leaving plenty left over for future projects). You can use any scrap of fabric you already have, or buy 1/8 or 1/4 yard for just a few dollars. Snag a clearance t-shirt or upcycle one you already have and you have a personalized monogram t-shirt for less than $10.

I love the idea of making these with a number instead of a letter for a child’s birthday shirt.

DIY: Easy No-Sew Monogram T-Shirt

You need:

  • a shirt, washed and dried
  • cotton or cotton-blend
  • iron
  • iron-on adhesive, such as Heat ‘n’ Bond brand
  • scissors or exact-o knife

Easy No-Sew Monogram T-Shirt

1. Iron your shirt and your fabric.

2. Cut a piece of fabric and a piece of adhesive, roughly the same sizes. Follow the directions on the adhesive to attach it to the fabric.

Easy No-Sew Monogram T-Shirt

3. Now you need your letter (or number). I printed mine from the computer and used an exact-o knife to cut it out.

Easy No-Sew Monogram T-Shirt

4. Trace the letter onto the paper side of the fabric/adhesive piece. You can see that I attempted to free hand a letter, but I ended up printing one because I just wasn’t happy with what I could draw. If you’re really good at that kind of thing, or if you’re using a simple letter, you could save a lot of time by drawing your letter right on the adhesive paper. Be sure to trace/draw the letter backwards, so that it’s facing the correct way when viewed from the fabric side.

Easy No-Sew Monogram T-Shirt

5. Using your scissors or exact-o knife, cut out the letter. Be sure to save any inside pieces, like the circle inside my “g”.

6. Next, trace a shape (I chose a circle) around your letter, making sure your letter is centered inside the shape.

Easy No-Sew Monogram T-Shirt

7. Now you have two options: you can use the outline of the letter, like this:

Easy No-Sew Monogram T-Shirt

or the letter itself, like this:

Easy No-Sew Monogram T-Shirt

I chose to use the outline, but I saved the actual g. I’m sure I’ll have a use for it later.

8. Lastly, follow the remaining iron-on adhesive instructions to attach the outline or letter to the shirt.

Easy No-Sew Monogram T-Shirt

Note: I chose a lowercase g because I like the look of it better. If your child is older and learning to recognize letters and write his/her name, you might want to choose a capital letter.

Easy No-Sew Monogram T-Shirt

I want to know: what fun spin would you put on your monogram shirt?


About Abby

I'm a wife, a mom of two, and a high school teacher who loves to read, bake, cook, and be with my family.
This entry was posted in DIY, Frugal Living. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to DIY: Easy No-Sew Monogram T-Shirt

  1. Love this! Going to Joann’s tomorrow! My nieces are getting new t-shirts! Thanks!

  2. Wanda N. says:

    So cute! I can’t wait to try this for my twins! I’m so glad I found your blog 🙂

    • Thank you for the kind words!

      These would be adorable on twins! I think it’d be fun to do numbers for the whole family before a vacation, or a last initial for a family reunion. So many possibilities!

      I’d love for you to share the finished project on my Facebook wall.

  3. Sheri says:

    Did you do anything to the fabric where you cut it to avoid fraying?

  4. Anna says:

    This is really cute. I keep thinking I need to have an embroidery machine to do this (you know around the edges)….but this is super easy, and it still looks polished and professionally done. Good job!

  5. LeAnna says:

    I make Christmas PJ’s for my kids(adults now) and I was thinking of doing their initial this year. Are these letters stiff on the front of the shirt.?

    • Abby says:

      That’s such a fun idea! I might actually borrow that. The letters aren’t stiff at all. They’re a little thicker, of course, but not uncomfortably so. To make sure they’re as comfortable as possible, make sure the fabric you use for the initials is thin.

  6. Jessica Lackey says:

    Do the letters stay on after you wash and dry since they are not sewn on?

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