How to Make a Robot T-Shirt

Embellish a plain T-shirt with a robot-inspired design using fabric scraps, glue and a sewing machine.

Materials and Tools:


fabric glue
ironing board
lightweight ironing sheet
sewing machine
upholstery thread
cotton T-shirt
fabric: corduroy, heavy cotton, felt


1. Place a cotton T-shirt on a flat surface, smoothing out wrinkles.

2. Cut out shapes for the robot assembly. The shapes are cut freehand and follow these approximate measurements.

  • Cut one 5" x 3-1/2" light blue corduroy rectangle
  • Cut one 2"x 3" light blue corduroy oval
  • Cut two arms 4 inches long from plaid fabric
  • Cut two legs 6-1/2 inches long from plaid fabric
  • Cut two small antennae from plaid fabric

3. Assemble the robot appliqué by arranging the shapes on the T-shirt.

4. Squeeze out some fabric glue onto a tray or palette. Paint an even layer of glue onto the back of the appliqué pieces of fabric using a small paintbrush.

5. Glue all the robot shapes onto the T-shirt. Let dry eight to 10 hours.

6. Outline the antennae, arms and legs with a straight stitch.

7. Change to a zigzag stitch and sew around the body and head.

8. Cut out circles for the body buttons, eyes and mouth. Sew on the robot accent parts with a zigzag stitch. Change the top thread so that it matches the accents.

9. Using black upholstery thread, outline the mouth and fill in the teeth using a straight stitch.

Milinda Lawless

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