Framed T-Shirt Art Tutorial

You know I have an affinity for favorite old t-shirts.  I simply cannot throw away a sentimental shirt.  Especially the Chicago Fire Department shirts that my dad has given us.  We wear them till they literally start falling apart, I alter them to fit better so I'll wear them more, and now I've begun using them as wall art! 

Paxton has grown out of his animal-themed nursery.  So gradually we've been turning his room into a more big-boy room.  He already had a giant fire station (Kidkraft Deluxe Fire Rescue Set) that he got for Christmas last year, plus several larger fire trucks, so we decided to continue that theme.

Lucky me. :) I had several old authentic CFD t-shirts and a few red record album cover frames that made the perfect (and cheap) wall-art project for his big boy room.

Framed T-Shirts

This t-shirt framing idea would be really cool in a teen's room - maybe to display old sports team tees or jerseys, or favorite concert t-shirts, etc.

I used several different t-shirts for all the frames.  The back design for three of the shirts were put into these red frames.  I took the backing of the frame out, wrapped the design on the back of t-shirt around the wood backing, and placed it in the frame.

Next, I cut the rest of the t-shirt off and secured it to the board with good ol' duct tape!  No one sees the back -- it's okay that it's not pretty.

Framed T-Shirt Tutorial

I still had the front emblems from the t-shirts leftover that I didn't want to throw away, so I used those in some smaller frames that I had spray-painted red.  I used duct tape again to attach the fabric to the the back of the white photo mat.

Framed T-shirt Logo

Framed T-Shirt Logo

I like how this 5-minute project turned out, and I think it gives his "big boy fire station" room a more grown-up feel. 

Fire Station Bedroom

I still have a few projects I might work on to finish off his room:

  • maybe a custom-painted sign that says "PAXTON FIRE DEPARTMENT" to go below the t-shirt frames
  • or a fire-bell lamp above his bed
  • paint the walls
  • add a big life-sized dalmation figurine at the foot of his bed
  • a white ladder shelf above the bed on the side wall
  • and wouldn't it be cool to have a brick wall installed alongside his bed? (okay, I probably won't really do that one). 

But for now, this is a good upgrade (along with that headboard I got from craigslist & the little red dresser that was about to be tossed in the trash by my neighbors - a good sanding and a fresh coat of glossy red paint, and it fits right in!)

Fire Station Bedroom

He seems to like it too.  That's important, right? :)

23 comments so far:

Maria D. said:

Someone shared this post with me today and it's incredible how you've preserved these wonderful sentimental tshirts. Thank you for sharing this! Looking forward to looking at your archives for more projects! Thanks :)

Bonny said:

I wanted to let you know that I featured your framed shirts on my 10 Ways to Showcase Special T-Shirts post at

Amanda @ The Little Giggler said:

I love this idea! Thanks for sharing this at The Little Giggler! :)

Lelanie@To Sew With Love said:

what a neat project and such a great idea! Thanks for sharing this with us. We have featured this project at the Crafty Saturday Party. do stop by and grab a featured button if you fancy so.


Kathie said:

I love this! Super cute and easy art! What a great idea. I love the big boy room. Thanks for sharing!

s.K said:

This is such a great idea! I am always looking for new ways to save treasured tshirts.

Kelley said:

Ohhh.. I love this! Ill have to keep it in mind when decorating my sons room!

Thanks for linking up to Financial Friday! Im featuring this tomorrow at 7! :)

Bonny said:

This is such a great idea! We have a lot of sports jerseys from all the teams and different sports our three boys have played on. This would be a fun way to decorate their game room. I've pinned your project, and eventually, when I finish my post about great ways to repurpose t-shirts, I will include a link here!

Bonny @

Katie Drane said:

What a brilliant idea! I have some t-shirts I just can't part with so I'm glad you shared this:)


Printabelle said:

The graphics are always really well done, so I can definitely see them as art. I've been seeing lots of ideas using worn clothes as art and I love it! Thanks for linking up!

Elizabeth @ Lizzi's Creations said:

That is awesome! So clever and creative!

NanAppetit said:

What a great idea! I pinned it.

Kerri said:

Love this idea!! Now I finally know what to do with my husband's old concert t-shirts!

Jill said:

What a great idea to prolong the life of those t-shirts even more! They look fantastic framed and the perfect addition to a big boys room!

Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
Hope you have a fabulous week!
Jill @ Creating my way to Success

Tracy said:

I love this project! I'd love it if you'd join me on my T.G.I.F. Linky Party that I host every Thursday evening - Sunday and I'd love to be added to your list. :)


Erin {Home Everyday} said:

I really like this idea, and you are inspiring me to frame all my race t-shirts from all the 5K and 10K's I ran with my Dad. The original plan was to make a quilt, but I think i like this better. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous55 said:

This is a wonderfully themed place, I will find myself coming back here for more. quotes about being yourself

Jen @ frazzled 5 said:

These pieces of art look fabulous!
Glad to have found your blog.
Hugs, Jen @ frazzled5

Crystal & Co. said:

Thanks for the idea. You make it sound so easy!

If you have time, I'd love for you to come share your post in the Mommy Club. It is a good mommy solution/resource!

Thanks and have a great weekend,


Heather said:

I love this idea! Much better than keeping them in storage!

l said:

This is adorable! Such a cute idea and it's nice that there's a story behind the shirts that mean so much to you!

Papa Tom said:

from Mama Linda- I just ordered a red fire engine pop-up tent for Paxton earlier this week for Christmas. I didn't know you were changing his room to this theme! Love your creations!

Megan said:

Looks great! What a fun idea. :)

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