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Make Your Own F*** Cancer T-shirt in 10 Easy Steps

One of my favorite things to do is decorate T-shirts with fun, or important, sayings. It's so easy to do and when you wear the completed shirt, it shows your personality while spreading a message. The first T-shirt I made was one that shares one of my important stances as a breast cancer survivor: F*** Cancer. Here's how you can make one.



1. Determine your color scheme. I chose a black cotton T-shirt because it would go well with the pink, glittery iron-on material I bought to make the ribbon out of that will form the "c" and the "k" in the first word on my T-shirt. I then paired that with white lettering for the rest of the phrase for my shirt. But, you can choose myriad colors for the iron-on or for the shirt. It all depends upon what you want to wear it with, and what your favorite colors are.


2. Pick a cotton item to put the iron-ons on. Whether you go with a short- or long-sleeve T-shirt, a canvas bag or even a canvas apron, it is a quick, fun project. Michaels or other craft stores have plenty of options.


3. Think about the message you want to convey with your iron-ons. Of course, you have the main message — "F*** Cancer," but the font you select for the letters will also speak volumes. Imagine what the phrase would look like in cursive rather than block letters.


4. Trace and cut the ribbon. I couldn't find a pre-cut, iron-on pink ribbon, so I cut one from an 8-in by 9.5-in. sheet of iron-on fabric I bought at a craft store. To do this, turn the sheet over so to trace a ribbon on the non-glittery side. You could find the outline of a ribbon online, print it on a sheet of paper, cut it out and then lay it on top of the iron-on material and cut it out from there. Instead, I free-handed it, and it turned out well. But, what you do depends upon your comfort level and what you will do best at.



5. If you are making a T-shirt, place cardboard inside your T-shirt to act as a padding where you want to place the letters. You can either cut a piece of cardboard from a box, or buy a cardboard T-shirt form from the craft store. I bought mine at Michaels; it was in the same aisle as the iron-ons were.


6. Next, arrange your ribbon and the iron-on letters on your item, spelling "Fu** Cancer." if you are making a T-shirt, use a ruler or tape measure to go four inches down from the top of the collar. The tops of your letters should be four inches down from the collar, so this is where you'll place them. Use the tape measure or ruler to properly space out the iron-on letters, ensuring there is equal distance between each letter (and the ribbon). Once you have your letters placed where you want them on the clothing item, step back to ensure all looks appropriately spaced, and rearrange where necessary.


7. Carefully place a sheet of paper over the iron-ons. I used a sheet from a legal tablet. Be sure to avoid moving the letters when you place the paper over it.


8. Heat your dry iron to the proper setting. The packaging of some iron-ons will dictate which setting you should use. Once the iron is heated, press it firmly over the sheet of paper. Again, the iron-on packaging will tell you specifically for how long to hold the iron over the iron-ons.


9. Once the iron-ons are affixed to your shirt, let it briefly cool. Then, gently peel away the backing of the iron-ons. If they are not completely adhered, re-press for a few seconds and let it cool again.


10. Now, you're ready to wear your item!


I can't be more happy with the T-shirt I made. I had been wanting one with this message on it for some time, but didn't see a pre-made one that looked exactly how I wanted it to. And, they seemed pricey. I can't see spending $20 or more for a T-shirt, especially when I can make my own for less and have fun doing it. I hope you enjoy making your item!

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