Hand Sewn Pixel Shirts





Introduction: Hand Sewn Pixel Shirts

About: I am just a girl who works at a craft store inspired by the things around me every day.

These shirts are an incredibly fun way to celebrate your favorite retro games! The pixel look brings it an edge and everyone will be asking where you got it from!

What you will need:

- a plain t-shirt

- waste canvas

- embroidery floss

- size 20 embroidery needles

- light weight fusible interfacing

- lots and lots of time

Step 1: Plan Your Design

When creating my designs I like to keep the color scheme very simple, the more colors you use then the more thread switching you will need to do. For your first shirt use at most maybe 10 colors. Plan out your design pixel by pixel on the computer in "Paint" and be sure you view the ruler and grid tools. When you are done planning print this out to use as a reference while you stitch!

Step 2: How to Make a Stitch

Each pixel makes an x.

To sew that you begin from the inside/back of the shirt and poke the needle up through the bottom left corner of the pixel you are working on. Then sew through the top right corner. You now pull the needle through from the inside of the shirt to the bottom right corner. Finally you sew through the top left corner of the pixel and that square is now complete!

If this is your first time cross-stitching, practice on some scrap fabric first until your stitches look consistent.

Step 3: Get Going!

Have your reference close by and work one color at a time.

Step 4: Check Your Work

Be sure that the inside of your shirt remains neat and free of any loose threads (feed them through the stitches on the back as you work), you want your shirt to last a long time and through much wear and tear.

Step 5: Nearing the End

After hours and hours, days and days, you will finally almost be done! Only 2 more steps left!

Step 6: Pulling Out the Canvas

This is the most difficult part of the project. It requires patients and perseverance. If you stitched very tightly then this step is even harder for you. One at a time you must pull out the strings of the waste canvas, I've found that it is easier on the fingers if you use needle nose pliers to grip the strings because there are a lot!

Step 7: Back Your Shirt

On the inside of the shirt I used a light weight fusible interfacing. I cut it slightly larger than the size of the design itself and simply ironed it on. This keeps the threads from coming loose and it also provides much more comfortable wear!

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    70 Discussions

    you are, so so so so so so so patient.

    I really want to try this with planetary designs, but I'm not sure I have the time. How many hours would you approximate that you put into each of these?

    Wow, this is so cool. Very nice work!

    Amazing work (Y)


    2 years ago


    I love the charizard shirt!

    My friend sent me this photo out of the blue saying 'YO DUDE THIS LOOKS LIKE YOU' lmao

    Outstanding work. Such a unique look is definitely worth that extra effort. This is way different than my usual projects and I can't wait to try it!

    can you send me the r2d2 to save us time?

    very cool..my daughter my like doing this..I would even wear an R2-D2 shirt :)

    really nice to see an alternitave to just the normal sticker based t shirts :D

    these would make awesome hoodies too

    Good one

    Cool stuff! You know what you have to do next dont you? A raspberry pi-based pixel stitching machine instructable! ;-)

    Beautiful shirts from a beautiful girl. Do you do commissions?

    2 replies

    Thank you! I don't do commissions

    Very welcome! Shame, I cannot commit the time to this at the moment. If you do decide to then please let us know? Thank you for sharing the Instructable :)

    Hey, wonderful art. Did you put the pixel cloth on the t - shirt when you are doing the design itself or did you cut it and stitch it later on the t-shirt?

    Amy, you are a very talented and artistic young lady. Keep up the good work!!!