DIY: 4th of July tee-to-tank

Remember when you were little and you always had a fresh patriotic tee for the 4th of July? 

You don't have to give up your graphic tee game just because you're (sort of) an adult now. 

We go to my cabin in northern Minnesota for the 4th and that small town American parade with all the bells and whistles, the fire trucks and the flyover (and the candy throwers!) gets my heart all squishy and proud to be an American. Every time. 

As I was arranging and re-arranging different combinations of letters for my tee, it hit me: 

Amer-i-can. I can. 

I am American, and I can... vote, travel, go to school, say what I want, write what I want, work where I want.

I can marry who I want, and come to think of it, I can not marry who I want. No one's arranging my future for me. Because I. Can. 

I can do it all however I want, and so can you. Freedom from sea to shining sea, people. 

I know this all borders cliche, and also puts me quite obviously in the camp of taking it all for granted, but for one day a year. But, what a day it is! 

I hope your 4th of July is happy and freedom-filled. 

Here's how to make your own custom graphic tee-to-tank:

First, get your hands on some iron-on letters. I found mine at a local craft store. I chose the flat finish letters, not the textured/velvety letters. These are similar to what I used. 

Find an old tee and arrange your letters, plastic side up.

Lay a dishtowel over the letters, and iron. I found it worked best to push with full body weight on each letter for about 10 seconds,

then seal the edges of each letter with the edge of the iron.

Check frequently to see if the letters stick while you slowly peel the plastic.  

If you over heat, the letters won't stick, so check in!

My letters shifted a little to the right... aggressive ironing, I guess. But, they look pretty good!

To turn your tee into a tank, mark one inch from the shoulder and one inch under the armpit with a pencil

Sketch a line to connect the two marks. This will be your cut line.

This does not have to be perfect, but draw it relatively straight. Too much swoop, and you'll be cutting too far towards the center of the chest. 


To make the edges roll (and hide any cut imperfections), tug the cut.

Ta-Da! Pair with All-American vintage Levi's cut-offs.  

After I tried on my tank, I wanted a little more drape in the back, so I snipped a slit. A friend helped me mark how high I wanted to cut.

This is important to do while you are wearing the shirt, so you don't cut too high. Then, remove, cut and tug. 

Happy 4th of July, Americans!