Celebrate TableTop Day with this colorful, customizable embroidered meeple shirt!. Use the base game colors or colors of your choice.
What’s the silliest reason you’ve ever learned a new skill? I learned to embroider specifically so I could make geeky t-shirts for myself.
Over the years, meeples have become a popular board game piece. And they’ve sort of become a symbol of board gaming. Not quite as iconic as a D20 or a chess piece, but we’re getting there. 🙂 So, for me, meeples were a perfect choice for my t-shirt.
Love meeples? Want one of your own? Here’s how to make one!Love meeples? Want your own meeple t-shirt? Here's how to make one! #tabletopday Click To Tweet
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How to Embroider a Meeple Shirt for Tabletop Day
- 5 hanks of embroidery floss in red, yellow, green, blue, and black
- 1 plain t-shirt
- 10-inch embroidery hoop
- tear away t-shirt stabilizer
- iron-on transfer pencil
- paper (I used regular printer paper)
- meeples (I used the extra large ones that come with the Inns & Cathedrals expansion for Carcassonne)
Step 01: On a sheet of paper, measure out where you want your meeples to sit. My paper was 8.5 inches wide, so I measured the middle at 4.25 inches. From there, each other meeple was placed an inch over. So my measurements were all at 2.25, 3.25, 4.25, 5.25, and 6.25. I drew a little notch at each of those numbers and then I centered the meeple over them. (You can see what I mean in the picture below.)
Step 02: Trace the meeples using a regular pencil. Once they’re all finished, redraw them using an iron-on transfer pencil. Make sure to press down so the markings a nice and dark. That way, they show up clearly once they’re transfered.
Step 03: Measure where the meeples should go on the shirt. I wanted them to be high enough that sticking my hand through the neck to embroider them wouldn’t be a pain. So I laid my shirt on an ironing board and then set a tape measure across the shirt, right under the arm pits. My shirt was a woman’s XL, so it was roughly 23 inches wide. On each side, I had about 7 inches and the center of my paper was at about 11.75 inches. Yours will likely be different, but you can at least see what I did.
Step 04: Iron the meeples! Hold the iron down for about 10 seconds. Lift the paper up gently to see if it’s dark enough. If it’s not, put it down straight and iron on again.
Step 05: Stick your t-shirt in an embroidery hoop. Make sure it’s nice and taught.
Step 06: I didn’t get a picture of this part, but the problem with embroidering t-shirts is that they stretch. So you NEED the stabilizer to make sure you don’t pull the shirt fibers together. Just cut out a piece of the stabilizer, pin it to the fabric, and use running stitch to hold it in place while you work. Don’t bother binding the stitches, you’ll be removing them once you’re done.
Step 07: Thread your needle and get to work! I’ve seen people use stem stitch to create a border around what they want to stitch, which you can do if you prefer. But I skipped that and used satin stitch, starting with the legs and moving upwards.
If you look closely at that picture above, you can see the light pink thread I used to adhere my stabilizer to the shirt. It doesn’t need to be pretty, it just needs to get the job done.
Step 08: Remove the stabilizer by gently pulling out the running stitch thread. I like to use the blunt end of my needle for this. Then clean up the back of your meeples and make sure the threads don’t come loose.
I know how to make my stitches neat, but I’m always too lazy to do it. Don’t be like me. 😛 This isn’t what it looked like when I was done, though. This was before cleaning it up. I didn’t get a picture of it after.
Once you’ve made sure your stitches are secure, gently tear away the stabilizer.
Step 09: Iron the t-shirt so your threads lay flat. And you’re done!
Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a picture of me wearing it (maybe I’ll try another time). But it fits nicely, it’s comfortable, and it’s really cute! I love this shirt!
This was a lot of fun. I got it done in one evening and it was well worth the work. In fact, I think I’ll be making another for Zach. (And honestly, I’d like one in purple. So I may make one more for myself. 😛 We’ll see!)
What do you think?