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Hoot Hoot, Hardware T-Shirts

I felt a little unsure of myself, standing in the hardware aisle at RONA picking out washers for a clothing project as the rotund middle aged man with the tool belt hanging off his hip asked me what kind, what size and how many I needed. Oh you know, just a bag full will do. Who knew there were so many types: flat, lock, fender and finishing in all the sizes you can imagine for all the projects you can dream, even embellished clothing.

Hoot Hoot - Hardware T-Shirt 1

What you’ll need:

  • Plain t-shirt/sweater/hat/clothing item
  • flat washers
    • To make the owl, you’ll need 67 at the 1/4″ size
  • Large piece of cardboard, width of the shirt
  • Hot glue
  • Silver or grey thread and needle


  1. Slide your t-shirt over the piece of cardboard to create a firm working surface.
  2. Arrange the washers in the design you like. I freehanded the owl, but using a stencil is an excellent option (see below).hoot
  3. Plug in the glue gun.
  4. Once the washers are positioned correctly apply a little hot glue to each piece, one at a time.
  5. Let the glue set for 5 minutes and then remove the cardboard.
  6. Using your thread and needle stitch 2 loops around each washer. Make sure to knot and cut the thread after each washer to avoid a network of string on the inside of the shirt.
  7. Though slightly tedious work, hand stitching on the washers will create a robust design. Feel free to wash and dry.


Using a Pattern:

To create the cursive letter I picked a script I liked in Microsoft Word and create a huge letter, which I then printed. Using chalk a different colour then your fabric, or a washable fabric pencil, trace around the inside and outside edges, then fill with your washers and adjust until it looks how you envisioned.

As you can see the font I chose didn’t work to well with the washers and the letter ended up significantly larger then I had planned to compensate.

Tips & Ideas

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