Framing a T-shirt (on the Cheap)





Introduction: Framing a T-shirt (on the Cheap)

So I have this t-shirt that I love, thing is it’s getting to the point where the silk screening is starting to peel of. It wouldn’t be long before it all peeled off completely if I kept wearing and washing it. I didn’t want to throw it away and I didn’t want it to sit in my closet unseen. Since I’ve also been looking for things to fill the empty walls in my room I decided to frame the shirt, my first thought was to use a jersey display case to show the whole shirt in all its glory; I found out though that jersey cases are quite expensive to expensive for a t-shirt I paid $15 for. I had several ideas; however most of them were in overkill zone. Then while at Target (getting shaving supplies) I came across an acrylic box frame that I thought might work. Turns out the $3.99 acrylic frame worked quite well, I need to learn to take more pictures during the process of something like this but it’s pretty simple.

Step 1: Materials Needed


  • Acrylic box frame - I got mine at Target for $3.99
  • Masking tape
  • Razor blade
  • Scissors

Step 2: Process

  • The frame I got (conveniently) came with a cardboard insert, a box that fit inside the frame to hold the picture in place. Since I wasn't going to put a picture in the frame I cut the top off of the box insert (used masking tape to hold it together) to allow space for excess t-shirt.
  • I fitted the t-shirt over the box insert - this part took the longest, getting the shirt centered on the insert. Before I put the shirt in the frame I used a lint roller to remove any, well... lint from the shirt and cleaned the inside of the frame using Windex and an old cotton t-shirt.
  • Once the t-shirt was in the frame I stuffed the remaining shirt in the back of the frame and used masking (two layers in separate directions) tape to cover the back to hold it all in. Using a razor blade I cut the excess tape from around the edges.
  • Poked a hole through the masking tape for a nail.
  • Hung on wall



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    I just started looking for a method to frame an old concert t-shirt that I have that is LONG past fitting me and ran across this instructable, which, despite its age, is still the best method I have yet come across. However, while I also probably paid around $15 for my shirt, the sentimental value it has for me is much greater than that and I tend to be a stickler for UV Filtering whenever I am framing something worth framing.

    One thing worth mentioning is while the source listed for jersey cases is a VERY valid one, I found that quality jersey cases can be purchased on Amazon (and probably elsewhere, but where do you look first?) for amazingly affordable prices. However, I think that since these things are designed for JERSEYS, they would be overkill for a t-shirt, which would end up being dwarfed by the frame.

    Another issue that I have, which I don't particularly see a good solution to (for obvious reasons) is that I'd like to be able to display BOTH side of the shirt but I am NOT willing to CUT or damage the t-shirt in any way! The only way I can imagine coming close to this would be a frame that could be turned around so that either side of the shirt could be seen at one time, which would obviously require (for me) UV Filtering Acrylic on both sides of the frame, which I don't see as undo-able, it's just a question of finding or making the right frame to be able to accommodate this while displaying the shirt properly...

    What do you guys think of this T-shirt frame? My buddy and I felt we had a similar problem as described here, so we made our own version (called tik tak tee) for a class project. Then realized that there weren't really any products like it on the market, so we've been making more and selling them to friends and family.

    You could always bring the shirt to a screen printer and ask them to make you some custom t-shirts based on that graphic.

    1 reply

    I doubt a screen printer would do that... Copyright laws being what they are and all

    Neat idea! That sounds easy and looks good.

    2 replies

    Thanks, I should note that the shirt I used was a medium size, for a larger shirt you may have to use a bigger (width/height/depth) frame to be able to stuff the rest of the shirt in the back.

    Problem is I haven't been able to find a frame big enough. My shirt design is about 13" x 17".

    Does anyone know of a coating or a way to preserve screen printing on tshirts? I have a bunch that I want to keep wearing....not quite ready to commit to framing them yet! Thanks

    I read the comments about framing t shirts, and there's just one thing that people need to know. If you happen to have a t shirt that is valuable (i.e. signed by an athlete), you need to use proper archival materials. The masking tape and cardboard mentioned in some of the articles have an acid content and will eventually eat your beloved trasures! Be careful, and when it's worth something, seek a professional framer.

    This is great. I have a t-shirt that I have been looking to frame forever but like you found conventional framing too expensive. With this I am going to frame more, especially my band t-shirts. Thanks for this!

    1 reply

    Thanks eadesu1. Recently I re-did the t-shirt frame because the masking tape started to come off... so I used a shadow box frame instead. I haven't posted it here on .instructables yet but you can see it here on my site.

    this is a great idea. i have some awesome vintage t-shirts that are falling apart but that are too cool to throw away.

    Great idea....i too have only thought of the expensive ways...and i had one of these frames i got at Salvation Army and couldn't think of what to do so i think i took it back after a cleanup frenzy...shoot!

    great idea! I have this wonderfull "nightmare on elm street" t shirt that shrunk; now I know what to do with it!


    Good Question It's 8.5" x 11"