Upcycled Shirt Art Smock – DIY

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My children love painting, so much that they can cover almost every surface in sight including there clothes!

I have recently discovered a jewel of a book called “Wonderful things to make for kids” published by Australian Womens Weekly. One of the 91 projects is an artists smock made from a former shirt.


As regular readers will know it was somewhat inevitable that I made my own version!


To make your own version you will need:

  • Shirt
  • Fabric scrap big enough to make front pockets
  • Bias binding for neck line
  • Button
  • Velcro


To make


Cut off collar, and above buttons on sleeves

Stitch the front of the shirt together, down the button opening (allow adequate neck opening). Tip use a zip foot to save removing the buttons


Create front pocket, cut fabric width of the shirt. Pin and hem the fabric. Sew down each side and along the bottom of the shirt.


Create smaller pockets by stitching down from top of the pocket to hem line (I created three by stitching down twice)


Pin, tack and sew on bias binding to finish neckline of shirt


Sew on large decorative button at neck opening. Attach velcro behind this button to allow easy opening and fastening

Trim sleeves with either bias binding or with co-ordinating fabric from pocket. Cut fabric longer than the sleeve opening. Pin into place.



Turn over and hem. Thread with elastic to gather in sleeve at wrist.


Your finished:) What’s more it fits older children still prone to getting paint on their clothes!


To learn more about the book pop over to Bugs & Fishes from Friday the 21st where I am delighted to be guest blogging with  a review.


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  1. February 20, 2014 / 2:13 pm

    That is brilliant. We need one of those, my youngest loves painting and always manages to get it everywhere! Thanks for sharing with #ThriftyThursday
    Gina Caro recently posted…Thrifty Thursday – Natural CraftsMy Profile

  2. February 25, 2014 / 9:54 am

    That is such a good idea! My two always get paint all over themselves and proper smocks are so expensive!
    Michelle Willis recently posted…Time to myselfMy Profile

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