Back Massage T-Shirt for Father’s Day!
You know what Dad needs for Father’s Day? A back massage. With this DIY Back Massage Tutorial t-shirt you can make it a family affair! Easy iron-on decals will give dad a chance to customize his favorite back rub and give kids the direction they need to do it just right!
Supplies to create this great Father’s Day gift:
1. a pre-washed cotton t-shirt in Dad’s size
2. iron-on transfer paper for inkjet printers (found in your local craft or office store)
3. our handy dandy printables:
4. a hot dry iron (no steam! make sure your steam is turned off)
Now let’s get started!
You can make this t-shirt gift three different ways:
1) Iron-on the front transfer that says “This Awesome Dad Needs a Massage” and then cut out all the arrows and directionals and put them in a plastic bag with some cute packaging that you create yourself or use ours here. Then gift wrap the t-shirt and the bag of decals and let dad design his own back massage with kids taking notes and somebody responsible ironing the decals on. OR,
2) you can sneakily ask Dad exactly how he likes his back rubbed and take notes and then put it together later secretly. Or,
3) you could just wing it and put directionals wherever you think he might like and that’s probably fine too because when it comes down to it, can you really go wrong with this gift? NO!
Here are some notes to help with the process: (Please don’t let the abundance of notes discourage you. This is an easy craft to put together. I just learned a few things while I was doing it. You can ignore my notes (tips) and probably be just fine.)
First make sure your printer has toner. Also, make sure you read the directions included inside your iron-on transfer paper package. Follow them closely. You’ll want to make sure your t-shirt is clean. That means no cat hair whatsoever because once hair gets stuck between the iron-on transfer paper and your shirt, it’s there forever. A tape-roller can be handy.
When you’re cutting out your directionals, don’t leave a ton of white space. You don’t have to cut super-close but don’t leave more than an inch of white space either. I would say 1/4 inch is perfect but if you leave more, it’s not the end of the world.
Make sure your iron is dry. Dump out any water you might have in the reserve. Also clean your iron before you turn it on. Whatever item of clothing you may have accidentally burned three years ago… yeah, it’ll show up on the transfer paper and on your t-shirt. Transfer paper is magical in it’s ability to find any dirt you might have on your iron. So clean your iron.
(The ironing part of this craft should be handled by a responsible adult.) You’re not going to iron on an ironing board for this. You want a hard sturdy surface. I used a pillow case on my dining room table. A hard surface is best because you don’t want any wrinkles or give so that the decal goes on unevenly. You want the iron to touch the decal all at once or mostly all at once. You can move the iron around but you want to make sure the transfer is getting a good 90 second seal as evenly as possible.
Wait until the decals are completely cool before removing them.
And that’s it! It’s a great craft and Dad is going to LOVE it. You may want to discourage him from wearing it out in public but I’ll leave that up to you.
Published June 9, 2015. Last updated June 12, 2018.