I love to give presents that I can make for far less than I can buy. So when I was invited to a baby shower, I took the time to make up some cute little onesies. Because a new mom can’t have too many onesies!
I created some graphics to iron on the onesies and printed them out on my inkjet printer. Now you can make your own onesies with these free iron-on printables that you can download here!
I’ve found personalized onesies for about $10 an outfit. But you can make your own for far less. You can pick up basic onesies in a package of three for $9. Iron-on paper runs for $2 a sheet. For $11, you’ve got a present that’s worth $30.
Here’s what I’ve done:
I thought that these emojis accurately reflect baby’s state sometimes.
But it’s not all tears. . .there’s nothing sweeter than a baby’s laugh.
Here’s another one:
And how bout this one?
And here’s a couple for the back of the onesie. This butterfly graphic I downloaded from The Graphics Fairy and altered it for the back.
Here’s some adorable angel wings.
Oooh! I just want to dress up a little one in one of the these outfits and nuzzle his or her cute little neck! ( I swear I’m not baby hungry!)
The iron-on paper can be a big expense — $10 for 5 sheets. However, I’ve positioned the printables, so you can print off either two or four graphics per sheet. This brings the cost of the printables down to 50 cents to a dollar a graphic. Plus, you can get iron-on paper at craft stores as well as office supply stores, and use those JoAnn’s and Michael’s coupons to lower the cost of the paper even further.
I’ve been asked what paper I use. I’ve had a lot of success with Avery Dark Fabric Transfers paper. I like this brand because you can print transfers for dark T-shirts. But this paper works great for iron-ons on light T-shirts as well. There’s no need to reverse the image when you print graphics out on the Avery dark T-shirt.
The iron-ons I created for the shower are gender-neutral, but I’ve also made some blue and pink graphics for you as well. You’ll also notice that some of the graphics are reversed and some are not. That’s because some T-shirt fabric transfer paper require you to reverse the graphics. However, you don’t need to reverse the wings graphics.
Just print what you need. These graphics fit most sizes of onesies, although the butterfly wings and angel wings might be a little too big for a newborn onesie.
When the PDF appears, right-click the image and select Save as. Save the document to your desktop or folder.
You can select the pages that you want to print, or print all of the pages.
You are more than welcome to use the graphics for personal use only. Create a few onesies for personal use or for gifts. And I’d love to see what you’ve done with the iron-ons!
I’ve had so much fun making up these graphics that I’ll be featuring more posts with onesie iron-ons for you to use. Be sure to watch for those upcoming posts. I’ve got so many ideas! Plus, I’m taking requests. (My daughter has already requested little dragon wings for the onesie’s back)
What’s your favorite design?
This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase the item through the link, there is no additional cost for you, and I get a little extra.
Last week, I wrote about dressing kids for cheap. Even though kids go through clothes every time you turn around, dressing kids for cheap isn’t that hard. After all, you are in control. Even though your four-year-old wants to go out the door wearing a neon orange shirt with olive polka dot leggings, you are still pick what goes into the closet.
However, when your kids gets to be pre-teens and older, they start to balk at Mommy picking clothes for them. They’ll want the latest looks that their friends are wearing, and that can cost. A lot.
Thankfully I’m here to help.
For simplicity’s sake, I’m going to refer to your little fashionista as a her, although I know plenty of young men (fashionistos?) that this post would apply to. I’ve got a very fashion-forward, trendy It girl for a daughter.
Here’s how I afford it:
1. Start ’em young
Start training your teens to shop with an eye for savings while they are still little. I know, the thought of dragging little ones clothes shopping may cause you to shudder. But the best way to teach is to take them out with you when you pick up clothes. You can make it a special one-on-one time with your kid. Take your little one to garage sales and thrift stores. Let her pick out an outfit or give her a few dollars to go shopping for herself. This can be empowering and reinforces the idea of finding a bargain. When looking at the clearance racks of a department store, point out the difference between the markdown and the full price. She’ll learn to appreciate low prices.
This training helps when your kids become more independent and start having more input on what they wear. “I would never spend more than ten dollars on a top,” says my fashionista. I silently cheer her reverse-price snobbery.
2. Embrace the look, not the label
Your fashionista is going to want to dress like her friends. That’s okay. She’s trying to find her own identity, and a big part of what girls wear identify where she wants to belong. As long as her choices meet your minimum family and school standards for dress, you should let her go for it.
That said, you need to start working with your girl on finding the look for less. If she admires a certain item from a pricey label, see if you can find the same style elsewhere. Stores like Forever 21 and Wet Seal specialize in discount teen fashion. By hitting the sales and combining purchases with coupons, you can get items for just a few dollars. My fashionista nabbed a $20 coupon for one store and applied it to a pair of boots that were on sale for $19.99. Free boots! She’s worn them for the last two years and loves them.
3. Combine sales online
Subscribe to discount newsletters that alert you when clothes are on sale and get on email lists for stores that you like to frequent. I like the Pinching Your Pennies newsletter, but there are many sites out there that alert you to the best deals. The nice thing about shopping online for teens is that those junior sizes tend to be discounted pretty quickly. Make sure that you get shipping for free or cheap, so you don’t have your savings eaten up by shipping costs.
I once found jeans for $12, which I thought was a pretty good deal, so I grabbed a few for my fashionista’s Christmas present. When the package arrived, my girl freaked. Apparently, I had snagged Rock & Republic jeans–tony luxury jeans that normally sell for $70.
4. Trade with friends
Let your fashionista swap clothes with her friends. You should have an open closet policy. Teen girls love to swap sweaters and shirts. Frankly, half of the clothes in my daughter’s closet are from her friend, and she’s got items at half a dozen friends’ homes.
You could also let your girl rummage through your closet, although I’m too uncool for my fashionista to borrow from.
5. Hit electronic garage sales
My fashionista still goes to the thrift stores for items. But she’s more comfortable with buying and selling her clothes online.
Oh course, eBay is the granddaddy of the electronic garage sale. But there are numerous sales sites, many with mobile apps that allow you to access the sites directly. My fashionista uses Poshmark and Mercari. She’s been able to snag name brand items for just a few dollars. Even with shipping costs, it can be a significant savings. This is a great option to find items that are tougher to locate in a thrift store, like semi-formals for dances.
6. Swap online
I mentioned in my last post the idea of arranging for a larger organized swap. This is still a good option for teens. Organizations like schools could run the swap. My church did a swap with their youth group that was a hit with the group.
However, you can also swap clothes online. For sites like Poshmark and Mercari, you can list your item with a $0 cost, and when you’re contacted by someone who wants to trade, you exchange addresses and ship your items at your own cost. There is a risk, since you’re not protected when you bypass the site instead of brokering through the website. However, my fashionista has been very happy with the trades that she’s arranged.
7. Alter current clothing
In my post about kids’ clothes for cheap, I tell you about altering existing articles for clothing to create new pieces. This is even more important for teens, since their tastes change so quickly. Let your fashionista go wild. Mine took a five dollar backpack, and with 99 cent acrylic paints, transformed that backpack into a gorgeous galaxy backpack, such this one sold for $70 on etsy.
Let her look over Pinterest and pick a tutorial to alter an item that she doesn’t care for anymore. Just by searching Pinterest for DIY altered Tshirts, I found ways to:
I am sewing-impaired. I would love to whip up a prom dress like Lorelai Gilmore on Gilmore Girls, but it would look like a lopsided pillowcase. But you can still get the benefit of home sewing without having to do all the work.
Instead of sewing items, let your fashionista start sewing clothing for herself. Believe it or not, there are still Home Ec courses that teach sewing. Your fashionista might love the control of creating a skirt with the EXACT color and pattern that she wants. Sewing may turn into a great hobby, allowing her to start making her own creations. This would be fantastic for more expensive items, like prom dresses or business suits.
9. Become a fashion model
This option won’t work for everyone, but I felt I had to mention it, since it works so well for us. Have your fashionista get clothes from clothing manufacturers, take pictures modelling them, and share the pictures on social media.
See the title picture at the top of the post? It’s from one of these modelling sessions.
Here’s how it works for us:
My fashionista’s friend, Hunter, is a budding photographer. He has over 18,000 followers on Instagram. Because he has so many followers, clothing manufacturers contact Hunter and offer him free items to shoot. So Hunter gets together with my fashionista and they have a photo shoot with the item. Fashionista gets to keep the item, and the clothing manufacturer gets cheap exposure on social media. Win for everyone!
That’s how fashionista got the Indy sweatshirt in the above photo for free.
This only works if someone has a lot of followers on social media. This is advertising, after all. And if you are uncomfortable with having your fashionista on social media, this won’t work for you.
This is my least favorite option, but sometimes your fashionista wants an item that you can’t get with the other options listed above. If there is an must-have item that your fashionista wants, you can split the cost with her. Offer to have her put up half her own money. If she doesn’t have money, have her earn the item through working around the house over and above her regular chores. Make sure that you get her to work before you pick up the item! (I’ve dealt with far too many promises with no follow-through.) We did this with a pair of Converse sneakers that fashionista wanted. Again, this should be your last option.
You notice that throughout this post, I keep referring to your fashionista using these tips to save money, not you. This is deliberate. Not only does this give your fashionista more control, it’s perfect life training for your fashionista to manage her money. The clothing may be temporary, but the life skills learned will last forever.
What are your favorite ways to save on teens’ clothes?
This post was part of the following:
It happens: You bring your sweet little bundle of joy home, in the cute outfit that still has the new creases in it. Then the blowout occurs.
And your child’s clothes will never be the same again.
It’s not just the stains. Your little one will triple in size in the first year.
Didn’t know you would be raising a baby Hulk, did you?
And your little one keeps growing, and growing, and growing, and. . .
You can spend a mint on those little outfits that they only wear once. But there are ways to save hundreds of dollars on dressing your kids:
1. Shop garage and yard sales
Along with sagging couches and mismatched dishware, you can find mountains and mountains of gently used kids’ clothing at garage and yard sales. You can even find name brand clothes for cheap. During the summer months, I’ll stop at yard sales and spend a few minutes browsing the piles for an outfit or two. I’ve gotten shirts for as low as 25 and 50 cents and jeans for one or two dollars. Remember, you can always pick up items that are too big and store for another season.
2. Hit the clearance racks for out of season clothes
Stores start marking down clothing in the middle of a season to make room for the new arrivals. This makes January and July great times to search through the clearance racks for clothes at a deep discount. The best deals are for the very seasonal clothes, like winter gloves and swimsuits. Just the other day, I found knit gloves 2 for 50 cents and knit hats for a dollar.
The nice thing about clearance clothes is that your kids can wear them during the same season for a few months. You can also buy a size larger and store the clothes for next year.
3. Shop thrift stores on the discount days
When I was a kid, thrift stores were where Grandma’s clothes went to die. You only shopped there if you needed a polyester jumpsuit for Halloween. Now there are tons of gently used clothes to sort through.
Problem is, the markup on thrift store clothing is higher than I’d like. That’s why I listed this option behind garage sales and clearance racks. Usually the prices are the same as new clothes marked down for discount. However, the thrift store I frequent has certain discount days during the week. I’ll look for A few times a year the store have 50% off the entire store. That’s when I stock up.
4. Arrange for an informal swap
When my kids outgrow their clothes, I pass them along to friends that have younger kids than mine. My friends do the same with their older kids’ clothes. We pass along what we can’t use and keep what we can. I find that kids hate hand-me-downs only when they don’t have a voice in what we keep or not. If an outfit doesn’t appeal to them, I donate it. Clothes that are too worn get re-purposed to something else. My nieces LOVE the outfits my fashionista passes down, and since my guy has grown 10 inches (!) this last year, it’s been nice to swap his too short pants with pairs I’ve had waiting for him.
5. Participate in a larger swap
You can also widen your circle of people to swap outfits with. It takes a little more work, but you can arrange a formal clothing swap with a church group, school PTSA, or neighborhood. All you need is an area with tables, some flyers to advertise the event, and a date. Every one brings clothes that they want to get rid of. At the end of the night, bag up any leftovers, and take them to the thrift store to donate. Win for everyone!
6. Dress up existing articles of clothes
One way to keep clothes lasting longer is by modifying kids’ clothes as they get stained or outgrown. Here are some ideas that I’ve used:
Slap an applique or fabric paint on a shirt to cover a stain
Add a ruffle to a too short shirt or skirt
Make shorts out of too short pants and jeans with torn knees
My kids cringe when I get near a sewing machine. But if you’ve got the talent, you can create some cute outfits. It often takes less than a yard to make a shirt or skirt. Check out the cute shirt that my friend Zina made up for her son:
Isn’t that the most adorable little hedgehog? I just love the running stitch on the collar.
Even though I don’t sew, I’ll often peek in at the blog Running With Scissors with serious sewing envy. You should check it out for inspiration.
Treat kids’ clothes as disposable; when you use these 7 solutions for getting kids’ clothes for cheap, you can save hundreds of dollars as well as your sanity!
What are your favorite ways to save on kids’ clothes?
Next week, I’ll tackle the even harder challenge of dressing teens for cheap.
So, for the past six months, my kid’s been obsessed with this:
A red pixelated turd
For those whose kids are NOT obsessed with Minecraft, this is a Redstone. Redstones are items used in the Minecraft video game to transmit “power.”
So it’s a magical pixelated turd
And this is what he wanted on his blanket for Christmas. I couldn’t find any Redstone blankets.
So I created one.
I had an old stained and torn t shirt that I sacrificed for the project.
I printed the Redstone graphic on computer iron-on paper.
Depending on what kind and brand of iron-on paper you use, you may need to reverse the image when printing it out
Leaving about a 1/4 inch around the image, I cut out the image and ironed it on the shirt.
Cut out the patch and started sewing. I set my sewing machine for a close zig zag stitch and started stitching the patch on.
The patch has a nice vinyl-like feel. I didn’t want to pin the patch onto the blanket, and poke holes in the patch.
As I’m sewing, I’m thinking, “This Redstone is suspiciously looking more brown than red.”
And the fact that the red pixels now appear yellow certainly didn’t help
I don’t know if it was the mindless zigzagging around the patch, or the color, but I got distracted and screwed up. Because I didn’t tack down the patch before hand, the patch shifted position and I accidentally created a gap.
There was no way I was going to pick out all those stitches and risk tearing the patch or putting unnecessary holes in the blanket.
Did I mention that this was happening two days before Christmas?
Ping! Idea struck!
I took the leftover t shirt, cut a few 1 inch strips of material, and stuffed the patch. Gave the patch a nice puffy appearance.
Laziness + time deadlines = innovation!
I finished sewing on the patch. It didn’t look half bad.
Next time I use this technique, I’ll tack the patch down with fabric glue before sewing. Even hot glue or spray on glue would be okay, since it’s temporary.
I wouldn’t use fusible interfacing or tape because I don’t know if the iron-on patch would peel or scorch due to additional applied heat.