DIY Cat Shirt

When Leah Reena Goren’s beautiful Feline Karma Dress first appeared at Anthropologie a couple months ago it immediately catapulted to internet popularity. Along with pictures of the dress have been rumblings about making DIY versions, and I decided to try my hand. I’m still hoping to snag the dress (please go on sale!) but am happy with the shirt it inspired me to make!

If you can, support Leah’s designs via the Anthropologie link above or her Etsy, which includes many beautiful items!

This shirt was incredibly easy to make! You will need: A shirt or other clothing of your choice, fabric paint, a craft or kitchen sponge, scissors, a paintbrush, and a pen or marker.

First, draw a cat outline. When I drew my template, Joseph said it didn’t look enough like a cat. He drew the “better” silhouette to the left… There’s a reason I do the crafts around here.

Make sure the fits the sponge (I used a regular [new and unused!] kitchen sponge because my Hobby Lobby had no craft sponges). Outline the shape onto the sponge and cut.

I was a bit worried about how to place the cats, so I used clear tape as a kind of marker. I ended up nearly ignoring the pieces, but it was a good way to get started. Remember to remove the tape before stamping! Be sure to place pieces of paper or some other blocker under the layer you are working on to prevent bleeding onto the other side.

Next, place a generous amount of paint onto the sponge and transfer onto the fabric. With a small paintbrush, fill in larger holes or outline as necessary to make the shape more clear. Repeat, let dry, and do the same on the reverse side.
I really should not have done this on the carpet but thankfully walked away without any damage. Make sure you put down paper or do this on a different surface. Usually whenever paint is involved, I work in the garage or outside on concrete–disastrous spills are way too easy to come by.

This is what I like most of mine to look like.

Seriously, how easy was that?


  • Yvearl

    Very cute idea! I have a couple items of clothes (shirt, skirt, etc.) that have stains on them. I’ve been holding on to them for some time, partly because I’m a pack-rat, but also bc I wanted to “fix” them! Cuter idea than iron-ons. Thx for sharing!

    19 August 2012
    • Alyssa

      I came across this pony-stamped dress while researching different stamping techniques and fell in love. Such a beautiful and unique dress!

      19 August 2012
  • I LOVE IT!!! That pony dress is qt too. I actually thought about screenprinting some images from my etsy shop onto tote bags so this is really inspiring.

    19 August 2012
    • Alyssa

      I briefly looked at a screen printing kit but ultimately decided to go the easy (/cheap) route with a sponge. I hope you do make those tote bags–I would definitely buy one!

      19 August 2012
  • Adorable idea! It turned out really really good.

    21 August 2012
  • Wow, so cool!! :) I love it :D!

    23 August 2012
  • The cutest shirt I’ve ever seen! Seriously, such an easy and cute project! I must try it out. :)

    23 August 2012
  • […] Feline Karma dress from Anthropologie; Right: Alyssa (of In the Wabe) showing off her awesome […]

    16 September 2012
  • Awesome idea!!!

    4 May 2013
  • I am sure you could do this with any shape. I have some stampede I might try on a t shirt. This sounds like fun.

    4 July 2014
  • Why not just make a stencil instead of the sponge. If you are going to have to color it in anyway.

    29 October 2014
  • You only color in the big holes, you can see it still has the "sponge-y" texture.

    23 November 2014
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