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DIY Father’s Day Gift – Handprint T-Shirt

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Father’s Day is quickly approaching. If you’re looking for a quick DIY father’s day gift to do with the kids, this “We Love Daddy” with handprints freezer paper stencil T-shirt would be a great gift for the daddy. Scroll down for the tutorials on how to make a stencil with freezer paper, how to stencil on T-shirt, and how to do the handprint.

Learn how to make a handprint T-shirt with a "We Love Daddy" message for a DIY Father's Day gift. This Father's Day craft is easy & quick to complete with kids.

I have attached the stencil design in the tutorial section below. You can use my stencil PDF pattern or create your own; the font I used is “American Typewriter.”

If you can’t find freezer paper in your area, you can always substitute sticker paper, which I used on my son’s skeleton Halloween costume last year.

We cut the stencil with a craft knife, so it takes a little more time to complete the making of the stencil. If you own a cutting machine like Brother’s ScanNCut, Cricut, or Silhouette, it will be so much faster.

If you only have one child, I’ve prepared another letter with an “I” so you can make an “I Love Daddy” freezer paper stencil T-shirt instead. Simply stamp both your left and right hands on it for the handprints. If you have more than two children, adjust the handprint placement so that each child has a chance to touch the daddy’s “heart.” When printing, you can always enlarge the heart shape to accommodate more handprints. 

Learn how to make a handprint T-shirt with a "We Love Daddy" message for a DIY Father's Day gift. This Father's Day craft is easy & quick to complete with kids.

Last year, I sewed a pair of boxer shorts for Father’s Day and he loves wearing it till now. This year the kids made him a great freezer paper stencil T-shirt, he sure is one of the luckiest daddies in the world to have 2 consecutive handmade from his loved ones in 2 years and more to come lol…

In fact, seeing him wearing them makes me so happy, and I want to make more for him!!! Next year, I have to get prepared earlier for 2 father’s day crafts, one for the kids and one for me to make.

DIY Father’s Day Gift – Stencil & Handprint T-Shirt

Download the stencil design in a PDF document and print it with your inkjet printer.

1. White plain T-shirt (pre-wash)
2. Freezer paper, cut 2 sheets of letter size (8 1/2″ x 11″).
3. Fabric paint or acrylic paint (permanent), black, red, blue and green

1. Printer (inkjet or bubble-jet, not laser printer)
2. Craft knife Or you can use a cutting machine like ScanNCut or Cricut or Silhouette
3. Cutting mat
4. Iron
5. Soft paintbrush
6. Paint palette plate or some swallow containers
7. Cardboard as backing to prevent paint from penetrating the back of the T-shirt


stencil materials & tools

Pre-wash and dry the T-shirt if it is new to remove any sizing added by the manufacturer.
Gather all the tools & materials to get ready for this quick craft.

I used permanent acrylic paint, which is good for fabric painting. The texture is a little stiff compared to normal fabric paint but it is fine for this project because the coverage is not a lot and won’t irritate the wearer if he is particular on comfort clothing like my hubby.

Otherwise, you may add textile medium to the acrylic paint to provide softer texture if it is available at your local store [Read instruction on the bottle on how to use it].

How To Make A Stencil

Option 1:

print stencil design on freezer paper

Download the stencil design in a pdf document and print it with your inkjet printer.
Feed the letter size freezer paper into your printer and print the artwork/pattern on the “paper side” (the non-glossy side) of the freezer paper.

how to make a stencil

Slowly cut the letters out with a craft knife (place a cutting mat at the bottom to protect your table). If your kids are too young to handle the knife, help them with it. I did it for my kids, for their safety and also for the beauty of the work.

Option 2:

DIY Father's Day gift

If you have a cutting machine, you can skip the step of printing and manually cutting out the word. Instead, simply convert the PDF file to the cutting file. Load the freezer paper (non-glossy side facing upwards_to the cutting machine to cut the design.

How To Stencil

iron stencil design on t-shirt

Place the freezer paper stencil on the T-shirt with the glossy side down and position them as you like. Trim off excessive freezer paper so that it won’t block the letters when overlapped. Maximize the coverage area on the T-shirt to protect them from being soiled by paint when the kids work on it.

Set your iron to medium heat setting. Press the hot iron starting from one corner, then glide it slowly and firmly across the freezer paper. The freezer paper will bond to the T-shirt. Continue gliding the iron on the entire freezer paper. Pay attention to the edge of the stencil letters and the heart pattern, and make sure they bond to the T-shirt without leaving any gaps to prevent paint bleeding.

insert card board backing

Insert cardboard inside the T-shirt and fold the sides and sleeves under it. The cardboard acts as a barrier to prevent excessive paint from penetrating the back of the T-shirt. It also helps to smooth out the T-shirt to make stenciling easier.

stencil letters with paint

Squeeze some black acrylic paint on a paint palette or a swallow container. You don’t need a lot of acrylic paint for stenciling, so squeeze a little at a time if you don’t have enough to prevent wastage.
Dab the paint with a flat tip brush on the letters.

kid craft stencil

I let my daughter do the “daddy” word after I demonstrated to her on the “We” word. Check the stencil to make sure that the paint has fully covered the letters, touch up if necessary.
After finish, all the letters with black color, repeat the same to the heart with red acrylic.
Wash the brush and hand while the paint is still wet.

remove freezer paper stencil

Wait till the paint is about to dry, stretch the T-shirt at the corner a little to free the freezer paper from bonding and slowly peel it off entirely.

stenciling letter

A closer look at the stencil work before peeling off of the freezer paper.

stenciled alphabet

It gives a very clean and crisp outline on the stencil. Another thing I love about freezer paper stencil (apart from it convenient and easy to use), the wax on the backing really helps to prevent paint from penetrating through from the paper side. No staining or bleeding happened even my daughter painted them quite wet.

we i love daddy stencil

The “We Love Daddy” stencil T-shirt before the hand printing.

How To Handprint

kid's hand print

Brush and cover the whole palm with blue acrylic. Press the palm onto the T-shirt immediately. Acrylic paint dries quite fast, so wash the hand with soap after the print.

son's hand print

Repeat again with a left hand on the left side with another color.
Always, print with the darkest color first, and lightest color last.

stencil heart with hand print

Set it aside to dry for overnight. Laid a clean cloth on the stencil work and press with a warm iron. Wash it before wear.

Learn how to make a handprint T-shirt with a "We Love Daddy" message for a DIY Father's Day gift. This Father's Day craft is easy & quick to complete with kids.

The kids woke up the next day, the first thing they want to see is this freezer paper stencil T-shirt… their first “big project” for their darling daddy. See, they don’t even want to brush their teeth and change their pajamas before taking this photo, so embarrassing!!! The kids are so happy with their freezer paper stencil work and cannot wait to see his daddy wearing it.

Learn how to make a handprint T-shirt with a "We Love Daddy" message for a DIY Father's Day gift. This Father's Day craft is easy & quick to complete with kids.

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Thursday 12th of June 2014

Hi, love the tshirt. Can you tell me where I can get freezer paper in Penang? Tq ☺

Craft Passion

Thursday 12th of June 2014

Hi Anisah, please check with Sin Soon Lee, last time I heard that they have but not sure if they are still carrying the stock.


Saturday 27th of July 2013

hi there, i would like to know where can i purchase freezer paper in penang? or did you get it online/where? thanks heaps!

Craft Passion

Monday 29th of July 2013

Sorry, Linghui, I don't know. I got mine from USA.


Saturday 11th of June 2011

Sorry, forgot to tick the notification box, hoping for an answer to my question. Thanks ! x

Craft Passion

Sunday 12th of June 2011

You can always try the acrylic paint on a scrap fabric, let it dry for overnight then wash it to test it out if it is permanent ;) If it fades after washing, perhaps you need to add textile medium to it.


Saturday 11th of June 2011

It is always such a pleasure to 'call in' on your site and your amazing craft ideas - I usually end up 'sharing'them and/or having a go myself.

I have a lot of acrylic paint in tubes, not the permanent type....could I use that or would it wash out too easily ?

Thank you for yet another brilliant idea, paricularly as it is great for kids too ! x


Saturday 11th of June 2011

Hello! very cute this shirt! and children too! Thank you for sharing such wonders!

Craft Passion

Tuesday 14th of June 2011

Thanks, Tania :)