How to Make "Jesus Loves Me" Shirts with Kids {and a linky!}

Back in the Spring, I made these "Jesus {hearts} me" shirts with my whole preschool class, and they were a huge hit! The kids were so proud of them because they actually painted every part of the shirt even though they were only 2 or 3 years old. These shirts would be great to make at Sunday School, or even as a Vacation Bible School Shirt! Also, today is First Friday, so that means I'm hosting our First Friday link up! If you have a blog post (or several) you'd like to share with all of us this month, please scroll to the bottom of this post. :-)

Materials Needed to Craft Jesus Loves Me Shirts:

  • White T-Shirts (I found ours at the Dollar Tree)
  • Acrylic Paints (Don't waste your money on fabric paint- it won't matter)
  • Letter Stencils (I actually substituted foam letter stickers for stencils because I couldn't find any actual stencils in the right size)
  • Foam brushes or stencil brushes
  • Cardboard (for inside the shirts)
Prep Work: Glue your stencils together in the words "Jesus" and another that says "me". Again, I used foam letter stickers instead. I did this by cutting a square around each sticker and removing the middle like this:

Also, put a piece of cardboard inside each shirt. This keeps the paint from bleeding through to the other side of the shirt, and also makes a nice, flat work area out of the front of the shirt. 

I then glued a poster board "shield" around them because the kids I was working with were very small, and I wanted them to have a bigger target to work with. 

 Back of Stencil

Front of Stencil on Shirt

I have a few classroom assistants, so I had one of them go around allowing the kids to stencil Jesus, another go around having them stencil "me", and I went around stamping their hand-prints into heart shapes. 

We used 3 different colors of acrylic paints in class, but if you have older kids you could actually stencil each letter a different color. Also, upside down hand-prints make a nicer heart shape, but you do what you can with little kids. ;-)

We ended up having a little trouble with our "Me" stencil, so I quickly went back over the letters with one of the foam brushes in a darker color. 

That's it! Let them dry and wash as normal. Acrylic paint is not going to wash out of clothes, so it's perfect for this project. Your only motivation for buying fabric paint is that it might dry a little softer than stiff acrylic paint, but even that totally depends on the brand you get. 

My entire class wore their shirts to the end of the year ceremony, and they were adorable! Can you guess which song we performed for the group? ;-) When my 2/3 year olds sing Jesus Loves Me, I have them point to themselves each time they say "Me" in the song, and this is a big hit! 

Again, I think these would be an absolutely great craft to make for VBS! Then the kids could wear them all week! :-)

Ok, now it's your turn to share your links! Feel free to share any blog post that you think would interest Catholic mothers or those working with children. Also, feel free to share more than one, and don't forget about your archives! I love to see the things you all link up! Just link back here so others know where to join in on the fun. :-)

First Friday Link Up

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  1. Sheila WhittenbergJuly 1, 2011 at 10:28 AM

    Hi Lacy, Thanks for hosting!  Love your blog!

  2. Hey lacy do you remember when we made bff shirts in the 2nd grade. : )

  3. Thanks for giving me the motivation to finally finish poor David and Goliath. I have had them cut out and colored for weeks but never finished my activity. Now they are done and linked up. Thanks for the tip about the acrylic paint. I love the shirts!

  4. Yay for motivation! Thanks for linking :-)


Thanks for your comments! They're the icing on my cake ;-)