Plain Tee Project | J. Crew Trompe L’oeil Necklace T-Shirt

diy t-shirt
I’m back with another Plain Tee! You’ve made the sequin heart shirt, right? Good. Today we’re talking trompe l’oeil. I, of course, had to Google it to figure out how to spell it. According to Wikipedia trompe l’oeil is “an art technique involving realistic imagery in order to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects exist in three dimensions.” Exactly. So now I can wear a necklace without really wearing one. Which is good since I never remember accessories anyway.

And I’m not gonna lie – I straight up stole this idea from J.Crew kids. Why should my five-year-old have all the fun? Crewcuts is always good for dressing inspiration for Caroline (cough, me).

Trompe l’oeil necklace DIY T-Shirt

What you’ll need:

  • Plain Tee
  • Fabric paint
  • Fine tip paint brush
  • A tiny piece of ribbon
  • 2 buttons
  • Needle and thread

DIY Painted T-Shirt
I recommend roughly sketching out your necklace before starting the with paint. Get a rough outline of how long you want the necklace, where the strands should cross, etc. Mine was freehanded and probably could have used a bit more room between the necklace strands.

Once you have an outline, put cardboard between the shirt layers and go for it! You can’t really mess this up. Any imperfections just look like part of the design.

DIY T-shirt Tutorial
After you paint on the necklace and pockets give the shirt plenty of time to dry. Sew on the pocket buttons, and you’ll fool your hubby with your cool faux pockets.
Painted Necklace Shirt

Add a tiny bow to the necklace where the strands cross each other. You can glue it on but it’s probably easier to sew it. The bow nicely covers the cross point and gives it a nice 3 dimensional look. And you’re done!

How does it hold up in the wash you ask? I turned the shirt inside out, washed on cold, and had no problems. In fact, I wore this shirt yesterday for a little crafternoon with the girls. We mixed up a drink that we dubbed the Crafternoon Delight (aka a margarita) and went to town on some totes. Good times.

trompe l'oeil diy t-shirt


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    • gerbermom says

      Haha, I wish I could blame the margaritas! I swear I have a phobia about falling down the stairs – I knew it would happen eventually :) Not blonde again (yet) these pics are just a few weeks old.

  1. Susanna says

    Good for you sis! I am amazed at how well you lined up the pockets–I’d make a total lop-sided mess I’m sure, so I’m very impressed :)

    • gerbermom says

      Which usual neckline? I don’t look good in scoop necks either – somehow it makes the chest look weird. Boatnecks are my fave!

    • gerbermom says

      I know, I kinda wish I could outfit myself from the Target kids section. They have the cutest stuff! No wonder Caroline has way too many clothes….

    • gerbermom says

      Yeah, on mine it ends at the shoulder but you could go all the way around if you want. The good thing about this is you can’t really make a mess of it!

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