DIY Appliqued Tee

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Today we have something a little different (definitely good different) for you from the incredibly talented Grace from Finley and Oliver!
I am super excited to be guest posting for you all today on one of my favorite blogs ever! As the mama to two boys (4 year old Oliver and 5 year old Finley), I am a loyal reader of All for the Boys! Allison is such an amazing and talented mama and I am honored that she asked me to fill in for her while she is on vacation in HAWAII! I have no shame in admitting that I’m crazy jealous (and I’m pretty sure you are too, right?)
Anyhow, I had every intention in the world of creating a brand spankin’ new tutorial just for All for the Boys and sharing it today. However, the sick germs over here had other plans and my Finley has been laid out for the last week. How on earth does that happen the *first* week of summer!? So…I am sharing one of my favorite little tees that I appliqued for Oliver a few months back. I love this tee and think that it would be fun in a variety of color combos or maybe even on a tank top (great for girls too!).
The technique for this is very similar to my appliqued love tutorial – just a bit more involved and time consuming since there are more letters.  

What you’ll need:
Blank t-shirt, one piece, or tank (pre-washed)

Felt or fabric piece for the applique (I prefer to use eco-fi felt by Kunin – it holds up great in the wash)
  Embroidery floss and needle
Scissors (small scissors with a pointy tip work best)
Fusible webbing
  Template for the applique (download here). Adjust the size of your template as needed. If you’re intimidated with the detailed lettering, blow it up a bit – that will make it easier.
Since I use Heat n Bond, my instructions will follow Heat n Bond’s instructions. If you are using a different fusible web, simply change out my instructions with the instructions on the package. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me and I can help you. 

Getting Started:

The first thing you’ll want to do is take the template and place it under a sheet of your fusible webbing. Take your pencil and trace “dream big” on to the webbing. With the “dream,” I made the lines connecting the letters together slightly bigger when I traced so it would be easier for stitching. Any time you applique letters or numbers, you’ll want to trace them in the reverse since you will flip them when you adhere them to your garment.

Next you’ll want to iron your webbing onto your felt or fabric. For Heat n Bond, set it on the “wool” setting (NO STEAM). Iron the design onto the felt or fabric for about 3 or so seconds so it looks like this:
Carefully cut the appliques out. This applique is a bit detailed so having small, pointy tip scissors will come in handy here.  I use the micro-tip scissors from Fiskars and they work great.
Place the appliques exactly where you want them on the t-shirt with the glossy/fusible webbing side face down. Iron the applique on to the t-shirt pressing for about 10 seconds. I ironed “dream” first and then BIG second. Again be sure to use the wool setting with no steam. Check to be sure that the appliques are firmly adhered to the shirt.

Now that your appliques are attached to the t-shirt, you’re ready to start the applique process. To stitch by hand, cut about 3-4 feet of your embroidery thread. Your skein of thread will have six strands. Separate two of the strands from the piece you’ve cut and thread them through your needle.

For this t-shirt, I use a straight stitch. It’s a basic stitch and great for a beginner. You basically bring the needle up through the t-shirt and back down making straight little stitches about a 2 cm in from the edge of your applique.
A great video tutorial for the straight stitch is available here. The nice thing about sewing coordinating thread (floss) on felt or fabric is that it’s hard to see so it’s very forgiving if you’re a beginning stitcher. If you’re an experienced hand stitcher, it is fun to experiment with contrasting threads and different stitches.
Once you have finished stitching all of the appliques, you are finished. You could play around with different colors or even create your own design using different fonts.
If you get stuck or have any questions, feel free to comment here or message me at

Thanks so much for having me, Allison! I hope you and your family are enjoying a well deserved vacation. Aloha!

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Allison Waken is a wife, mom of boys and Phoenix, AZ native. She has been creating inspiring content for All for the Boys since 2011. Allison loves travel, movies and spending as much time as possible with her family while she can!


  1. @Heather, the tee turned out great!! It looks darling on your little guy. Thanks for sharing!

    And thanks for having me, Allison! 🙂

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