DIY Birthday Shirt {Mickey Style}

My son will be turning two this September and I was torn between doing a Mickey party or a Winnie the Pooh party. I have SUCH cute ideas for both…I should be a kids birthday party planner & decorator. {Seriously. If you have a theme idea I can help you put together a party. I LOVE it!}

After asking him which he wanted and not really getting an answer, asking my husband and him saying both would be fine, I opted to ask my daughter. “Should Jonah have a Mickey party or a Pooh party?” At first she wanted Mickey, then Pooh, then I asked her a couple more times and she helped me decide on Mickey. And she also started talking about cake and ice cream and how she wants a Frozen party. {Saving those ideas for another post}

I have plenty of party decoration ideas that will be posted in a collection but today I’ll be showing you how I made his party shirt.

Supplies Needed:
1. Shirt
2. Fabric paint
3. Freezer paper
4. A paint brush of some kind. Preferably foam.
5. X-acto knife
6. Iron, ironing board
7. Something to put between layers of the shirt

First, get a shirt. I got a plain black Garanimals t-shirt from Wal-mart for $3.88. Wash and dry your shirt to get the sizing off and preshrink it.


Either get fabric paint or fabric paint medium. I got the Martha Stewart fabric paint medium because I knew I already had white acrylic paint at home and didn’t want to buy an entire bottle of it for this one project. I used a coupon so it wasn’t quite as expensive.


I found a Mickey head template on Google, copy and pasted it into a Microsoft Word document, and resized it until it was about the size I needed, then printed. I also printed a large number “2” and put it in a bold font and had that print out with the Mickey silhouette.

Get a piece of freezer paper, place it over your Mickey and age number, and trace them.

Use your knife and carefully and slowly cut out your shapes as close to your lines as possible. Be sure to protect your table top!


Position your Mickey head on the shirt where you would like it- be sure to make it centered or it’ll look funny. Iron the freezer paper on with the shiny side DOWN with NO steam.


Then, position the number in the center of the head and iron that on as well.


Mix up your paint medium (1 part medium to 2 parts paint. I just used a tablespoon to measure) or get your fabric paint. I would recommend a sponge “stamper” kind of brush. I just used a small paint brush and I didn’t like how it went on. It left brush strokes if you weren’t watching. I also think because I used a brush it led to some bleeding of paint under the stencil from the brush “pushing” the paint under the edge. So use a sponge brush and work your way in from the edge and don’t push the paint under.

Be sure to place something between the layers of the shirt in case the paint bleeds through. I used an empty cereal box.

Here’s the first coat (still wet).


And here’s the second coat. Let it air dry 24 hours.


Remove the freezer paper (if you want to reuse your design be careful to not rip it!!) then place a piece of thin fabric over the dried paint design and iron it, I used a clean thin kitchen towel. This is called “heat setting” your paint.


See where it bled a little on his ear? Boo. But this is the worst of the bleeding so it wasn’t TOO horrible.

Now it is safe to wash and dry, but make sure it’s turned inside out and wash in cold water and try not to dry it for too long. This will help your design last longer.


I know this isn’t a fancy shirt but it’s exactly what I wanted. Pardon the awkward photo, I have to hide it from my kids and this photo was taken while it was air drying on top of my dyer.

He’ll be wearing it with some red jeans with big white buttons on the front and *hopefully* yellow shoes to complete his Mickey Mouse outfit. I want him to wear Mickey ears but I don’t have high hopes for those staying on his head for very long.

Stay tuned for Linnea’s Frozen party posts, too! I’m going to be making her an Elsa cape and a tulle tutu skirt in Elsa colors.

Until next time!



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