How to Embroider a T-Shirt With a Quote in 3 Simple Steps

Slow Fashion Style
by Slow Fashion Style
7 Materials
1 Hour

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to embroider a t-shirt with a quote, using beginner-friendly embroidery techniques. I’m all for celebrating individual expression and creativity by creating my own fashion! I can’t wait to show you this DIY embroidery, so let’s get started.

Tools and materials:

  • Embroidery thread
  • Paper with desired design
  • Cutting blade
  • Embroidery needle
  • T-shirt
  • Fabric marker
  • Scissors
Picking a quote for your DIY embroidery

1. Pick your design

I’m going for some Japanese writing for this project. You can of course do any design you want. Here, I went on Google translate and translated “I am a star” from English to Japanese.

Cutting out the quote to make a stencil

After printing the phrase (or design), I cut around each shape to make a stencil. Use a blade or X-acto knife.

Tip: Go for a big and bold font.

Using the stencil to write out the quote

2. Trace the stencil

Once you have the stencil, take a marker (it can be a marker, pencil, or pen) and draw out the words on your t-shirt. Be careful with what marker you use, as it could bleed on your t-shirt.

Also, if your fabric has very thin cotton, then marking your shirt could cause rips and potentially damage the t-shirt. I would say go thrifting and find a good-quality shirt for this DIY embroidery project. 

How to thread a needle for embroidery

3. Embroider on your t-shirt

Now, I’m going to show you how to do embroidery. Be sure to purchase good-quality embroidery thread. Divide the strands into three (an embroidery thread comes in six strands).

For this particular project, I actually ended up threading two strands through my needle. The amount depends on the thickness of your shirt. 

How to make embroidery designs

Start by pinching a little fabric with your needle. Pull the thread all the way through until you get an inch or so from the end. 

How to do embroidery on a t-shirt

Then, place the needle through the looped end and pull upward to create a knot. Follow through with a backstitch.

Easy embroidery techniques

To do a backstitch, place the needle up through the fabric. Then, place the needle back down next to where you just came up. Be sure to pull the thread down into your first stitch. Put your needle up through the t-shirt and leave a small space from the previous stitch. Repeat all around the outline. 

Quote embroidery on a t-shirt

The last step is… just wear it! It’s that easy! There are so many types of stitches that you can use to embroider on a t-shirt!

From a chain stitch to a satin stitch (great for filling empty spaces), you can use embroidery techniques that you like and go well with your chosen design.

How to embroider a t-shirt with a quote

How to embroider a t-shirt with a quote

I could not be any happier with the results! Thanks for joining me on this tutorial on how to embroider a t-shirt. I hope you find this process as enjoyable as I do. Good luck! 

Suggested materials:
  • Embroidery thread
  • Paper with desired design
  • Cutting blade
See all materials

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