Monday, February 7, 2011

Love Skull Boy's Valentine Shirt Tutorial

Ever tried making a Valentine's Day shirt for an almost 9-year-old boy?

It's not easy. They are apparently averse to hearts and love. So I had to sort of sneak in the lovey-dovey part in the midst of a much more boyish motif - the skull and crossbones.


I changed the shape of the skull's eyes to be hearts. The heads of the bones are also sort of heart-shaped. I almost hoped Riley wouldn't notice. He did. He likes it anyway. Don't let his double-thumbs-down fool you.


Wanna make one? Here you go!

Love Skull Template - this is sized for Riley's 10/12 size shirt. Scale it down for smaller shirts.
Red shirt
Black knit fabric
Freezer Paper
Pins - lots and lots of pins

First, I traced the template onto the paper side of the freezer paper. I then ironed the freezer paper to my knit and cut the shape with the freezer paper still attached. This stabilizes the knit and keeps it from stretching and curling while you're cutting.

After I cut out the shapes, I pinned them to the shirt - no fusible was used here. I want the edges to curl up and be sort of rough looking once they are washed, and since knit won't fray, I didn't use any fusible web at all. Instead, I pinned. And pinned. And pinned. I pinned this thing to death to keep it from stretching or moving while I sewed it on.


Then, I just stitched it down. Go slow, and be prepared to turn the machine by hand. Stitch right over all those pins. It feels wrong, but if you don't, the knit stretches and shifts. Make sure to remember to stitch around the eyes and nose as well.


You're done! Find a model.



Make him model against his will.



Try to get him to smile unsuccessfully.



And be prepared to dodge snowballs once he's sick of modeling. (This one hit his baby brother. Oops.)


  1. LOVE the commentary on the pictures, and the shirt is adorable!! Great job...its always so hard to find ideas for cute boy stuff for holidays like valentine's day, but you did a fab job! :)

  2. I love this shirt! My little man is obsessed with Skulls, this would be perfect for him. Thanks for sharing

  3. Riley has a clever Mommy!! How cute is that shirt? ( and the model) Aren't boys interesting?

  4. 9-year old boys are averse to hearts and love? Say it isn't so!

  5. This is cute. Came over here from One Pretty Thing.

  6. Emily these are so fun for Vday!!! Thanks for sharing!!

  7. I just made this for my little boy and I love it! Thanks for sharing your fun ideas, I love your blog!

  8. This is a fun idea - I'll have to make one for my nephew! Thanks!

  9. I made this for my 9 year old. Unfortunately, my sewing machine and I could not come to terms, so I ended up Liquid Stitch(ing) it on. Worked like a charm and he was thrilled! Check out the pics on my post:

  10. Thanks so much for sharing the template and the tutorial! The design would also make great printed t-shirts.

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  12. This is cute. Awesome long sleeve for kids with a skull logo.

  13. Woah! That guy should have basic fashion knowledge. Fashion Police might have him in their front cover soon.

  14. Great idea, esp. since teen boys are so difficult to sew for.
    I featured it here:


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