September signals back-to-school and with it, that crucial first-day outfit. A button-front shirt embroidered with a "handwritten" message is especially fitting for kids with budding penmanship skills.

Updated September 13, 2018
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AARON DYER

Before you begin, learn how to embroider using a needle and thread. No matter how complicated-looking the result of your penmanship, this needlework technique is remarkably easy. Once you've mastered the backstitch (one of the easiest embroidery stitches), choose from our printable fonts—letters A through Z—and personalize a plain shirt with an ice-breaking salutation, like "hi," or with your child's first initial (extra credit for both upper and lower case). A dotted line in fuchsia makes the letters pop.

For more ideas, scroll through the entire collection of embroidery projects and back-to-school crafts.

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What you need

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How to do it

Part 1

Step 1

Print desired template. Using a pencil and transfer paper, transfer it onto front of shirt.

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Step 2

Cut a 3-inch square piece of backing and place it inside shirt, behind tracing. Attach hoop to shirt.

Step 3

Thread 2 strands of pink embroidery floss onto needle. Sew a running stitch across middle line. With 4 strands of blue floss, backstitch thicker top and bottom lines.

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Step 4

Using 4 strands of "pen"-color floss, backstitch to embroider letters.

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