Monday, May 30, 2011

DIY Bridal Party Tanks

Ever since Mr. Hess and I got engaged I knew I wanted to give something special to my bridesmaids for being a part of our wedding day.  At first, it was going to be the shoes they are wearing for their gift, but then it hit me: there's other things I wanted to give them that just might mean a little more and feel a little more personable...

I was in one of my bridesmaid (Britt)'s wedding last November, and for her Bachelorette Weekend we ordered the cutest Bridal Party Tanks!  I fell in love with the tank style and little ribbon accent of them and decided that THOSE are going to be the bridesmaid shirts I give my girls!  So I went online and found a great website for this purpose called  I started from scratch by picking out the tank style, added the colors I wanted & chose the text of what I wanted the shirts to say.  I created the shirt I pictured in my head and figured I would add the bow later on when they came in.  I go to check out and BAM it hits me like a ton of bricks how ridiculously expensive this was going to be!  I mean, I have 9 beautiful bridesmaids...and this "extra" gift to them was something I really, really wanted them to have...but I just couldn't justify ordering them from this site. 

Here we go...back to the drawing board.

A few days go by, and I'm thinking about where I can get the shirts I wanted for the price I can afford and then I had an idea!  DIY (and for those who aren't familiar with the acronym, DIY means Do It Yourself!) That's it...all I had to do was buy the tanks, create an image to print on them, and add the bow - seems easy enough, right?

Step 1 was finding the tanks I wanted, and honesty this was not an easy task.  I would find a tank I would love, but it would be either over the price range I wanted or not come in the sizes I needed.  After all I needed 12 of these babies!!!! (9 for my Bridesmaids, 1 for my Flowermaid, 1 for my future sis-in-law who was coming to the party & 1 for me!!!) After going from store to store in the mall, I decided to look online instead and FINALLY found Aeropostale.   Lucky for me, the weekend I placed my order for the bright pink tanks there was a sale going on as well so I got a pretty great deal!

Step one: find the tank top...DONE!

Next step? Getting the customized image onto the tank!

To begin, let me just say how awesome our friend Rusty is at graphic design! He is the original creator of our HBSH logo that we have been using everywhere throughout our wedding.  I knew I could go to him to create the perfect logo for each shirt I needed & like always he went ABOVE & BEYOND my expectations!  Here is the original image he sent me:

Pretty cool, huh?

I have said it before and I will say it again: Rusty is an amazing, fun & creative artist.  He has done several projects for both Mr. Hess and I along the way of planning our big day and I would recommend him for anyone looking for any kind of custom design work.  Here's his website for more info:

Now that we have the shirt and the logos it was time to figure out how to get one on the other.  After calling around and getting ridiculous quotes from printers (each wanted to charge me a separate set-up charge for printing each different logo), I was at a loss of where to go to stay on my budget.  Finally, after a suggestion via twitter, Mr. Hess and I were steered to a wonderful t-shirt custom design & printing company called Mother Falcon.  It's located in Thornton Park in Orlando and they were an absolute delight!  We were pleasantly surprised to find out when we walked into the store that A) They were HUGE Magic fans & had created TONS of funny custom Magic Tee's I've admired at games and B) They wouldn't charge me any kind of set-up fee for printing t-shirts for me!  YAY! :)  The only thing I was surprised on is that the shirts came back all white instead of the white & green colored logo, but they said that was because the green squiggles were too thin...Oh well!

So I dropped the shirts off and picked them up 2 days later, it was that easy!  THANK YOU Mother Falcon!!! Check them out here:

So we've now got the tank, the logo, & a place to print!

After you've done all three of these things, the rest is pretty simple.  
Here is what I needed to complete the look I was going for:

  • Bridal Party Tank (with logo printed)
  • Ribbon - preferrably without wiring.  I used a bright lime green color that was 1 1/2" thick.
  • Measuring Tape - I cut each ribbon 32"
  • Scissors
  • Lighter
With the exception of the tanks, you can find any of those items above at a craft store like JoAnns, or Michaels.  Once all supplies was in hand, it was time to set each shirt up and tie those big 'ol lime green bows!  First, I cut each ribbon so that they were all cut long enough and to avoid wasting any ribbon by having to re-cut.  I figured out that 32" was the perfect length to cut the ribbon so that I could tie the bow onto the tank with ease and trim the ends later.

Next, start tying!  It sounds funny, but after a few attempts (and fails) I figured out the easiest way to tie the darn thing to make it look pretty and sit the right way is actually tying it upside down. 

Attach the bow to the tank by first making a knot (like you would when tying a shoelace) and place the first "bunny ear" like the picture above.  Loop the bow around like you're still tying your shoe and then situate the ribbon to lay with both "tails" facing down towards the shirt.  It takes a minute to make sure the bow is tight enough and in the right position to lay flat, but you'll get the hang of how to do it once you do the first one or two.

After the bow is attached to the shirt, I cut each end of the "tail" at an angle and burned the edges with the lighter so that the ribbon wouldn't fray.  This was an old trick I learned when I sewed my own pointe shoes and had to cut the ribbon to fit around my ankles!

Just don't burn your fingertips! ;)

TIP: Don't burn the edges too long, or it will misshape the ribbon or burn it to an ugly brown color.  Simply graze the flame by the entire edge just enough to form a hard rubber like edging.

And, VOILA! There you have it!  Your own, original, customized Bridal Party Tank Tops.  Wasn't that easy?!

I agree that the bow is a bit overwhelming for some, but believe me the shirts turned out adorable in pictures! All of my girls LOVED their surprise & I was so happy to have been able to customize and personalize a present for them.  Don't worry ladies, that is just 1 part of the bridesmaid presents...more to come closer to the big day.

I had just as much fun doing the gift bags as I did making the shirts!

I hope this helped anyone who wants to create customized shirts for a group & doesn't want to spend an arm and a leg to do it!  Like I said, it would have been easier to just order them online, but this was way more fun & cost effective.  I'm pretty proud of how cute they turned out - if I do say so myself - and can't wait to see them all on my girls again for the BIG DAY!

53 days to go!

1 comment:

Chicago Wedding Venues said...

I'm sure this place doesn't come cheap, but it's well worth it for memorable and impressive occasions. Their food is absolutely delicious and the service is top notch.


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