Craft time! DIY spider shirts for Halloween

I saw this idea on the Babies Rabies blog–she made them for Halloween last year and I thought they would be such a fun project to do with Ryan! And a great way to look like the nerdiest family ever, all in matching spider-hand-print orange t-shirts, haha.

First: find some plain orange shirts! I went to Walmart first–mistake #1. I couldn’t find any! But I had awesome luck at Target. Ryan’s shirt was on sale for $6, mine was on sale for $8 and Steve’s was $10 (I think). Not bad! The maternity section only had an ugly off-shade of orange so I got a regular women’s shirt in size medium… I probably could have gone with a large, but I bought it like a month ago when I was a little smaller, haha.

Before you paint, you’ll want to put something inside the shirt so the paint doesn’t leak through. You could use a piece of cardboard or a paper bag… I used magazines.

I started with the white spider web. I bought the “dimensional paint” from Hobby Lobby that comes in the easy squeeze bottle. I just freehanded the webs, but I suppose you could trace them on the shirt first with chalk or pencil. To make the web: draw the lines out from a center point, like a sun, then add connecting lines around in a circle shape. Ya know… like a web!

This part isn’t much fun for the little ones because they can’t really help. Ryan did an AWESOME job at sitting patiently–he was really interested in what I was making.

Ryan’s shirt with the finished web! I put his a little off-centered to the right.

Steve’s web. Yep, I made one for the hubby. He told me he’d wear it! The orange color isn’t as drab and boring as this picture makes it seem, but it’s not as bright as the others–it was all they had at Target! I put his web on the left under the arm… like half a web.

I centered mine right on my big preggo belly! I put the shirt on first and marked the middle of my belly with a pencil so I’d know where to make it and just circled out from there.

It will take a few hours for this white paint to dry before you can move on to the next step. I just left mine sitting out overnight and finished them the next day.

This is the fun part! You need black matte/soft fabric paint and some sort of brush to paint it on your child’s hand. Paint their entire hand and all fingers except the thumb. You only want 4 fingers to be black (4 legs on each side of the spider). I don’t have pictures of this part because I was busy trying to keep Ryan’s black hand from getting all over everything.

Basically, put the painted hand down on the shirt wherever you want. Then repaint the hand, flip the shirt around, and put the hand down again with the palm overlapping the first print to add the other 4 spider legs. Repeat on all shirts!


Cuuuute, right?! After the black spider was dry (not long), I used the white paint again to add a happy face (but a fun, scary Halloween face would be good, too!) and the “Boo!”

Another idea I love: paint the entire hand black (even the thumb) and put the hand down with all 4 fingers together, but the thumb sticking out. Paint the other hand black and do the same, with the thumbs overlapping = a bat!!! Ryan loves bats, we’ll have to try that shirt next year. You could also add a baby spider with a thumbprint?

Here are some pics of me out in my spider shirt:


By the way, Steve absolutely DID wear his spider shirt!!! We went to a little Halloween party at the country club where my brother-in-law is a member. Kids were supposed to dress in costume and there was dinner and a wild animal show. Ryan went in his dinosaur costume and Steve and I were both total nerds and wore our matching spider shirts 🙂 So glad my husband will be a nerd with me, haha.

WHAT YOU NEED:
~an orange t-shirt
~white dimensional/puffy paint
~black soft/matte fabric paint
~a paint brush to paint your child’s hand (cheap & simple is fine!)
~something to put in between shirt layers while you paint (cardboard, magazine, etc.)

I’d suggest washing them inside out, but Steve accidentally washed Ryan’s shirt without turning it inside-out and it was fine.

Have fun!! If you make some, let me see!

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