Birthday Party on a Budget Part 1: Make Your Own Birthday Girl Shirt


This is a guest post done by Kate Sorensen at CouponCravings. Check back every week for a new installment of this series!

A little girl’s Birthday party is fun to plan for, especially if you can do it without spending a ton of money. There are a few steps you can take to make the cutest little things while letting the savings add up, especially if you use coupons at the craft store when purchasing your items.

In part one of “planning a Birthday party on a budget” we’ll take a look at the wardrobe of the party girl herself. There are some great already assembled and made adorable birthday shirts out there but with just an iron, stitch witchery, some fabric, and a little time, you can make your own Birthday shirt while still having some supplies leftover to use towards other parts of the party.

Here are the items you’ll need:

Shirt (any color, any style, just needs to be flat on the front, no ruffles or embellishments)

Small piece of fabric (I prefer felt) for “cupcake” bottom

Small piece of fabric (I prefer felt) for under layer of “icing”

About a 3 foot x 6 inch piece of tulle (any will do) for icing (can do more if you want more “icing”)

A sample size (about 2 inch x 3 inch) piece of gold fabric for the flame (optional)


Thread approximate color of tulle (very little sewing)

Stitch witchery (enough to be under the “cupcake” and “icing” felt)

An iron (and ironing board surface)

The key to making your own birthday shirt is to first make sure that you’re keeping an eye out ahead of time for a great shirt to start with. I lucked out and found this white cotton turtleneck shirt, which was an additional 50% off the price tag at Target.

Regularly $5, this shirt was 75% off, and ended up costing just $1.25 after the additional discounts. Again, it’s all about timing, and any color of a shirt will do for this kind of a project, also, long sleeve, or short sleeve, depending on the season.

Cut the piece of felt that you are using for the icing in the shape of icing on top of a cupcake (with candle(s) or no candles – either will work). It helps to make a dotted line with a marker prior to cutting out your shape (the marker dots will not be seen as they will be on the side of the felt attached to the shirt.

Next, thread your needle with the thread and bunch in your fingers parts of the tulle so it gathers and get it to a point where it all gathers at one spot. Put your needle up through the back of the “icing felt” through the tulle and loop your needle back through the tulle again to the backside. Repeat this step twice for each bunch of tulle until you have tulle covering the “icing felt”. It may roll a bit, but it shouldn’t be so tight that it pulls in to a tubular shape.

Next, you’ll cut your layer of stitch witchery in the shape of your icing felt at this time so it matches up. Make sure it matches for the most part as the stitch witchery is what holds the felt to the shirt, via the heat of the iron. The stitch witchery will stick to your iron making a mess as well, which is another reason to make sure it resembles the shape of the item you are ironing on to the shirt.

Next, cut the “cupcake” shape out of the felt you are using for that part of your shirt, along with the stitch witchery.

Put your shirt inside out on to the rounded part of the ironing board. Place either part (either the cupcake bottom or cupcake icing, whichever you want to do first) inside of the shirt with the stich witchery side facing up towards the front of the shirt. Put a damp cloth in between the iron and shirt and follow the directions on the stitch witchery to get it to stick to the front of the shirt (10 seconds or more of heat). Looking down at the iron the layer should be iron, damp cloth, shirt, stitch witchery, felt, tulle (icing), ironing board.

If you cut out a candle, you will also cut out a small piece of gold fabric for the flame, as well as stitch witchery and adhere it to the shirt.

Once you have done all three pieces, let the shirt cool down and the stitch witchery dry. Turn your shirt inside out to reveal your diy Birthday girl shirt!

Kate Sorensen of CouponCravings has been a devoted frugal shopper and diy gal for years. She enjoys making crafts using coupons and scraps that can be used over and over again at a fraction of the cost it would be to purchase them outright.