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DIY Personalized Onesie

Onesies can be personalized in many different ways.  You can embroider them, use iron on transfers, fabric paint or markers, appliques, and more.  The technique I am going to show you in this tutorial is how to hand paint your baby’s onesies using acrylic paints.  I love acrylic paints for so many reasons.  They are cheap and they can be painted onto almost any surface!  Using them on fabric is a lot of fun too.

Supply List

  • A White Onesie
    • You can use any brand of onesie you want to just make sure it is white and you can see your fingers through it.
  • Acrylic Paint
    • My favorite brand of paint to use is Waverly High Performance Semi Gloss but you can use the Apple Barrel or Folk Art or pretty much any acrylic paint you want to use.
  • Paint Brushes
    • My favorite brushes to use are the Waverly fine detail brushes but you can use whatever brushes you want to use.
  • Inkscape
    • This is a design software that I use and it is free.  It is very similar to Adobe Illustrator and works great to make your designs.  This is optional and you don’t have to use it if you don’t want to.  Here is the link if you want to use it —->
  • Masking Tape or Painter’s Tape
  • Cardstock
  • Cardboard
    • This is optional.  If feel like you will be using a lot of paint and you want to make sure it doesn’t bleed through the cardstock you can put a piece of cardboard under it.


Step One

The first thing you need to do is figure out what you want to paint on your onesie.  For this tutorial I am making an Animaniacs onesie for my son’s 1st Birthday Party.  On the front I wanted it to have the Animaniacs characters with “Tristen’s First Birthday” and on the back I wanted it to look like kind of like a team jersey.  I put my son’s name on it and used his age for his jersey number and then put “Birthday Boy” underneath.  I found the image I wanted to use and the font and created my design in Inkscape.  Since the onesie I got is no sleeves I took my cardstock and traced around the neckline and sleeve lines and cut it out.  Then I resized my design on the computer to fit inside the space I had.  Then I hooked my laptop up to my TV and taped my cardstock over the design I made and traced it out as shown below.


Step Two

Once I had my design traced on my cardstock I put it inside of my shirt.  In order to see my design better through the shirt I put it on top of my TV and taped it down with masking tape.  This let me use my TV as a lightbox.  I could see the design without the TV so you could do it without it but it does make it easier.  Once I had it taped it out I began painting my design.


Step 3

Once you have painted your design you need to let it dry before removing the cardstock.  This is to ensure that the paint doesn’t bleed through.  If you are thinking about painting both sides like I did you will want to make sure you keep your design simple and you paint the side that has the least on it first.  This is because it makes it harder to see your design on the other side when you flip it.

Step 4

After your onesie has completely dried you can remove the cardstock.  To heat set your paint you can toss it in the dryer for 30 min or you can use an iron.  If you use an iron make sure to get an old T-Shirt or rag to put inbetween your design and the iron.  That way you don’t melt the paint onto your iron.

Step 5

Your shirt is ready to be worn and washed!  Enjoy!!


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