15 DIY Graphic Tees for Every Style

DIY Graphic tee ideas

Purely Katie

T-shirts are comfortable and cozy, but they also can be fashionable and make a statement. The more personalized the shirt, the more of a statement you can make. Once you figure out your ideal personal style, explore ways to express that style through the shirts you wear.

Customizing your own shirt is a fun and creative process, so don't be afraid to experiment. These DIY graphic tees match a handful of different styles and are easy to create in a day. 

  • 01 of 15

    Keep the Lettering Simple

    Simple create / enjoy

    Graphic tees are ideal for specific occasions. To get fully into the event you're planning for, craft a t-shirt that boldly states your intention, in this case, "happy camper" or "vacation mode." The phrase doesn't have to be complex or funny. If you were planning an outfit for a marathon, for instance, you might write something like "Marathoner." For a preppy and modern style, keep the font simple and clean.

    Two DIY Graphic Tees from create/enjoy 

  • 02 of 15

    Gear Up to Go Skiing with a Long Sleeve

    DIY apres ski tee Francoise Et Moi

    This t-shirt design is also one that speaks to a specific event. In this instance, the shirt is a perfect accessory for a ski trip with the words "après ski." However, instead of being bold and graphic, the font is soft and feminine. The use of the French language also makes this shirt design lighter and chicer than it is modern and preppy. 

    DIY Apres Ski Tee Tutorial from Francoise et Moi

  • 03 of 15

    Fashion Matching Shirts for Mom and Child

    Do-it-yourself mommy and me shirts Lovely Indeed

    If you aren't fortunate to have twins or more than one small child, you don't have to miss out on matching outfits. Instead of matching the kids to one another, opt to create mommy and me shirts. Think of cute matching phrases, but remember they don't have to be an exact match. These shirts say "honey bunch" and "sugar pie."

    Mommy and Me Shirts from The Spruce

  • 04 of 15

    Add a Double Arrow to a White Tee

    Do-it-yourself graphic tee ideas Kristi Murphy

    If edgy is your vibe, consider transforming a loose white tee with the addition of a large graphic symbol. In the case of this DIY shirt, a clean double arrow is added in black. Keep a black and white color palette and make sure the design is bold and simple.

    Arrow DIY Graphic Tee from Kristi Murphy

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  • 05 of 15

    Create a Retail Knockoff for Less

    Do-it-yourself Kale Tee Adventures in Fashion

    When deciding what type of DIY graphic tee you want to make, look at your favorite retail shops for inspiration. This tee is a knockoff of an Urban Outfitters t-shirtCreating your own will let you flex your creative muscles and save you a bunch of money in the process.

    DIY Kale Tee Tutorial from Adventures in Fashion

  • 06 of 15

    Pick a Patterned Monogram for Your Shirt

    DIY Graphic Tee Ideas Lemon Thistle

    For a traditional graphic t-shirt with a feminine flair, consider adding an initial or monogram. Pick out one of your favorite patterns and use that as the backdrop of the letter. You can even create matching monogram shirts for the entire family. 

    DIY Patterned Letter T-Shirts from Lemon Thistle

  • 07 of 15

    Sew On a Graphic Pocket

    Graphic pocket tee Polkadot Chair

    Graphic tees don't have to have large graphics to be fashionable. Sometimes, all you need to do is add a pocket that has a fun and colorful pattern. Adding a pocket is easier than it looks, once you learn some basic sewing machine skills.

    DIY Embellished Pocket Tees from Polkadot Chair

  • 08 of 15

    Wear Your Favorite Book or Movie

    Heroes in Literature tee Bramblewood Fashion

    If you love graphic design, you'll have a ton of fun with this next DIY graphic tee idea. Simply scan the internet for fonts, images, and patterns that you like. Use a photo editor to create a design that speaks to you, then print the design on transfer paper, much like this design.

    Make Your Own Graphic Tees from Bramblewood Fashion

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  • 09 of 15

    Draw Designs Using a Bleach Pen

    Bleach pen tee Cloth Paper Scissors

    Budding artists and doodlers alike will like this next graphic tee project idea. All you need is a blank shirt as your canvas and a bleach pen. We recommend practicing your designs on a scrap piece of fabric before going straight to the t-shirt. Look online for inspiration and decide the best direction for your shirt. Bleach pens work well with bohemian or beachy designs. 

    Create Doodles on a T-Shirt Using a Bleach Pen from Cloth Paper Scissors

  • 10 of 15

    Let Everyone Know You're Out of the Office

    DIY graphic tee ideas
    70s-inspired graphic tee The Pretty Life Girls

    Sometimes graphic tees are meant to be funny or sarcastic, and the words can make you do a double take. This shirt design is a fun way to express your sentiments about office life. Instead of just putting the term "out of the office" once on the shirt, it is repeated several times, which adds to the message the shirt is trying to send. 

    DIY Out of Office T-Shirt from The Pretty Life Girls

  • 11 of 15

    Upcycle an Old Shirt Using the Reverse Applique Technique

    Reverse applique graphic tee Swoodson Says

    If you have an old patterned shirt that you no longer wear, consider using it for this next project idea. This project is a reverse applique technique, where the fabric is layered together. The top layer is cut open to reveal the bottom layer beneath it. This process creates a different effect than if you were to cut out letters from the patterned fabric and sew them directly on top of the shirt. 

    Reverse Applique T-Shirt Refashion from Swoodson Says

  • 12 of 15

    Infuse Some Southern Charm

    Do-It-Yourself Y'ALL tee Delia Creates

    The thin, simple font in this design is bold without being too loud. Consider a similar font when looking to add a large, short word to a t-shirt. If you are from the south and find yourself inserting the word "Y'all" into many of your sentences, you might want to replicate this shirt exactly.

    DIY Y'all Tee Tutorial from Delia Creates

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  • 13 of 15

    Use Words of Encouragement in Your Design

    Know Your Worth tee Purely Katie

    Mantras and affirmations are an effective way to change negative energy into positive energy. Many people say these mantras in their head or out loud, but why not set your intentions on a shirt instead? Remind yourself and everyone around you in a phrase that resonates with you for one reason or another. Just keep your phrases short and to the point for the greatest impact. 

    Know Your Worth Iron on Vinyl Shirt from Purely Katie

  • 14 of 15

    Make a Rainbow With Your Words

    Rainbow graphic tee Studio DIY

    One of the easiest ways to write a message on a shirt is by using iron-on letters. To add more versatility to the project, you can opt to paint or dye these letters to create different color schemes. Create a rainbow, ombre, or checker effect by using dye before the letters are ironed on. 

    How to Dye Flocked Iron-On Letters from Studio DIY

  • 15 of 15

    Paint on Some Triangles

    DIY Graphic Tee Offbeat and Inspired

    Fabric paint is one of the easiest ways to transform a blank t-shirt into a graphic tee. However, sometimes paint can look sloppy and unpolished. Using fabric paint without a stencil will work if the design you want to achieve looks freehanded and a bit messy. Remember though, if you want to use fabric paint to create a geometric graphic tee, make sure you use a stencil or tape for clean, sleek lines. 

    DIY Tee Design With Decoart Fabric Paints from Offbeat and Inspired