All That Glitters…

Little girls are supposed to be made of sugar and spice, and everything nice.  After spending time with my nieces (whom I will henceforth refer to as Princess, Madame Butterfly, and Firecracker), I’m convinced that little girls are actually made of (high quantities of) sugar, a pinch of whatever it is that gives them the ability to shriek at high decibels on the playground, and glitter.  Lots and lots of glitter.

I promised the three of them that I would copy a craft I found courtesy of Martha Stewart.   These adorable t-shirts are quite simple.  Well, simple if you’re Martha.  The only trouble was that Martha didn’t provide step by step instructions.  So, Martha, my dear, I figured I’d just help you out.  My solemn wish was that this DIY did not turn out as a WTF.

My eldest niece, Princess, begged to help.  In her kindergarten mind: glitter + glue + tshirt = instant diva glam.  In my mind: hell no.  Don’t get me wrong.  I absolutely adore these children and thoroughly enjoy spoiling them silly and playing with them for hours on end.  Yet for as much as I love Princess, her idea of “helping” frequently becomes a shrill whine of “Abbey, I need help” (actually, it ends up sounding more like “Aaaahhhbeeee, ahhh neeehd heeellllupppp”) until I’m left alone to bead, color, or otherwise complete the craft she simply had to make… while she goes off to watch The Backyardigans or finds some new way to torture her younger sister, Madame Butterfly.

Naturally, I had to look for ways to discourage Princess (and, by extension, Madame B., who must do whatever Princess does) from participating.   Fortunately for me, Princess and Madame B. have frequent altercations that lead to loss of privileges.  Hizzah! I was on my own once again, saved by sibling rivalry.  (Thankfully, their toddler cousin Firecracker was at home today or I’d still be washing fabric glue out of her deceptively cherubic blond curls.)

So now back to our regularly scheduled DIY/WTF/ZOMG Glitter Shirts.


Materials (Not Pictured: My Martini)

  • Stencil (I got a package of these cardboard cut outs at Joann)
  • Painters Tape
  • Fabric Glue
  • Glitter (I used a package I purchased at Joann.  I searched high and low for “fabric glitter” with no luck whatsoever!)
  • Pre-washed t-shirt
  • Sponge brushes
  • A paper plate or something to squeeze glue onto and rest your brushes
  • Something sturdy to insert into the shirt (cardboard or a magazine will do nicely)
  • Iron (optional)
  • Ruler (optional, unless you’re a perfectionist à la our very own Katherine, in which case it is required. And then you’ll need a leveler, too…)
  • A Barbie DVD to distract the little darlings (optional, but strongly recommended if you value your sanity)
  • Martini (optional, but strongly recommended for the same reason as the Barbie DVD)


I washed and dried the shirts and then ironed them to make sure there were no wrinkles.  Next, I inserted the cardboard into each shirt.  I experimented with the best way to apply the stencils and glue because, as I said earlier, Martha wasn’t much help in that department.   After much trial and error (as much trial and error as can come from glittering three shirts) I decided that the best method is to eyeball the location you desire for your stencil (again, if you’re Katherine, whip out a ruler.  She might even create a shirt-sized template.).

Next, place the stencil, and secure it with painters tape.

Squeeze out some glue onto your paper plate  (I used a spare piece of cardboard).  Dip your sponge brush into the glue and paint over the stencil in long, broad strokes until the shape is evenly coated.  You don’t need a ton of glue.

Remove the stencil.

Now take your glitter and shake it over the glued area.  Shake, shake, shake to make sure the glitter is evenly dusted.

Shake the excess glitter into a trash can or back into its container if you’re worried about the world glitter shortage.

Wait 24 hours for your creation to dry.  Voile: Instant diva glam!

A glittery chick for little Firecracker!

Wait about a week before washing, so if you have a kid, wait a week before allowing them to wear it.

One last tip: Martha’s link includes a photo of little boys wearing these shirts, but I’d recommend against forcing glittery shirts onto unsuspecting members of the male persuasion.  Unless you’ve got hipsters-in-training who dress in skinny jeans and Chucks.

Happy Crafting,

Abbey, otherwise known as Aunt Abbey to our girls, is the “adopted” 4th Montgomery girl and recent graduate of law school … and searching for employment if you know of anything, anywhere.

Serving up craft ideas, event ideas, and general dry wit, Abbey enjoys travel, cooking, and spending time with family, friends, and her cocker spaniel. She also has a collection of license plates reflecting the several states where she has resided. If you have a question about, well, anything, Abbey can usually find the answer. She loves planning trips, volunteer work, crafting, cooking, and learning new things to share with the Live Pretty audience.


  • January 6, 2011


    Aunt Abbey, did you forget the glitter on the materials list??? Of course it is obvious 🙂 But to be specific, are you using the superfine Martha Stewart Glitter? And does it need to be hand washed? Do we care? Or do we just fill in the spots that wear off (requiring yet another martini and Barbie DVD for the repair later on!). Looks really adorable. My princess would no doubt love it, too.


    • Abbey replied: — January 6th, 2011 @ 8:54 pm

      Kristyn, Good catch! I used a package of Glitter I purchased at Joann. I could not find Martha glitter or fabric-friendly glitter, so we shall see how these hold up!

  • January 6, 2011
    reply did a great job! Kudos on having the martini while you craft – always makes things better 🙂


  • January 6, 2011

    So cute! You’ve got me thinking pink! 🙂


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