Got a Fickle Heart? Make This Write & Wash T-Shirt

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I got this idea from my husband. He loves the look of tattoos, but has never gotten one because he worries about permanently committing to a design. Then, one day, he came up with the idea of getting a classic heart tattoo with a banner running across it, but leaving the banner blank. That way, he could just use a permanent marker to write in whatever he wanted or customize it for special occasions. I thought it was such a funny idea with so many possibilities, I've begged him to have it done! But, alas, he remains tattoo-less. In the meantime, perhaps I will make him a grown-up version of this shirt. Just add washable markers, and your child can write in whatever strikes his or her fancy at the moment. We all know how fickle kids can be about the latest thing. Whether it's the latest teen celebrity, a favorite team, or, as my 5-year-old chose, tacos, kids can express what they love over and over again. 

Download Got a Fickle Heart? Make This Write & Wash T-Shirt Template

What you'll need

  • Blank t-shirt (any color except red or white)
  • Red cotton fabric
  • White cotton fabric
  • 1 Sheet double-sided fusible web (e.g. Lite EZ-Steam II)
  • Washable markers

How to make it

  1. Before you begin, make sure you test your washable markers on the white fabric. Not all "washable" markers are truly washable, or they are more washable on some fabrics than others. Write on the fabric in several colors and allow it to set for at least an hour. Then wash all of the fabrics you will be using (including the t-shirt) on the setting and using the detergent you will use when you launder the completed t-shirt. Do not use softener. If all of the marker comes out, you are all set! Dry without softener. Iron out all wrinkles. Note: Softener leaves a waxy coating on fabrics that may prevent the fusible web from creating the strongest possible bond.

  2. Note: I used Pellon's Lite EZ-Steam II as the double-sided fusible web for this project. If you are using a different brand, please read and follow the manufacturer's instructions on the packaging.

    Trace the templates provided onto the paper backing that does not remove easily..

  3. Roughly cut out the shapes and remove one side of the paper backing (the one that removes easily). Stick the fusible web firmly to the fabrics. The heart on the red fabric and the banner on the white fabric. Use fabric scissors to cut along the traced lines.

  4. Remove the second paper backing from the heart, making sure the fusible web sticks to the fabric. On an ironing board, center the heart on the t-shirt, several inches below the collar. Set iron to the hottest cotton setting with steam. Place a damp cloth over the heart and press with the hot iron for 10-15 seconds. Remove the damp cloth. If you want to use a sewing machine to stitch around the heart, do so now.

    Peel off the backing from the banner and position it over the heart. Place a damp cloth over the banner and press for 10-15 seconds. Remove the cloth. If you wish to stitch around the banner, do so now,

    Note: The fusible web forms a permanent bond, however, it may be affected by laundry softener. If your child will wear this shirt often, and especially if you use softener, I recommend stitching around the appliqués with a short zigzag stitch for extra security and to prevent fraying..

  5. Use the washable markers you tested to write words and/or messages on the heart. Launder the shirt as usual to remove the message before writing a new one. Make sure the marker washes out completely before drying in a clothes dryer, as heat may set the marker permanently.

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