DIY Greek Letter Sweatshirt Tutorial

Hey ladies! Have you ever wanted more Greek letters, but just don’t care to spend the big bucks for professionally-made ones? If you’re a DIY girl or even just up for a fun, crafty challenge, make your own! They’re 100% customizable,  and only a fraction of the cost you would spend to order them. I make my own for fun, and here’s my how-to. Happy crafting!

DIY Greek Letter Sweatshirt

Supplies:

  • Sweatshirt
  • Fabric
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread in coordinating colors
  • Fabric scissors
  • Fray Check
  • Heat ‘n Bond- Ultrahold
  • (Firm Fusible Interfacing-optional)
  • Existing letters to copy to make stencils

supplies thumbnail

I bought my fabric from Hobby Lobby and got 1/18th of a yard. (Weird number, but it’s  cheap and will make about 5 pairs of letters! Each of my cuts cost between $0.63 and $0.99.)

The sweatshirt I used for this project is a Hanes comfort sweatshirt from Walmart- $5!

Fray Check costs roughly $2.99, Heat ‘n Bond $1.49, and the thicker fusible interfacing I bought was $7.99, but I used a 40% off coupon to bring the price down. With the exception of the sweatshirt, all of the materials can be used to make 5 or 6 pairs of letters!

Step 1:

make stencils

Take a pair of existing letters and scan then into your computer. Then re-size and scale them. I made mine 5″ for the sweatshirt. Be sure to make two copies of each, so you have stencils both the front and back fabrics.

Step 2:

Print and cut out your new letter stencils. Make sure that your first set is the entire letter, and the second cuts out the border and is just the printed fabric. I’ve always used plain white paper for this, but you can trace them onto cardstock or stencil plastic for a more lasting stencil. You should have six letters.

 

Step 3:

heat and bond letters

Arrange your letters on the Heat ‘n Bond to measure how much fabric you’ll use.

Note: For my sweatshirts, I like to use a firmer fusible interfacing so that my letters are nice and stiff and not flimsy. This is personal preference- you can use the Heat ‘n Bond just fine for this step as well!) The placement of these letters on your solid background isn’t important. Be resourceful with your materials!

Step 4-5:

IMG_2466 iron fabric

Cut your solid (back) and print (front) fabric rectangles to fit the size of the Heat n’ Bond you measured in Step 3. Then iron on your fabrics to the raw side of your Heat n’ Bond.

Step 6:

IMG_2464

Bring those letter stencils back and lay them on your newly-fusible fabric! You’ll want to pin and cut these bad boys out.

delta detailing

Note: For small details like the inside of the small Delta, I found that using a nail scissors works well for tiny cuts.

match fabric and cut out letters

Also, if you’re using a patterned fabric like chevron, make sure all of your letters follow the pattern consistently. Here, I had to use another part of my fabric to match the Delta with the other letters.

Step 7:

Repeat steps 3-6 with your background fabric using the larger letter stencils.

Step 8:

Once you’re finished, go ahead and iron the patterned letters to the background letters. You can then place them on your sweatshirt and iron it all down!

Tip: Place a thin cloth over of your letters as you iron, to avoid any iron marks on your sweatshirt. Make sure they’re good and stuck before you move on to sewing!

Step 9:

about to sew

 

After your letters are neatly ironed on, it’s time to take the sweatshirt to the sewing machine. Make sure you choose coordinating thread. Here, I have navy for my outside border and a magenta for my inside border. I like to mix it up, but usually professionally-done ones use the same color thread for the whole letter.

Step 10:

half sewn delta

I like to use a small zig-zag stitch when sewing these. I’ve used larger stitches in the past, like the professional ones, but I tried a smaller stitch this round and was really pleased with the outcome. Up to you! Stitch all the way around the outside borders of the letters.

Step 11:

sewing letters sewn delta

Don’t forget to sew the insides (that tiny Delta opening!) as well.

Step 12:

photo (11)

 

Cut off any hanging threads when you’re done. To finalize, border all of the letter edges- both inside and out- with Fray Check. Don’t worry- it dries clear.

And you’re done! One set of beautiful homemade letters for you or your sister. These make great Big/Little gifts. Total make time runs about three hours a set, so if you’ve got the time (Christmas break is great for projects) and you’d like to get your craft on, try making your own letters!

photo (12)

 

Happy crafting!

Ps- if you’d like to see more of my own crafts for my littles, check out my Pinterest page!

About Kristin Sorenson

Aspiring PR professional. Virginia Tech '14. Spanish. Communication. Professional Writing. Winchester, VA. ¡Pregúntame sobre mis experiencias en Ecuador!
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2 Responses to DIY Greek Letter Sweatshirt Tutorial

  1. Linda says:

    when you say small zig zag for your outline…exactly what width and length are you using? having an issue with this on my work..not pleased with my outcome…

    • Kristin Sorenson says:

      Hi Linda,

      It’s really a trial and error process. I can’t specify the width or length for my “small zig zag,” as the machine I used had the zig-zag stith as an option, and I reduced it to the smallest stitch my settings would allow. Trust me- I wasn’t pleased with the outcomes of earlier versions of this project I did either! Just play with it. Best of luck!

      Kristin

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