DIY 4th of July Shirt Tutorial to Make an American Flag T-Shirt

I have all kinds of good memories from the 4th of July as a child. Everything about the day is a celebration- the food, the fireworks, the family get-togethers.  Fourth of July celebrations can be extra festive by creating these DIY American flag shirts for the kids or the whole family.

DIY 4th of July Shirt Tutorial - Make an American Flag T-shirt craft close up of blue with white stars and red and white stripes
Let’s make a custom American flag t-shirt for 4th of July!

How to Make an American Flag T-Shirt for 4th of July

Here’s a fun and easy 4th of July tutorial for making a flag t-shirt with your kids. It uses an easy sticker and tape resist method.

The results are so dramatic!

This post contains affiliate links. 

American Flag T-Shirt Craft from Kids Activities Blog - finished USA flag t-shirt hanging on fence
Let’s make an American flag t-shirt!


Supplies Needed

Directions for Making Fourth of July T-Shirt

How to make an American Flag T-Shirt steps 1 and 2 directions - Kids Activities blog
Here are the first 2 steps to making your custom painted flag shirt!


Step 1

Place a piece of cardboard in between the two layers of the t-shirt.  This will prevent the paint from leaking to the back of the shirt.

Use masking tape to section off the star portion of the flag and to make the white stripes. I did the taping for this shirt myself, but an older child might be able to tape with guidance.

Step 2

Use a craft sponge to dab on the red stripes. I like the rustic look of dabbing better than regular painting for home painted t-shirts. It makes irregularities look like “character” rather than mistakes. It’s also good for sticker resist painting because it uses less paint; so there is less chance for it to get under the stickers.

How to make a 4th of July American Flag Shirt steps 3 and 4 - Kids Activities Blog
Steps 3 & 4 to creating your own American flag shirt for the 4th!


Step 3

After the paint has dried, pull off the tape, and put new tape around the outside of the star section of the flag. This keeps the blue from mixing with the red stripes. 

Step 4

Fill the star section with star stickers, making sure to press down firmly. This way, the paint can’t bleed under them.

Step 5

Dab with blue paint. Make sure to dab enough paint around the stars so that the star shapes can be sufficiently recognized. 

Step 6

Wait until dry, and then remove stickers and tape. Removing the star stickers is especially fun.  It looks like a real flag now!

DIY 4th of July Shirt Tutorial

What an amazing t-shirt for the 4th of July holiday.

Kids love wearing personalized shirts especially when they can help make them.  

More Customized T-Shirts from Kids Activities Blog

American Flag with child - Kids Activities Blog
Let’s celebrate America!

More American Flag Crafts & Food Celebrating the 4th of July

How did your 4th of July t-shirt turn out with the American flag?


  1. Thanks, Lindsey! I hope your family has a good one this year!

  2. Katey, this activity is AWESOME. How great and easy. Plus the result is a really fun design. I love resist painting, especially with little kids involved!! 🙂

  3. What kind of paint did you use?

  4. I used TulipArt soft fabric paint. But I if you happen to just have acrylic, that will work fine too- it will just be a little stiffer.

  5. Thanks, Marnie. I agree- resist painting is wonderful with littles- so many dramatic possibilities.

  6. Thanks! I am going to try this 🙂

  7. My boys, ages 5 & 9 and I are making these over the weekend for the 4th this year. One for each of them and for their dad and I. Can’t wait. Thank you for the fantastic idea…

  8. My two oldest children and I made these today! We love them! Thanks for such a great idea! I was just wondering if we need to heat set the paint at all?

  9. We didn’t heat seal the paint, and have already put them through the washer and dryer a couple of times- no problem!

  10. We appreciate you linking up in our Crafty Showcase! This shirt is a lot of fun! We love your tutorial-very helpful to visualize those steps! It is so fun to see you bringing the kids into your projects. You will be tweeted, facebooked and pinned today. You are being featured on our blog. Feel free to stop in and get the Feature Friday Badge.

    We hope to see you again starting Saturday at midnight for a new round of the Crafty Showcase. Thanks for sharing a part of your blog with us!

    Susie @Bowdabra

  11. Thank you for the tutorial. We don’t celebrate the 4th of july here but we love american flag. That’s an idea to do on a pillow.

  12. A pillow is a great idea! Especially if you use the soft fabric paint so it’s not scratchy.

  13. Danyel Soulier says:

    Hey there!! I just wanted to say THANK YOU for this wonderful project. My kids (9 and 8), absolutely LOVED doing this! Every year I buy a 4th of July shirt for my kids, it’s just something I like to do, ha! This year, money is a bit tight and I figured you know, we could make this totally awesome shirt that my kids would have so much more memory of doing then going out and just having them pick one. The shirts turned out AMAZING and both my kids are thrilled to have them. In fact, we made them about a week ago and both wanted to wear their shirts immediately!

    So yes, once again, THANK YOU :). If there was a way I could post a pictures, I would. Just so I could show you how happy my kids are and how cute the shirts came out 🙂

  14. Thanks for sharing. Love these.

  15. What did you stick the stars down with?? So that you can take them up after?

  16. Wow!Love it! I am a huge fan of the fourth of July!

  17. Nice post Thanks for sharing this awesome post This New Year

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