Easy Minnie Mouse and Hello Kitty T-Shirts with Fabric Paint

Creating character t-shirts for your little ones can be easy. With few tubes of fabric paint, even crafters without an expensive die-cutting machine can make shirts with their kiddos favorite character. My little girl is going through a Hello Kitty phase. What is it with peer pressure and preschool? All the little girls in her class are Hello Kitty crazy. It’s like an infectious disease. How do three year olds even know who Hello Kitty is? But I’m getting off-track. Anyway. I’ve been so obsessed with the fabric painting, I had to make more than just one character shirt. My little one’s cousin is visiting Disney World this week, so I made her a special Minnie shirt, too. So much fun!

Fabric Paint Character Shirts from it Happens in a Blink


  • Kid’s T-shirt- 100% cotton
  • Tulip Soft Fabric Paint in various colors
  • Tulip Dimensional Fabric Paint in various colors
  • Paintbrush

***Prior to starting, be sure to read up on my Tips for Awesome Fabric Painting!***

First, determine what character that will go on the shirt. For me, it was Minnie Mouse and Hello Kitty.

Draw or trace a template for the character. I will refrain from uploading my traceable cut-outs since these are licensed characters (not sure if there’s a rule against that or not??), but I will say that tracing a character from a current shirt or printing out a silhouette image off of the computer is an easy way to get the shape that is needed.

Fabric Paint Character Template from It Happens in a Blink

Place the “stencil” on the desired location on the shirt. Using a pencil, lightly draw the shape on the shirt.

Fabric Paint Character Tracing Minnie Mouse from It Happens in a Blink

Fabric Paint Character Tracing Hello Kitty from It Happens in a Blink

At this point on the Minnie shirt, I pulled out the embroidery machine and embroidered the word “Minnie” on the shirt. I didn’t want to paint the shirt and then have the painted portion in the embroidery hoop clamps. So if you’re embellishing the shirt in any way like this, do those additions prior to painting.

Place cardboard underneath the top layer of the shirt. With a paintbrush, apply the base coat color. For the Hello Kitty, it was white. For the Minnie, it was black. Let dry. Apply as many coats as needed to get complete coverage.

Fabric Paint Hello Kitty from It Happens in a Blink

Now paint any accent colors. For the Hello Kitty, this was the purple. The Minnie shirt was already pink at the bow part, so I didn’t have to paint that portion. Let dry. Apply as many coats as needed to get complete coverage.

Use Tulip Dimensional Paint to outline the characters and to add details.

Fabric Paint Character Minnie from it Happens in a Blink

Fabric Paint Hello Kitty from It Happens in a Blink

Let dry and then heat seal. Refer to the Tips for Awesome Fabric Painting for more information on heat sealing and finishing up a fabric painting project.





  1. says

    Hi Melanie! These came out SO adorably! My 3 year is obsessed with Minnie and Hello Kitty. She would love these. :) I’ve always wondered what the “rule” is for putting licensed characters on DIY stuff too, especially for people who sell them!

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