Sailboat Tee (Tutorial)

A few days ago, I repinned this adorable sailboat tee from Free Clothing. With nothing better to do (except work on that ginormous painting of Peanut that I’ve been neglecting), I busted out the fabric paints and freezer paper and made one for myself.


  • solid colored t-shirt
  • fabric paint
  • sponge brush
  • freezer paper
  • iron

Step 1. On the matte side of the freezer paper, and using a straight edge, draw out the boat. Mine was about 9 inches tall and 7 1/2 inches wide.

Step 2.  Cut out the shapes. 

Step 3. Iron onto your shirt, shiny side against the fabric. Place a piece of fabric or a towel over the stencil while you iron so you don’t burn the paper.

Step 4. With a piece of paper or a towel inside your shirt, to prevent seeping, paint inside the stencil. To achieve the two tones of blue, I added a bit of white fabric paint to my second batch of color. 

Step 5. Once the paint is dry, remove the stencil and heat-seal the paint. I held a hot iron over it and steamed it for a few seconds, then turned it inside out and pressed it flat so the paint didn’t have any ripples. Then I threw it in the dryer for 10 minutes to complete the sealing.

Step 6. (optional) Take in the sleeves of your shirt for a fitted half-sleeve top (I’ll be a doing a more detailed tutorial for this soon).

And voila! The perfect graphic tee for summer.

  • I love this! so cute!

  • Nice refashion, too!

  • I love it!! I saw that you pinned this the other day and I was hoping that a tutorial would be coming soon. 🙂 Thanks!

  • So cute! I totally want to make this! Thanks for sharing. I love your tutorials!

  • very cute!

  • Very cute diy! Have you posted the giveaway winner yet? Am I missing it somehow???? (you know, cause I'm assuming I won…)

  • so cute!! So crafty as always 🙂

  • cute! I have a white shirt just like that. I'd love to bring the sleeves in, maybe I'll attempt it when the tutorial is up..

  • LOL I was going to do my DIY for this this weekend. Great minds.

  • This may be silly, but is freezer paper and wax paper the same thing?

  • To the comment above me, as far as I know, freezer paper and wax paper are two different things! I believe wax paper can melt {i may be totally wrong}….but I wouldn't suggest pressing on it with an iron.

    That sailboat tee is CUTE. I must have one.

  • Jennifer:

    Shea is right — freezer paper and wax paper are not the same thing. You can buy freezer paper at any grocery store. It's super cheap — I got a huge roll for like $5.

  • I just came across your blog and am in love. You do everything I wish I did. I was just telling my husband I wish I lived next door to you so we could be friends. ha ha. Anyways your amazing and hopefully I can try some of your tutorials out and will become more comfortable in my crafting and sewing skills. you ROCK!

  • Wow – this is the best tutorial! I am going to have to try this one – it looks like a J.crew shirt!

  • This is seriously cute! I might try it out 🙂


  • I love walmart tees (wearing one right now!) How long did it take you to do this?

  • my sisters and I are making this right now and it is turning out so cute!! thanks for sharing!

  • I made this shirt a couple months ago and then I just did this project on canvas today.
    Ironing the paper on with a towel on top didn't work for me; I had to touch the iron to the paper directly.
    Thanks for the tutorial!
    Here's how mine came out:

  • Does the paint come off after a few washings? I've always been so scared to paint on fabric! xoxo

  • This is darling. So doing this!