Creative Onesie Decorating Ideas for Crafty Moms

5 Ways to Make Custom Onesies for Your Baby

Woman opening baby shower gifts
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Although you can find adorable baby clothes at discount stores, department stores, and specialty shops, creating personalized outfits is a great way to make sure your little bundle of joy stands out from the crowd. Decorating onesies is also a wonderful way to save money. You can purchase a multi-pack of plain onesies for $10-$15 and end up with five customized outfits for less than the price of one garment from a trendy baby boutique.

To be even thriftier, you can decorate gently used onesies from consignment stores or garage sales and use your designs to cover any stains.

Easy Onesie Decorating Ideas

Some possible ideas for onesie decorating include:

  • Cute slogans, such as "Got Milk?" or "Spit Happens"
  • Sayings that relate to special family members, such as "Daddy's Girl" or "That's It! I'm Going to Grandma's House."
  • Quotes from famous children's books, movies, or television shows
  • Animals
  • Hearts and flowers for a baby girl
  • Cars, trucks, or sports motifs for a baby boy
  • Abstract doodles
  • Moon and stars
  • A "Little brother" or "Little Sister" shirt that coordinates with an older sibling's outfit
  • Anything that reflects a special interest of the baby's parents

When decorating your onesie, place a sheet of thick cardboard between the layers of fabric to keep it from moving. Keeping the fabric pulled tight is the best way to ensure that your design looks as professional as possible.

How to Decorate Onesies with Fabric Markers

Fabric markers contain special pigments that are designed not to fade or come out of clothing when it is washed. Fabric markers are most often used to hand letter shirts or to add rubber stamped designs to the fabric. When you're finished, heat set your design by ironing the back of the onesie for about five minutes or placing it in the dryer on the hottest setting for 30 minutes.

About Painting offers additional tips for this method of onesie decorating.

Make Custom Onesies with Fabric Paint

Puff paint, such as Tulip Dimensional Fabric Paint, can be used to decorate onesies that have a raised design. You can find puff paint in many different colors, including metallic, pearlescent, or glow-in-the dark options. When painting, hold the bottle like a pencil and press the applicator tip against the fabric. Make several small lines instead of one large line, since dimensional designs need "flex points" to keep them from cracking.

You can also use puff paint to make a Halloween themed T-shirt, although the same process is applicable to onesie decorating as well.

Create Sharpie Marker Tie Dye Onesies

Sharpie markers are now available in a wide variety of colors, which makes them fun for many different types of craft projects. To decorate a baby onesie, try making a Sharpie tie dye design. The design can stand on its own or be used to jazz up a onesie with a cute slogan that has been added with fabric markers or puff paint.

Use your Sharpies to color a geometric design on a white or light colored onesie, then use a pencil or a small paint brush to apply drops of rubbing alcohol to the fabric.

The alcohol will cause the ink to run, creating a tie dye effect. Once the onesie is completely dry; set your ink by running the garment through the dryer on high for about 15 minutes.

About Chemistry describes the Sharpie tie dye process in greater detail.

Make a Fabric Appliqué

If you've done any sewing or quilting in the past, you probably have a large collection of leftover fabric scraps. Put these items to good use by turning them into appliqués for customized onesies. Use fusible web to attach the fabric cutouts to the onesie, then protect the edges of the design with fabric paint or machine stitching.

About Sewing describes how to appliqué with fusible web.

Iron-On Transfer Paper

If you're not artistically inclined, iron-on transfer paper offers a nice alternative method for decorating onesies. You can print computer clip art, text, or copies of family photos onto your paper, then use an iron to heat set the design. Avery, Epson, and HP are some of the many different companies that make this type of paper; you can find transfer paper for light colored fabric as well as paper that will allow you to make designs on dark colored items.

Safety First

While beads, buttons, ribbon, and rhinestones are great embellishments when you're creating clothing for an adult, you will want to avoid using these items to make decorated onesies. Anything that could be a potential choking hazard is too risky, regardless of how cute it looks.

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