Creepy Butterflies-in-stomach X-ray T-shirt Tutorial

by Dariacreative
4 Materials
45 Minutes

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to create an X-ray t-shirt.

This ribcage butterfly t-shirt is great if you’re looking for simple t-shirt Halloween costumes. This design is to represent the feeling of when you’re in love and there are butterflies in your stomach. It’s super interesting and creative.

Let’s get started!

Tools and materials: 

  • Black t-shirt
  • Fabric paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Carbon paper
Sketching out the design

1. Sketch out the design and transfer it to the t-shirt

I’m going to be free handing my butterflies in stomach X-ray design. However, I recommend you take a piece of paper and pencil and sketch out the design on paper first and then transfer it to the t-shirt.

The painting should be about the size of a real ribcage. If you’re using a black t-shirt, you’ll need white carbon paper and vice versa. 

Drawing design onto t-shirt

2. Trace over the transferred picture

Once you’ve transferred the design over to the t-shirt, begin to outline the lines with paint.

I’ll be using blue, green, and white fabric paint. You don’t need a mannequin to paint. You can paint on a table, just remember to put cardboard between the front and back sides of your t-shirt.

Adding paint to ribcage

3. Layer paint on the edges of the ribcage 

Paint two or three layers of paint on the edges of the ribcage, because they have intense color on the X-ray images.

You’ll only need one layer of paint on the other parts of the rib because the color isn’t as intense there. 

Adding paint to spine

4. Layer paint on the spine

Paint two or three layers of paint on the central part of the ribcage, or the spine, since it also has intense color on the X-ray images.

Adding detail to vertebrae

5. Add detail to the vertebrae

Paint more detail on the vertebrae because they have a pattern on X-ray images. It’s not a necessary step, but I’m trying to make it more realistic.

Adding shine

6. Paint shine around the ribcage

Dip your brush into the paint and use a cloth to remove the excess paint from a large brush. Then, use brushstrokes to create shine around the ribcage.

Adding the butterflies

7. Paint the outline of the butterflies

Now, paint butterflies under the ribcage. You can also first paint butterflies on paper and then transfer them to the t-shirt.

Adding the butterflies

8. Add detail to the butterflies

Paint the edges of the butterfly wings and the body as well.

Adding the butterflies

9. Paint on a flying effect

Similar to how you added shine to the ribcage, use brushstrokes near the butterflies to create a flying effect.

Splattering t-shirt

10. Splatter paint on the t-shirt

Use a hard brush or a toothbrush to splatter paint onto the t-shirt.

Completed DIY X-ray t-shirt

Here’s the finished X-ray t-shirt!

This t-shirt is so cool and so interesting, and if you need Halloween t-shirt ideas, this is the one to get all of the attention when you go outside. Let me know what you think down below. 

If you enjoyed this tutorial, check out my post on How to Paint a Spooky Spiderweb Shirt for Halloween!

Suggested materials:
  • Black t-shirt
  • Fabric paint
  • Paintbrushes
See all materials

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Join the conversation
  • Abbie Abbie on Oct 26, 2022

    I love this. I would wear it year round, not just at Halloween. I think I might just give it a go, so thank you for the great tutorial!

  • Luna Luna on Nov 09, 2022

    Too cute! I love it and would definitely wear not just in Halloween! But it's more like butterflies all over the abdomen, not just the stomach! 😉