There is nothing more meaningful than receiving a personalized gift. Today’s handmade Christmas gift idea is stenciled shirts.

If I had more time, and no more gifts to make, we would be making a humongous load of these shirts. They are so easy to make, the ideas are endless, and they’re a lot of fun to personalize!

Age Range: 2 and up

Time Required: 5 minutes per shirt

Skills: Able to hold a paintbrush (will need maximum supervision, or the whole shirt will be painted :D)


  • shirts – long or short sleeve
  • fabric paint
  • sponge brushes
  • stencils
  • cardboard
  • xacto craft knife

Step 1

Create your stencil! The best way to go about this is to search for an image you want – for example, balloon, then size it to fit your shirt. Because the image will be solid on your shirt, it’s easiest to use silhouette images, and there are some really cute ones out there!

Dollar stores also have a LOT of stencil options available, so better get out there and looking now!

Step 2

After you have picked your image(s), print them and place on top of cardboard. Using your xacto knife – preferably the craft knife as you’ll need to turn some corners – cut the stencil out of the cardboard. You may need to make a few passes on the cardboard, depending on how thick it is, but keep going until you can pop your stencil out easily.

Step 3

Place another piece of cardboard inside the shirt to prevent the paint from leaking through. Place your stencil over the shirt, choose your paint colour, and go to town!
The possibilities are endless.