DIY Superhero Shirts and Robes for the Bridal Party

My daughter’s wedding, like most these days I’d guess, was influenced by Pinterest.  We had a secret board where the bride, the maid of honor and I could keep track of every relevant wedding idea we came across.  We tried to be pretty selective, and cleaned it out once in a while, so it stayed manageable and ended up being an excellent tool in the planning process.  In fact, she made it public after the wedding was over, so if you’d like to see what we were working with you’ll find it here.  We didn’t use every idea on it, but I’m not sure how we would have managed without it.

Looking back at it, the photo I’m going to talk about today isn’t even on that board.  But if you do a quick search, you’ll see pictures similar to this one our boys posed for.

DIY Superhero T-Shirts and Robes - Crafty Staci 1

The bride and groom are both big superhero fans.  In fact, this is their car, which my daughter has been driving for about 4 years.  The Batman symbol on the hood was not part of the getaway car décor.

DIY Superhero T-Shirts and Robes - Crafty Staci 2

The bride’s dad is a police lieutenant and the groom just graduated from the fire academy so as we talked about the superhero photo we realized it made complete sense to include those real heroes’ symbols among the imaginary.  However, that meant we wouldn’t be buying the shirts already made.  They went on my to-do list. 

Since I was making them anyway, I thought maybe if we used all white the boys could just leave them on, hoping they would be covered by their vests.

DIY Superhero T-Shirts and Robes - Crafty Staci 3

It worked in the photos, but in person you can see a little color peeking out over the top of those vests.  I’m still glad we use white though, because I love how it made the symbols stand out.

DIY Superhero T-Shirts and Robes - Crafty Staci 4

So, what about the girls?  I had already planned to make robes for each of them to wear while they were getting their hair and makeup done, so I decided I’d make them match the boys, in the girliest way possible.

DIY Superhero T-Shirts and Robes - Crafty Staci 5

I made the robes using Simplicity 1720, the view in the upper left corner. 


I added loops to the sides because I knew we’d find the belts everywhere later if they weren’t attached to the robes.  When I was finished sewing them I decided they needed a little something, so I sewed lace to the bottom hem.  You might recognize the fabric from the rug I showed you last month that I made for the wedding bathroom.  It was a great way to use up those scraps!

DIY Superhero T-Shirts and Robes - Crafty Staci 6

To make the iron-ons for both the robes and the t-shirts, I ordered these printable sheets.

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If you follow the directions exactly, these work beautifully.  They survived washing just fine, and the colors were very vibrant, perfect for the comic book look we were going for.

DIY Superhero T-Shirts and Robes - Crafty Staci 7

This was definitely one of the more offbeat projects I did for the wedding, and one of the most fun!

My thanks to Heather Fitch Photography for allowing me to share some of her photos here!

Asking the Bridesmaids

They’ve set the date, so my daughter’s wedding is officially happening on July 12, 2014.  If you ask her, she can probably tell you down to the minute how far away that is.  Even so, there was a certain sense of urgency when it came to officially asking her bridesmaids to be in the wedding.  Her maid of honor is leaving, as we speak, for basic training in the Air Force, so we had to hurry. Codi didn’t want to just say “Hey, so will you be my bridesmaid?”  She wanted to give the girls something cute to start off the little journey we’re all about to take.  I might have kinda jumped at the chance to do something wedding-related.  Since the final gifts have been delivered, I can now share with you what we did.

We started with this card.  We used a photo from the engagement (which the maid of honor got by using her ninja skills to hide in some bushes!), a photo from the party and one we took later of Codi by herself.

Asking the Bridesmaids - Crafty Staci 1

The next step was a container.  I happened to find these decorative, empty books at Michaels.  Codi and I had no problem matching each book to each girl.

Asking the Bridesmaids - Crafty Staci 2

Codi wanted tank tops for each girl similar to the ones I made for the engagement party, only they say “Bridesmaid” and “Maid of Honor” on them.  That, my friends, was a LOT of cutting to make the freezer paper stencils.

Asking the Bridesmaids - Crafty Staci 3

We filled the rest of the box with a little bottle of sparkling lemon juice, a tiny glass that I etched their first initial on, a silk Gerbera daisy, lemon hand sanitizer and white chocolate truffles.  We got very lucky, and everything fit perfectly.

Audra is the maid of honor, currently in Texas surviving basic training.  She and Codi have been friends since grade school.

Asking the Bridesmaids - Crafty Staci 4

Kate is home from her college in New York for the summer.  She and Codi have been buddies for many years and together they are a ball of energy.

Asking the Bridesmaids - Crafty Staci 5

Allison and Hannah are John’s sisters.  Codi is my only girl, so no sisters of her own, but she’s thrilled to adopt these two to fill the role.

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Asking the Bridesmaids - Crafty Staci 7

These little boxes were the perfect first step into the whirlwind of wedding preparation that’s already begun.  I’m going to do my best to hang on and enjoy the ride!

Asking the Bridesmaids - Crafty Staci 8

Disney Dreaming–Bleach Pen and Reverse Applique T-Shirts

This all started because I found a hole in one of my favorite t-shirts.  It has all the qualities I love in a T, and the hole was front and center, obvious, and not fixable.  I’ve been wanting to try both bleach pens and reverse applique, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.  Besides, we’re going to Disneyland at the end of the month to celebrate our daughter’s graduation from high school, so an appropriately decorated shirt is in order.

shirts 1
shirts 1

My original plan was to trace around the mouse head with a bleach pen to create kind of a glow, then move on to the reverse applique.  But I learned something very important:  bleach pens go bad.  I thought it wasn’t working because my red shirt has synthetic fibers in it, so I pulled out the black T, which is cotton, and tried it.  I ended up letting them both sit all night and not one bit of dye was lifted the next morning.  After a trip to the store for a new bleach pen I was much more successful.

I started by printing the design I wanted to use on the non-shiny side of a piece of freezer paper.  I’ve done this many times with no problem, but this time I jammed up my printer.  Make sure your paper is lying flat before feeding it through.  Cut out the shape and iron the shiny side onto the shirt.  Also iron a piece larger than your design to the opposite side to prevent the bleach from bleeding through to the back.  I also slide a piece of cardboard inside the shirt for extra protection and to give me a flat surface.

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shirts 2

If you have a design with more than one piece, I recommend using the paper you cut away as a placement guide, like I did with the dragonfly I made on the black shirt.

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shirts 2.5

Shake the bleach pen well, then draw a thick, even line around the outside of the shape.  Keep in mind if you have very many lines to draw that what you drew first will fade the most.  Rinse the bleach off thoroughly.

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shirts 3

The amount of time you need to wait for the color to lift can vary.  I let this sit on the red shirt for 10 – 15 minutes, and the change was still pretty light.  I only had to leave it on the black shirt for a couple of minutes.  I originally planned to reverse applique the wings on the dragonfly, but I liked the orangey-red color it was turning so much I filled them in with a swirl pattern instead.

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shirts 4

I continued on with the mouse though.  For reverse applique, you need to sew a piece of fabric underneath your design and cut away the inside fabric on top.  I went with some black ribbed knit I had left over from a pajama project.  Cut a piece larger than your design.

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shirts 5

Pin the fabric to the back of the design.  LOTS of pins.  I found sliding my small cutting board inside the shirt helped a lot.  It kept everything flat and I didn’t have to worry about accidentally pinning through the back.

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shirts 6

Stitch around the design.  I stitched just inside the bleach line with a small zigzag, so everything could still stretch.  If you are a beginning sewist, I wouldn’t recommend a design with this many curves.  It was tough to keep from stretching the fabric.

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shirts 7

Turn the shirt inside out and cut away some of the added fabric.  Be sure not to cut the shirt or stitches.

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shirts 8

Turn the shirt back right side out and use a small, sharp pair of scissors to cut away the t-shirt fabric inside the stitching.  The hole in the my shirt turned out to be useful, since it gave me a starting point.

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shirts 9

Cut all the way around, close to but not through your stitching. 

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shirts 10

I felt like my Mickey was more of a Minnie, so I made her a little bow and sewed it through both layers.

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shirts 11

I’m completely hooked on both of these techniques, and have already been searching my closet for more holey shirts.  I don’t know what the actual life span of a bleach pen is, but I have a feeling this one won’t find out.

shirts 12
shirts 12

Friday Favorites–New Life for Old Clothes

This is the time of year when I always find myself standing in front of my closet with a critical eye, ready to start tossing.  Sometimes it’s things that have just seen their last outing, thanks to a hole here or a stain there.  But often, it’s just that I’m tired of looking at a garment in it’s current form.  In fact, I’m working on a major clothing refashion of my own I’ll be showing you soon.  In the meantime, I’ve found lots of inspiration.

I actually tried this Pinched Hem from Feathers Flights a couple of months ago.  My jeans are always too long, but I don’t like the look of my “homemade” hems.  This trick worked beautifully.


This Draped T-Shirt from One Avian Daemon is made from a piece of knit fabric, but I think it could also be done with a t-shirt or two.


I love these Faux Chenille Capri Pants from RoCa and Company.  I think if I made these with the chenille closer to the hem I could get away with it.

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I used to have a sweatshirt with three-quarter length sleeves and I wore it a lot this time of the year.  I’ve been thinking about altering a long-sleeved one I already have to replace it, and I’d like to also use the neckline from this Sweatshirt Makeover from Irish Attic.


My short-short days are over, but luckily I have a daughter with lovely legs.  I think she’s going to need these DIY Vintage Lace Trimmed Shorts from Hippie Lace.  Living vicariously through my daughter’s closet.

hippie lace DIY eyelet lace trim shorts

The ruffle and buttons are a great details on this Men’s Polo Shirt to Woman’s Cute Shirt with Yolk from LauPre.  This would be equally fun with short sleeves for summer.


I’m not sure this Snowflake Cutout Tank from Honeybear Lane on Ucreate would be the same if she hadn’t used the black and white polka dot fabric.  It really adds to the design.


These little Ruffle Cuff Pants from The Mother Huddle are adorable.  How cute would this be for shorts?


I love how the braiding turns this big, boring shirt into something so stylish.  Scroll all the way to the bottom of the tutorial on Crafting Dreams to see what she did with the bottom of the sleeves.


Single-shoulder tops are everywhere right now, so why not make your own?  Find out how with this tutorial from Craft.


Also, in case you haven’t already heard, next Monday is the first day of Giveaway Day (which is really Giveaway Week) at Sew, Mama, Sew!  If you haven’t heard of it, you’re really missing something.  Hundreds of bloggers and crafters from all over participate by giving something away.  Some offer a premade item, others craft supplies.  Some give both.  Everyone has their own method of entry, but it’s often as simple as leaving a comment. 

I’ll be giving something away as well, so be sure to check back here on Monday to see what it is and enter to win!

Friday Favorites–Gifts for Teens

The only people on the planet who are more difficult to craft for than men are teens.  If you’ve got a male teen, you’re nodding your head right now.  Fortunately, there are some good suggestions out there…and not one of them runs on batteries or has a USB connector.

Not often, but once in a while a teenager has a little cash.  This Capri Sun Wallet from Instructables user gwebisu would be the perfect place to keep it.


I have a thing for paper and writing tools, and it goes back to way before I was a teen.  I actually have a couple of notebooks and pens stashed to make this Covered Notebook and Matching Pen.


As a fad, friendship bracelets come and go.  I’m not sure where we are with them right now, but I’m guessing “in,” based on this Friendship Bracelet Kit from Perpetual Kid.


This DIY Hairpiece from Alex the Hungry Ghost would be a nice change of pace from, or maybe addition to, all the feathers out there right now.


This Simple Brown Skirt from Show, Tell, Share is a perfect casual, easy style for a teen.

brown skirt

So many kids need to carry a laptop computer back and forth to school these days.  You might want to protect that investment with this Reversible Laptop Sleeve from Film and Thread.


These Batman! Comic Book Flats from Cut Out and Keep are amazing.  Visit the page and scroll down to see all of the reader submitted versions.


What teenager doesn’t wear t-shirts?  This Easy T-Shirt Sketching project from Instructables user goosezilla would be fun to personalize for the recipient.


My son wants to put a hammock in his bedroom, otherwise known as the man-cave.  Unique Projects shows us how to make a simple version.


This is the most amazing journal I have ever seen.  Writing on photos?  Love it!  Visit Photojojo for complete instructions.


Good luck creating!

Friday Favorites–Halloween

Instead of always falling on October 31st, I think Halloween should always be on a Friday.  How much fun can you have on a Monday?  Even with candy!  In the spirit of the holiday, we’ll give it a try anyway.

I don’t know that this Cutout Skully Tee from Cut Out + Keep was intended for Halloween, but it’s perfect anyway.


If you’re in need of some great Halloween party food ideas, look no further than Our Best Bites.


I love this little Ghostie Garland from Ginger and George.  It reminds me a little of Pac-Man, but cuter.


I have a couple of plug-in plastic light-up pumpkins, but this Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin Lamp Light from Ragdoll722 on Etsy is definitely a step up.


My son was REALLY into bats for a while when he was younger.  He would have loved these Bat Party Invitations from One Charming Party.


This Pumpkin Art from Eighteen25 manages to be modern and a little vintage at the same time.


I have so many giant spiders living on the outside of my house right now I don’t need to add any decorative ones, but if yours is spider-free try these Balloon Spiders from Martha Stewart.


This Halloween Spook Banner from Organize & Decorate Everything is so simple and clever!


Candy Corn Halloween Monster from Wonderstrange.  Just ‘cuz.


It’s usually getting cold around here by Halloween.  These Fleece Halloween Hats from Fleece Fun would be perfect right about now.  The pattern is available for download in Baby, Child and Adult sizes.


I’m off to try and find some early Halloween fun!

Friday Favorites–Independence Day

I’m back from hot, sparkly Las Vegas, just in time for the 4th of July!  It won’t be hot here, but we can count on sparkly. 

Years ago, when we moved into our house, we were thrilled to discover we can watch one of the large, local fireworks displays from the comfort of our back deck.  I don’t think we’ve left home on Independence Day since.  There’s food, sometimes music, and always bug spray.  I’ve rounded up a few ideas today we might throw into the mix this year.

I like the simplicity of this Apothecary Jar from Makoodle.  Great for the 4th of July, but subtle enough it could be left out year-round.


I never make Jello anymore.  I don’t know why, because I actually like it.  I think this American Flag Jello from Polwig is the perfect opportunity to jump back in.


There’s always that lag between dinner and dark enough for fireworks.  This Fourth of July Balloon Dart Game from Roots and Wings Co would be a great way to spend that time.


I love dipped pretzels, so you can imagine how I feel about this Pretzel Americana from Poca Cosa.


I’ve attempted an American flag quilt or two in the past, but they don’t compare to this one from Etsy seller justsewquilts.


I’ve seen this cake on several websites, but So Wonderful, So Marvelous has great directions.


I’ve heard a rumor that soon toilet paper won’t have that little cardboard tube on the inside anymore.  You better start saving up so you can make these cute Confetti Popper Rockets from Alphamom.


I think these ribbon sticks from A Girl and A Glue Gun would be a great alternative to sparklers for the little ones.


The thing I love about these 4th of July Shirts from Make It and Love It is that there’s a boy version  and a girl version.  Having one of each myself, I’ve always been a sucker for that kind of thing.


Everywhere I turn lately, I see Star Spangled Strawberries like these from From Glitter to Gumdrops.  I think that means I need some.


Have a happy and safe pre-Independence Day weekend!

Friday Favorites–T-Shirt Refashion and Recycling

T-shirts are like the flour of fashion.  They aren’t good for much all by themselves but they’re the foundation of a lot of things that couldn’t exist without them.  Once in a while, I look into my closet, wonder how I ended up with so many t-shirts and go shopping for something new.  But I always come back to them, and occasionally try to figure out how I can make them better with crayons, paint, bleach or scissors.  And I’m not the only one out there.

These T-Shirt Pom Poms from Craftaholics Anonymous are not only cute, but they look like they would be really fun to make.


I’m so glad I found this this tutorial for Dear Lizzy’s Pretty Petals Tee before I bought another one of these flowery tops.  I actually wish I had found it before I bought the first one.


I like crafts I can do while I watch television or movies with my family. These T-Shirt Yarn Braided Coasters from Homework would be perfect, and when I’m done, I can set whatever tasty beverage I’m drinking on them.


I love all of the texture and detail on this Anthropologie Pratia Tank Top from Made by Lex.


I’ve wanted to try these Bleach Pen T-Shirts, like these from Show Tell Share, for months now.  I’m just waiting for the weather to be nice enough I can do it outside so I don’t knock myself out.


This Empire Cut Blouse from Guaya is cute, but the bit of ribbon and lace she added makes it adorable.


I. Love. This. Rug.  Thanks to Xoelle for sharing how she made it.


This Long Sleeved Shirt to Short Sleeves from Make It and Love It didn’t just get its sleeves cut off, but added details as well.


All I can say about this reverse applique t-shirt from Sew Simple is wow.


And finally, a pretty Lace Applique Tank Top refashion from Ali Foster Patterns that would be perfect for the lovely summer weather I’m sure is coming our way soon. 


Friday Favorites–St. Patrick’s Day

Because my maiden name starts with a “Mc” I think I can safely claim some Irish blood.  But who doesn’t this time of year?  This week’s Friday Favorites is dedicated to the day for the wearing of the green.

What is it about putting eyes and a tiny smile on something that makes it adorable?  If I could crochet, I’d make these I’ll Let You Borrow My Four Leaf Clovers from Alicia Kachmar.


It’s not Friday Favorites if there’s nothing made out of felt.  These Shamrock Barrettes from Holiday Crafts and Creations would keep the pinchers away.


St. Patrick’s Day is a little light on the decorations, compared to some other holidays.  Most of them go in the green shamrock direction, but it’s nice to see someone take on the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  This Rainbow Pot by Marie LeBaron on Craft is a great kid project.


And I also like this different version on Make and Takes (Marie’s blog!).


I like cute skulls.  There, I said it.  These Irish to the Bone Greeting Cards from OnCupcakeMoon on Etsy are adorable, like everything in her shop.


Food is another area that’s hard to cover for St. Patrick’s Day, especially if you aren’t a fan of green beer or corned beef.  I think these Pretzel Shamrocks from On a Whimm do a good job of filling the void.


One of the key features of St. Patrick’s Day is wearing green, and what better way to do it than with these Shamrock Chic T-Shirts from iCandy Handmade.


A Leprechaun Beard from No Time for Flash Cards.  I don’t think I need to say anything more.


Friday Favorites–My Favorites

Last Friday I listed the top 10 most popular posts from this blog in the past year.   This week, as we’re nearing the end of my First Anniversary celebration, I wanted to share some of my personal favorites.  There would be some duplicates, like the whole list, so I won’t go over those again.  These are a few that didn’t make the last cut, but still hold a special place in my heart.


Pillowcases 101

Pillowcase 15

For some reason, I just really love making these pillowcases.  When you turn the whole thing out of the tube and you can see what the three fabrics are actually going to look like together...that’s my favorite moment in any project.


Lip-Shaped Bag

Lip 15

I wish my photography had been better on these, because they are so much cuter in person than they came off here.  I need to make more of them soon.


Pineapple Purse

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I was happy this purse fulfilled my girl’s pineapple wishes for her birthday, but I also love it just because it turned out the way it looked in my head.  That doesn’t always happen. 


Bleach-Sprayed T-Shirts

Bleach 5

These were fun and a little dangerous, a thrill for my internal adrenaline junkie.


Crayon T-Shirts

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Any craft I can do with my kids, put Wonder Woman on, use crayons for and wear later is ok with me.


Microwave Homemade Caramels

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I just made these again for Valentine’s Day and they are still ridiculously delicious.  I mean they were.


When I look back at my projects from the past year, there isn’t one I wouldn’t do again.  I’ve made mistakes, but I’ve learned a lot.  That’s why we’re all here, right?

Don’t forget, you can enter my First Anniversary Giveaway until midnight tonight!  You could win your choice of any of my tutorials…made by me just for you!

It's my birthday, so here's a few of my favorite things

Today is my birthday, so I thought I'd share a list of ten things I think are kinda awesome.  Some of them are crafty, others not so much. 10.  Let's just get this out of the way:  I'm not a swimmer.  Furthermore, my bikini days are gone.  I don't usually notice swimwear but this bikini caught my eye in InStyle magazine.  I couldn't find it on their website, but here it is at Dillards .  For some reason it makes me wish for it.

9.  I am the queen of tiny injuries in annoying places.  I used to wear the kids' Blues Clues bandages, just because it's what we had in the house.  Now I want something not so flesh-toned of my own.  You can find these at Perpetual Kid, whose website is just fun to browse anyway.

8.  I really just want to see if these FitFlops are as great as they say they are.  Ok, I like the studs too.

7.  I really want an indoor herb garden, and I love that this one from Craftzine is made from recycled materials.  The only problem is, I would also need an indoor herb gardener to keep it alive.

6.  I love pens.  I am constantly searching for the perfect one.  This Crayola version at Perpetual Kid might be it.

5.  I love all the zipper detail on clothes and accessories right now.  I'm not usually a brooch-wearer, but I'd make an exception for this one from JoAnn.  It's just the right combination of girly and punk.

4.  I have some of my best ideas in the shower.  Unfortunately, as soon as the water's gone so is whatever I was thinking about.  This waterproof notepad from Incredible Things isn't a's a need.

3.  Hello.  My name is Staci and I'm a sugarholic.  This is just enabling my problem, but it gives me something to do with the debris from my other addiction:  coffee.  That makes it ok, right?  Right?!?  Thanks to the artist at Instructables who came up with this.

2.  If you've kept up with my blog, you know I'm a Wonder Woman fan.  I have been since I was a little girl.  Remember the Crayon T-Shirts?  This is another version of Wonder Woman by a different artist at Deviant Art that I would love to have on a shirt.  Or the hood of my car.  No?

1.  When I was a kid, we had this one odd spoon in the silverware drawer.  I don't know where it came from, and it wasn't particularly fancy or anything, but my sisters and I used to fight over it.  This one looks nothing like it, but made me think of it anyway.  These can be found at Think Geek and I have to get one.  Don't tell my sisters.