DIY Daddy Daughter T-shirts

In honor of Father’s Day weekend, I wanted to share with you this Daddy Daughter T-shirt set that I designed for Cricut! PLUS, here are my top five tips to make your DIY tees look like they were store bought!

DIY Daddy Daughter T-shirts by Curt R. Jensen

Being a Dad to two little “Mermaids” is the best. Just when you think you have them figured out, they develop a new set of quirks and interests. Right now, both of my girls are obsessed with mermaids. So much so that my 11-year-old has written and illustrated two original novels titled, The Lost Mermaid and The Lost Mermaid: The SEA-quel. We’re even theming her 12th birthday party around her book and we will be wearing these T-shirts to her party next month! My wife and I will be the “Mermaid Security” watching over all of the little “Mermaids-in-Training.”

Not throwing a mermaid party? These tees would also be great family tees for your next trip to Disneyland or SeaWorld. Or a mom and dad can wear the “Mermaid Security” tees as they escort their cosplaying Little Mermaids around the Magic Kingdom! They’d also be perfect for a family day at the lake, beach, or pool.

DIY T-SHIRT TIP #1 – Designs don’t have to be XL to make an impact

Rather than filling the entire front of our T-shirts with these designs, I opted to cut-out them out small. I ironed them on to the left chest of each shirt. Placement over the left chest is usually used for embroidering or silkscreening company logos. I liked that this placement would give our tees an “official” look!

Daddy Daughter Tees by Curt R. Jensen

Now, getting the right placement over the left chest is the key to having a professional look. How do you find the right spot? Here is the trick to find your center line:

VERTICAL – Using a disappearing pen, mark your center lines by drawing down from neck where the neck seam meets the shoulder seam.

HORIZONTAL – Measure the armhole from top of the shoulder to the bottom of the armhole and calculate the halfway measurement. Mark a horizontal line that is perpendicular to the other line to get your center. Where these two lines intersect is the center of your logo or design!

DIY T-SHIRT TIP #2 – Add a second design element

One of my favorite things to do when I’m making my own T-shirts is to add text or an icon to a second area of my tee. Some of my favorite places to add this element is to the center back (just below the neckline) or one of the sleeves. These areas are the perfect place for small logos, names, and icons.

Add an icon to the sleeve

For our mermaid tees, I pulled a design element from each image to iron on our sleeves. Since our tees already had an image on the left chest, I opted to place our icons on the opposite side of the tee, on the right sleeve.

DIY T-SHIRT TIP #3 – Add large lettering to the center back

Large lettering is often used for team jerseys, police uniforms, and members of a road crew. But I have noticed a trend of large lettering being used on everyday tees, too. On our recent trip to Disneyland, I noticed several tees in their gift shops with large lettering. Some were simply branded “DISNEYLAND,” while others featured sayings from popular movies like “HAKUNA MATATA.”

Add some text to the back of you tee

For our tees, I pulled the lettering from the Cricut art and enlarged them. The girls tees proudly announce that they are “MERMAIDS,” while mine announces to everyone that I am their “SECURITY” guard!

Add some text to the back of you tee

DIY T-SHIRT TIP #4 – Scale your art to the size of the T-shirt

This simple trick is probably the most important of all!!! If you notice in the image above, the elements for my T-shirt are much larger than the elements for my daughters’ tees. I also scaled the images down even more for my 7 year-old’s tee! Following this tip will make sure that everyone’s tee is in proportion with one another.

DIY T-SHIRT TIP #5 – Don’t forget to cut the mirror image!

When you’re using iron-on vinyl, DON’T FORGET to cut the mirror image of your design! Whenever I am working in Cricut Design Space or Silhouette Studio, I always design my cut files in reverse so I don’t accidentally cut the vinyl out incorrectly!

DIY Daddy Daughter T-shirts made with the Cricut

What you’ll need to make these Daddy Daughter T-shirts:

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Download these T-shirt designs from Cricut Design Space


Did you make these T-shirts???

I would love to see how your T-shirts turned out. Please tag me (@curtrjensen) on Instagram or comment below with a link to your blog post.


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