Shine: Paint Your Own Tshirt with a Stencil

A few millenia ago when we started our Y verse, I wanted to do something that would help Lydia understand what it means to be a light. It’s a hard concept to articulate. Finally I decided on the old stand-by: a Christian Tshirt! Ha!


  • tshirt
  • fabric paints (I just got all the clearance ones at Michael’s)
  • foam brushes
  • contact paper
  • scissors
  • cardboard to put inside shirt (we actually used a file folder)

1. Decide on your picture. Lydia and I talked about all the different kinds of light: lamps, lightbulbs, the sun, flashlights, lighthouse, etc. She decided she wanted to paint a  sunshine.
2. Cut a stencil using contact paper. I cut a circle out contact paper, threw the inside away and stuck the contact paper to the shirt.

contact paper stencil

contact paper stencil

3. Paint inside stencil. We used foam brushes because they are the easiest and apply the most paint.
4. Remove stencil.
5. Let dry. (Or you can reverse those two steps.)

Then we used our foam brushes to make the rays of the sunshine. It took everything in me to not correct her imperfect rays. But of course, they ended up looking adorable!

let the sun shine

let the sun shine

Finally, I cut out some more contact paper stencils—in the shape of the word SHINE.



And here’s our finished product!



I asked Lydia what she would say if someone asked her why her shirt said shine. She said, “This little light of mine. I’m gonna let it shine!” Good for her!



Filed under craft

5 responses to “Shine: Paint Your Own Tshirt with a Stencil

  1. Awesome idea! And go Lydia!

  2. How adorable! Love what her response was, to the final question.

  3. It turned out soooo cute! I definitely want to try this with my girls!!!

  4. Leigh

    I love this! Fabulous!

  5. landoflovings

    That’s adorable! I need to try that with my girls. They would love to decorate shirts!