Painted Starfish Top

This is a repost of a tutorial that was on Blue Cricket Design back in June, in case you missed it. It used to be called the Summer Starfish Top – but it’s almost the end of summer so I had to rename it. :)

I fell in love with a cute Target top – again. :) And since we’ve decided that it’s ok to make over tops that aren’t that expensive, just because we can, here we go!

Here’s my Starfish Top:

Perfect for summer right? And pink of course.

Here’s a picture of the original version taken with my handy phone spy camera.

It was actually cuter in person. :)

Want to make your own? Here’s what you need:

A t-shirt, two sponges, fabric paint, and some sequins.

Cut your sponges into starfish shapes. (Note: Why do sponges always feel wet when they come out of the package? Is anyone else grossed out by this??!)


I used two different textures – because I wanted the starfish layers to look a little different. And they’re a little lopsided – I liked that look and the sponges are rectangles so you have to kind of play with the design so you don’t have a funky short legged starfish.

Make sure you put something between the front and back of the shirt. This paint will go through. I used freezer paper, but you could use cardboard or whatever you have on hand.

Sponge on the darker color first, placing them at random down the shirt and changing the angle of the starfish as you go.

Now because I’m an impatient crafter I got out my hairdryer to speed up the drying process. :)

Once the first layer of paint is dry, you can stamp on the lighter layer. Vary the angle of these starfish so they aren’t laying exactly on top of the darker starfish.

At this point you could stop if you don’t want to add in the sequins – but I loved the idea of a little sparkle on the starfish. If you add them in, sew by hand 5 or 6 sequins in the center section of each starfish.

And ta-dah! You have an easy summer top!

If you’re not into starfish – you could do all sorts of things- swirly shapes or flowers or whatever!



  • Reply August 21, 2010


    One of my fav sea-side shirts.

  • Reply August 21, 2010

    Roo @ Nice Girl Notes

    I’m so digging this! Awesome job (yet again)!

    <3 Roo

  • Reply August 21, 2010

    Housewife Bliss

    I love how simple this is, always a breath of fresh air coming here, thank you for the lesson.

  • Reply August 22, 2010


    Cute top! I LOVE the addition of the sequins. (I love anything sparkly really.) And yes, I am totally grossed out with how sponges come out of the package wet!!

  • Huh. I was just wondering how to do this the other day. I always see cute, plain t-shirts, and I was wondering how to dress them up. :-) Love the little sequined starfish! :-)

  • Reply August 22, 2010


    I love your shirt and I like it so much more than the target one!!! And yes I am grossed out by the wet sponges I’ve started crocheting my own rags and such now so I don’t even use them any more but will have to buy some to try this out! Thanks for linking up!!!

  • Reply August 22, 2010


    Thanks so much for sharing this. The top is adorable and so easy to make. I might have to try this out on a few of my little guy’s t-shirts.

  • Reply August 24, 2010

    Jennie Larsen


  • Reply August 25, 2010


    Wow! Love how you embellished the top!

  • Reply August 25, 2010

    Jenn Post

    I am going to use this idea for a craft project for my kiddos! might even use it for a birthday craft if all goes well!

  • Reply August 26, 2010

    Dita Maulani

    So lovely! Easy to make, really!
    I really should try this one!

  • Reply August 26, 2010

    Gretchen Schaumann

    What a creative t-shirt. Love how it turned out. Very cool.

  • Reply August 26, 2010

    Maureen F

    Awesome !!!

  • Reply August 26, 2010


    Ummm I need one of these too!! ha!! It’s darling and I just love the sequins you added for an extra “pop” I heart starfish too! :D
    Hugs to you,

  • Reply August 27, 2010

    Donna Timeless Settings

    Your shirt turned out great! Thanks for the tips.

  • Reply August 29, 2010


    So cute and clever, love the two colors and the bling! Yes, I’ve noticed the moist sponges too and wondered and been grossed out. What is up with that? Do we really want to know? ;0)

  • Reply August 30, 2010

    Gabrielle @ i.craft

    This is a GREAT project! I love it.

  • Reply August 31, 2010


    Perfect way to dress up those tees you haven’t worn in some time. The ones just taking up space. Really adds pizzazz! And doesn’t look too hard to do. Thanks Beverly for sharing this with us.

  • Reply September 2, 2010

    Holly L

    So pretty! A perfect summer in sunny CA T! Love the sequins!

  • Reply January 30, 2011

    Flos caeli

    I really like this technique! You can do pretty much everything with it ( letters, hearts, flowers :)) So cool :)

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