This summer, on every Thursday of every adventure session, our tireless program counselors will enjoy a well-deserved counselor party, planned by fellow counselors working support that week. Generally, the support counselors don’t have much time to plan, so low-maintenance resourceful creativity is key! This project was inspired by one such party – a superhero themed party, to be exact, where every counselor got their very own personalized t-shirt cape. Not gonna lie – I was a little jealous!
First of all, you’ll need a t-shirt! The size of the t-shirt will determine the size of the cape; a size small, for example, would make a great toddler cape whilst a size extra-large will yield a longer and fuller cape for, say, a sixteen year old summer camp counselor. My t-shirt happens to be long-sleeved but this is not a requirement!
You will also need a good pair of scissors suitable for cutting fabric! Masking or painter’s tape also will come in handy but is not necessary.
1. Pick which side of the t-shirt you want to use – you only need the front side the back side to cut your cape from. If there is a graphic on the front of the t-shirt that you’d like on your cape, cut your cape from the front side! If you would prefer a blank cape, and the back of your t-shirt is blank, cut your cape from the back side (and be sure to scroll down to step 9 later for cape decorating inspiration). The point is either the front or back of the t-shirt will do!
I will be using the front side of my t-shirt for my cape. I painted a heart on it for reference 🙂
2. Flip your t-shirt over to whichever side you are NOT using for your cape.
3. Find the collar; cut along the edge of the collar just below its hem. No need to cut the collar off completely – just detach it from this side of the t-shirt.
The collar is still attached to the heart/cape side of my t-shirt and will be the neck hole for my cape!
4. Flip your t-shirt over. You are now ready to cut out your cape.
5. From here, things are flexible: basically, you are going to cut two diagonal lines up from the bottom of the shirt. One will go from the bottom up to the very left edge of the collar; the other will go from the bottom up to the right edge of your collar. I’ve marked the lines I am going to cut using blue tape, below.
I want my cape to be full and flowy, so it is very wide at the bottom. You can do the same if you please, or adjust the shape to your liking! This is where having tape comes in handy.
6. Once you have decided on your lines, cut on up through the TOP layer of fabric only!
7. If your collar is still partially attached to the other side of your shirt, snip it away so it is just attached to the body of your cape.
8. Tidy up your cape as needed – I am cutting the bottom hem off of mine.
Slip it over your (or someone else’s) head! Run around a bit and see how it feels. You’ve made a t-shirt cape.
9. From here, you can zazz it up as you please! Dye it, sew a patch or a graphic from another shirt onto it, paint someone’s name on it… there are so many possibilities. For a more “polished” t-shirt cape, you can cut part of the collar off and sew some sort of string or ribbon there so the cape ties around your neck rather than slips over your head. Finally, you can cut your leftover t-shirt bits up into t-yarn (https://campstevensjulian.wordpress.com/2013/10/25/craft-of-the-month-t-shirt-yarn/) and make a matching headband (https://campstevensjulian.wordpress.com/2013/11/26/craft-of-the-month-how-to-make-a-t-shirt-headband/) !
Here’s to a summer of sunny craft-filled days ❤