Making a Tardis T-Shirt for Dummies
Here’s the deal. I only pretend I am crafty for library programming. But a month before Halloween we were standing there in the thrift store – always a great place to get cheap crafting supplies – and there was the perfect Tardis blue t-shirt. So I figured there had to be a way I could make it into a Halloween costume for my Doctor Who obsessed Tween.
The problem is: I don’t sew.
And then someone told me that there was this stuff you could use to iron things on. I initially bought this fuseable material, but then a miracle happened and I learned there was spray stuff. You literally cut your material out, spray this fusable adhesive on it, and then iron it. It’s magic in a can. Even I can do this. So I did.
- Blue Tshirt/Dress
- White and Black Cotton Material (I got a 1/2 yard of each, which was really way too much)
- Spray Iron Adhesive
- Iron on Letters
- Iron on Angel Wings*
- Sharpie Marker
- An iron
*A note about the Angel Wings: The Weeping Angels are our favorite alien/bad guy. So when I found these Angel Wing iron-ons I knew they had to be part of our costume. My thinking was we were the Tardis in the episode Blink about to be captured by the Weeping Angels. Obviously you could do this or not do this.
Prepping Your Materials:
Cut out 3 white rectangles. Mine were 5 by 8(ish). Just make sure they are all the same size, but use a size that works well for the size of your shirt.
|from Deviant Art by Tibots|
Write the call box sign on 1 square with your Sharpie. You could technically buy iron on letters and do each one individually. But that seems like a lot of work so find someone with good penmanship and write it. I am also pretty sure that if you have the correct type of printer and material you could print this out onto material (see these Instructables for Printing onto Material). Or you could also have someone embroider them for you. But a Sharpie works.
Cut out 6 small black stripes for window frames. They need to be about 1/4 inch wide and the length will vary depending on the size of your white rectangle. Basically you want 4 the size of the height of your rectangle and 2 the size of the width of your rectangle. You will use these to make the black window panels.
Cut out black rectangle for top call box sign. Again, length will depend on the size of your t-shirt. But you want it to be at least one inch bigger than the size of your letters. I bought 1 inch letters so mine was 2 inches wide.
Use your white iron on letters to make the lettering for the Police Call Box sign at the top of the Tardis. I did want this to look more precise so I used individual letters. Find your middle letter (word) and iron that one on first to help you get the spacing right. The work outwards to the left and the right to complete your phrasing. An example of the phrasing and layout is on the left.
Spray and iron black window frames on white squares following the instructions on the adhesive can.
Once you have given your window frames time to set up according to the instructions, you can now spray, place and iron on all your front pieces including the black call box bar, the two windows, and the police call box sign.
Iron angel wings on back if desired (after allowing the front to set up properly).
We found blue leggings with silver stars after this pic was taken to complete out Tardis look
A Few Tips:
- If you know someone who sews or you have access to a sewing machine, be sure and surge the edges around your white rectangles and black call box strip.
- Be sure and spray the iron on adhesive OUTSIDE and either on grass that you will soon cut or on newspaper that you can throw away. It will get on things and it is white. I may or may not speak from experience.
I will say, lots of people have asked to take a picture of Thing 1 in her Tardis t-shirt, even the low quality production number that it is in my super critical eyes. Fellow Whovians stop us and we share some Doctor love. It’s nice to be part of this universe.
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Filed under: Crafts, Doctor Who, TPIB
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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