Glitter Embellished T-Shirt

Wouldn't you love to be able to design your own t-shirt transfer and then embellish it with glitter like those professionally done shirts you see in the store? Well, you can! And it's not hard to do at all! The heart-shaped flag design on the left was created for the September 11th anniversary and took no time at all to embellish. All you need is a little patience, lots of imagination and tons of glitter, glitter, glitter! Great for just about any holiday theme and not limited to t-shirts! How about a glitter embellished tote bag, or a personalized glitter Christmas stocking? See below for another glittered transfer design - the child's name was printed on the transfer in a pastel rainbow with a pale grey drop shadow and pastel glitter was applied.


T-shirt or other fabric item

Iron-on transfer sheet

Fabric glue

Microfine fabric glitter (available in the fabric section of most craft stores)

Artist’s paintbrushes in various sizes

Fabric glue



Waxed paper (the type you use in the kitchen works fine)


1) Design your t-shirt transfer using your graphics program and decide what part or parts you want to glitter. Print the transfer mirrored for a white or light colored fabric (regular) transfer sheet or unmirrored if you are using an opaque transfer sheet.

2) Iron the transfer onto your shirt or other fabric item according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

3) Once the design has cooled, place a piece of waxed paper inside the shirt right beneath where you will be glittering to keep any glue from passing through to the back of the item. Pick an artist’s paintbrush that is the appropriate size for the area you will be glittering and begin to “paint” a small amount of the fabric glue right onto the transfer. For large areas it is best to do this in sections so the glue does not dry before you have a chance to apply the glitter.

4) Sprinkle the glitter over the area you just painted the glue on to. Slide your hand inside the shirt and gently tap off the excess glitter from the inside out. Any glitter that remains on the unglued portion of the transfer or the fabric itself can be gently brushed away with another, larger artist‘s brush or a clean, fluffy cosmetic blush brush. Once the glitter has been tapped and brushed away you can begin painting the glue on the next section.

5) Once you have the entire area glued and glittered and tapped and brushed, you can gently pick the shirt up from the table and shake off the excess glitter and return it to the jar.

6) Lay the shirt down again and place another piece of waxed paper on top of the glittered area and gently press to make sure that all the glitter has adhered to the glue.

That’s it! Most fabric glues will allow you to wash an item by machine, but make certain you check the manufacturer’s instructions for any special care requirements. It’s best to wash the garment inside out and you will probably lose some glitter in the wash, but large amounts of missing glitter can easily be re-applied with the paint on method. Wear that shirt proudly and shine on!


Glitter Embellished T-Shirt Instructions

For a print friendly version, click on this link.

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