Personalized T-Shirts

My family and I have had the pleasure of visiting Walt Disney World three times.  Our next visit is scheduled for this coming fall, and we are excited that eight of our extended family members will be joining our party of four!

I wanted to get matching t-shirts for all of us to commemorate this big vacation and also to wear on our Magic Kingdom day.  I did not want to use the printable iron-on transfers because I had used them before and found that they do not hold up well after several washings.  I scoured the internet and found a lot of fun options.  I wanted to share some of my favorite finds with you and also tell you what I chose for my family.

One of the coolest customizable Disney t-shirt sites I found was http://www.explorethemagic.com/custom-disney.asp, which redirects you to http://www.zazzle.com/disney.  Here you can choose from a variety of shirt styles, characters, and colors.  You can also personalize your shirts with individual’s names.  It would have been great to have chosen a style and color and had the individuals in our group choose their favorite character for their shirt.  However, the t-shirt prices were in the neighborhood of $20 each, and that was over my budget.

I found several other sites that would print “family reunion” type shirts for us, where we would all wear the same shirt with the same print on it, but they would not be personalized.  After seeing the shirts on www.zazzle.com, I was hooked on the idea of matching shirts that were somehow personalized for each individual in our party.  A friend of mine, who is a police officer, discourages putting children’s names on their shirts because of safety concerns, so I thought a favorite character would be a perfect way to add personalization to the shirts.  The challenge was to find a way to get this done that would not end up costing me $240 for 12 shirts.  In fact, I was hoping for less that $10 per shirt, but I didn’t know if that was possible.

During my internet searches, I stumbled on etsy.com and found many cute mouse ear appliqué tees.  My favorites were black mouse ears with Minnie’s bow for the girls/women in our party and black mouse ears with a pirate’s bandanna for the boys/men.  Although the pictures I found on etsy.com were as cute as they could be, the price of the t-shirts multiplied by 12, plus shipping was more than I wanted to pay.

A girlfriend suggested I simply order the appliqués and iron them onto shirts myself.  This suggestion opened up a great and inexpensive alternative for me.  I started looking at mouse ear appliqués and quickly realized that there are all kinds of Disney iron-on appliqués out there.  I surveyed my family to find out each individual’s favorite Disney character and ordered the character appliqués.  I had to order from two different sites to get all the characters I needed, and both the sites shipped exactly what I expected to receive in a timely manner.  I highly recommend YourPatchStore on Amazon.com because they have a large selection of characters and inexpensive shipping rates.  I ended up spending $77.23 for 12 patches, including shipping, which yielded an average of $6.44 per patch.  I selected light blue t-shirts from a local craft store and was thrilled to find them on sale 5 for $10.  So for just under $9/shirt, we have beautiful matching shirts for our trip, and each one is personalized with the individual’s favorite character.

I have not yet ironed the patches on to the shirts, but I plan to iron them and put a few stitches in each just to make sure they hold well.  I am so excited to have discovered iron-on appliqués as an inexpensive alternative to make t-shirts for our group.  The appliqués are so pretty that I may order more and use them to personalize backpacks or lunch boxes in the future.

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