Thinking of making matching Disney family shirts for your trip to Disney World or Disneyland with the family and don’t know where to start? Between Pinterest and Etsy, the options can be overwhelming. The first step is to narrow down the method by which you will create your custom design. Traveling Mom’s Director of Design lists some of the most common methods used to help you get started.

DIY Disney family shirts - 11 of the most common methods for customizing shirts. Save money and create unique, memorable shirts everyone will love!

Custom tie-dye family Disney shirts. Photo credit: Kuleen Ashley, Kid-At-Heart Traveling Mom.

Every time we visit Disney World, we see matching Disney shirts becoming more and more popular. Customized Disney shirts has become a huge cottage industry on Etsy. It’s always fun to see the different themes and styles people wear. I make mental notes on my favorites. Of course, now that we live in Florida and no longer have to hop on a plane standby to visit Disney World, is it still kosher to make matching shirts when we go? I’m going to say yes. Yes, of course it is! So, I’m writing this post as much for me as I am for you.

DIY Disney family shirts - 7 of the most common methods for customizing shirts. Save money and create unique, memorable shirts everyone will love!

Tie-Dye Brasil family shirts for Disney. Photo credit: Chris Bird, Standby Traveling Mom.

We’ll go through a quick-hit-list of the most common methods for making your own shirts, but first, let’s review the reasons why you might want to in the first place:

  1. Save money over buying Disney shirts at the park as souvenirs
  2. Mark a special occasion.
  3. Make it easy to spot one another in a crowd.
  4. Make your pictures POP!
  5. Packing and picking out outfits for every member of the family every day becomes a cinch.
  6. They’re FUN!!

I spotted this adorable family from Brazil a few weeks ago at Disney World and asked to take their picture for this post. They represent everything about what getting custom shirts made is all about. No doubt this was a very special trip for them coming all the way from Brazil, and with multiple generations present. The buttons they were wearing told me it was their first visit. They were obviously very proud to be there and were making the most of it!

DIY Disney Family Shirts

Yes, you can customize official Disney shirts for the entire family at DisneyStore.com or Zazzle.com, but where’s the fun in that? Plus, depending on the size of your family, it can get pretty pricey. Here are some of the most common ways you can make your own to save a little money that you can then spend at the parks instead:

1. Heat Transfer/Iron-On Vinyl

Design your own Disney shirts with custom iron-ons. Purchase custom-cut iron-ons from a myriad of sellers at Etsy.com or buy your own electronic cutting machine such as the Cricut or Silhouette Cameo (approx. $200 on Amazon) and cut your own designs for years to come.

Check out this cute DIY Little Mermaid-Inspired shirt created by Jana Seitzer, Geek Traveling Mom with her Cricut machine.

Britni Vigil, Toddler Traveling Mom creates really cool themed shirts for her family with her Silhouette Cameo every time they visit Disney World. She makes a different set of shirts for every day of their visit, like these incredible Beauty and the Beast themed shirts.

Not ready to invest your time or money into cutting your own iron-ons? Keep it easy-peasy like Karen Heffren, Desert Traveling Mom did. She ordered a custom Hulk Mickey Mouse iron-on from an Etsy shop for just $4 to make a totally cute shirt for her seven-year-old son.

DIY Disney family shirts - 7 of the most common methods for customizing shirts. Save money and create unique, memorable shirts everyone will love!

Beauty and the Beast themed family shirts for Disney. Photo credit: Britni Vigil, Toddler Traveling Mom.

2. Heat Transfer/Iron-On Fabric

In this method you’ll still need a stencil, whether you print it off the internet or create your own, and then you’ll need some fun fabric and Heat N Bond iron-on adhesive to create your own iron-ons.

3. Fabric Paint

Another way to use your cutting machine is to create a stencil and paint your design onto your shirt to create a cool silhouette using fabric paint.

Feeling crafty? You can do a silhouette of pretty much any Disney character or a simple Mickey head on a shirt with some fabric paint and contact paper or freezer paper. This is a cute idea for a shirt to be used for collecting autographs.

Try using fabric spray paint to make your shirts super artsy!

4. Bleach

Keep it real simple and use common household bleach and a stencil to create your Disney design.

5. Faux Appliqué

If you’re handy with a sewing machine, you can create fabric designs that will last forever. These simple Pirate-themed Mickey heads can be created without a complicated stencil and just two fabrics.

6. Faux Appliqué – No-Sew

All you need is some felt and fabric glue as the basis for your shirts. Embellish with fabric paint and ribbons, buttons, sequins, etc. for a cute custom faux appliqué shirt!

DIY Disney family shirts - 7 of the most common methods for customizing shirts. Save money and create unique, memorable shirts everyone will love!

Tie-Dye family shirts for Disney. Photo credit: Kate Melody.

7. Tie-Dye

This is my personal favorite. It’s hard not to notice a family in brightly-colored tie-dye shirts. Here are step-by-step directions on how to make your own Mickey head tie-dye shirts just like the ones you can find on Etsy.

There are so many more ideas out there than I can fit in one blog post. Pinterest is great for inspiration should you want to explore more!

Have you ever made your own matching Disney shirts? What method did you use or which is your favorite?