March 22nd, 2014

DIY Monogram Onesies

After I made my bump update shirt using this method, I decided I could employ the same method for some cute onesies.

You can use this method for monograms, or words, or shapes. And it’s not just for onesies- any clothing! This would be a great way to cover a small stain on a kid’s shirt as well.

Behold: some of Effie’s new onesies!


You will need:

  • A onesie or other clothing item, washed and dried. I’ve only done this with cottony fabrics before.
  • Freezer paper (found in the grocery store near the tin foil)
  • Pencil
  • Detail knife (like this one)
  • Scrap cardboard
  • Ruler
  • Iron
  • Fabric paint
  • Brush (I prefer foam spongey brushes)

This project can be free or nearly free after you do it once. Especially if you have the fabric paint collection of a sorority girl.


First, print whatever image you want to stencil. Shapes are great. Words are great. Think simple, especially to start. I tried something a little more challenging for this example but I started with easy ones. I used this site to get the monograms- let me know if you have a hard time with it. I could only get the script and the chevron ones to work. I added the circle around it after the fact in word, since I was doing a negative imprint.


Take the freezer paper and cut it to size. You’ll notice one side is waxy and one side is papery. You want the waxy side down.


Trace the drawing with a pencil.

Once traced, cut out the design with your knife. Make sure you do this on top of cardboard or a thick stack of paper.


Cut a piece of cardboard out that fits the width of the clothing item. Then place it inside the onesie or shirt. This prevents bleed through.


Place your stencil. Use a ruler to measure the distance from the sides/top to center it.


Once placed, iron it on. Remember to MAKE SURE the waxy side is down.




Get your paint ready. I mixed black paint and a glitter paint.


Paint inside your stencil. I find it best to dab (hard) and then smooth. Be careful- the more detailed the design, the more likely you could accidentally screw it up! Be patient and thorough. Shirts have stretch and fibers so they will absorb, and will have nooks and crannies. Make sure it’s covered. You may need two coats.


Let it mostly dry with the stencil still in place.


When dry or nearly dry, pull off the stencil carefully.


You may need some help if you have lots of details. I prefer using tweezers, but you can use your detail knife as well to lift the edges enough to pull them.


You’re done! Make sure you don’t remove the cardboard until it’s 100% dry. Also review your work. Anyone see the issue in the monogram below?


(I forgot to cut out part of the monogram where the E meets the H on the bottom!) I made a quick little stencil from a post-it and dabbed it in.


And just like that… you went from a simple clothing item to something personalized and one-of-a-kind!


I haven’t had any issues laundering these (washed and dried at moderate temp) but refer to the clothing and fabric paint’s instructions for wash.

I’m sure I may have left out something – or you may have questions – so feel free to reach out! I’ll answer any comments as a reply so others can see.

Some tips, and ideas besides monograms:

  • Silhouettes and shapes (used alone, or to cover a stain.)
  • Try using colored or patterned clothing items. (I just happened to have a 5 pack of white ones.)
  • Item doesn’t have to be centered! Be creative!
  • You can blur colors together – step outside the box with the paint too.
  • Consider putting something on the “bum” of pants/onesies when baby starts crawling!
  • Use text from your favorite font and consider stenciling baby’s nickname or a funny saying.
  • Make a top for yourself to match your kiddo.
  • Great gift idea!

Happy crafting, everyone!

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