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.



  1. Britty says:

    Nice refashion, too!

  2. Rachel says:

    I love it!! I saw that you pinned this the other day and I was hoping that a tutorial would be coming soon. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks!

  3. Jenn @ PSP says:

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

  4. The Angles says:

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

  5. christine says:

    so cute!! So crafty as always ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Josh&Sharsti says:

    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..

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

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

  9. Shea D. says:

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. Kim White says:

    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!

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

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

  14. Katie says:

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

  15. Lisa says:

    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:

  16. Abby says:

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

  17. This is darling. So doing this!

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