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How to Host a T-shirt Party - Live or Virtual

December 14th, 2020

By Andrea Funk

What’s a T-shirt Party?

Each guest brings a T-shirt to your birthday, anniversary, baby shower or bridal shower party following the parties theme.

If you are tired of the same-old, same-old party, consider a T-shirt party for your next gathering.

Rather than having guests bring a gift for a birthday, anniversary, baby shower or bridal shower party, each guest will bring a T-shirt in the parties theme.

T-shirt Party

Baby quilt party for a group of runnersWe were introduced to this type of party by one of our customers. Our customer’s best friend was turning 40 and she wanted to do something fun and unique for the party.  So she organized a dirty T-shirt party.  Each guest was asked to bring a raunchy, dirty or off color T-shirt. 

The guest of honor was not told about the gift theme ahead of time.  As she began opening the gifts, which were all T-shirts, she slowly figured out what was going on.  The first T-shirt she opened was kind of an “oh”.  The second shirt, was an “uh?” By the time she opened the third shirt everyone was hooting. The guest of honor quickly figured out the theme of her party. 

I’m sure there were plenty of margaritas and other libations that loosened up the women. It would’ve been a fun party to go to.

Baby Onesies turned into a quilt. Onesies were created at a baby shower and then transformed into  quilt when the lucky baby turned 1.

Baby Shower Onesies Party

The the guest of honor at your party is a wee one, then the theme of the party needs to be more age appropriate. Perhaps a onesies party?  This is a little different than a T-shirt party in that your guest will decorate the onesies at the party! 

The host will provide a number of onesies in various sizes - at least one per guest. The host will set up a decorating table with permanent markers and paint for the guests to use. 

The party should also have a theme. This helps the guest figure out what to write and draw on the onesies.

OR, you can follow the plan of attack for a typical T-shirt party, except they would bring baby T-shirts or onesies. 

Baby Shower Onesies Party Baby Shower Onesies Party  Baby Shower Onesies Party

The above three photos were take by Xiaopan Xue -
Website:  Instagram:

How to Plan a T-shirt Party

Mickey themed T-shirt quilt1. Decide on a Theme

It doesn’t have to be a dirty T-shirt party.  Think of your guest of honor and what he or she likes. Choose your theme accordingly.

For example, if they are a big fan of Mickey Mouse, have a Mickey Mouse T-shirt party. You know your friend, your spouse, or your sibling.  Choose something he or she will like.

2. Send Out the Invitations

Click here to read the etiquette for sending out an invitation to a party. In your invitation, explain the nature of the party to the guests.

Tell them, in lieu of the gift, to bring a T-shirt of the desired theme. Be sure to indicate the size T-shirt the guest of honor wears. A simple and straightforward theme probably does not need much elaboration. But a more conceptual theme, such as the dirty T-shirt, may need additional explanation.

For a baby shower, if you plan to have a decorating onesies party, you won't have your guest bring a onesie. But, if you choose a T-shirt party style, then you would ask the guest to bring a shirt or onesies in theme. 

3. The Actual Party

Baby Shower Onesies PartyContinue the theme of the T-shirts for the theme of the party. This can include the decorations, the drinks, the food, and perhaps even what people wear. At some parties, gifts are opened after the party or as they arrive. At a T-shirt party, the gifts need to be opened altogether and with the group involved. 

A Virtual Party

Hello, Zoom! This is easier than a regular party--no food to cook, no house to clean. Just a link to set up. 

For the gift, I would recommend you set a date that the T-shirts need to be in your hands. Remember that people are slow unless pushed! Work in a few extra days. After you get all the T-shirts (wrapped or unwrapped - you decide) you will then forward them to the party guest of honor in time for the virtual party. Then you have them open the gifts on the live party. 

Zoom parties are not as much fun as a regular party, but we will get back to those one day! 

How to Take it a Step Further

women opening a T-shirt quilt at a partyIf you want to take the gift of all the T-shirts to the next level, have all the T-shirts made into a quilt. A quilt will transform all the individual T-shirts into a unified gift. Also, a quilt is much more useful than 15 to 20 T-shirts. 

To help offset the cost of the quilt, ask each guest to donate $20-$25 towards the quilt.  If the cost of a T-shirt and a donation towards the quilt is too much for your guest, you could encourage them to find a used T-shirt from a garage sale or resale shop. 

If you know ahead a time that you will be making a quilt from the T-shirts, the size of the T-shirt will matter less and the graphic on the T-shirt more. 

The recipient might want to wear the T-shirts for a while. In that case, let them know that you will be in charge of having them made into a quilt at such point they would. 

In the case of a baby onesies party, the quilt might not be made until the baby is over a year old. Make sure you have a way to work it out with the recipient to have the quilt made. (Note, we do not have gift certificates.)

To learn more about having a quilt made from your T-shirts, we invite you to download our T-shirt Quilt Buyer’s Guide. 
It’s a great place to begin your research about T-shirts quilts.

T-shirt Quilt Buying Guide


Below is a photo of the dirty T-shirt quilt we made. Be forewarned that it is a little “R” rated. Don’t scroll down if you don’t want to see it. 

On the bottom left hand side of the quilt here, just above the kitten and hidden behind the three teal blocks is a T-shirt block of a _____. Can you guess what that might be? 

Yep, that's why it has a "fly".

Dirty T-shirt Quilt

Andrea Funk

Andrea Funk is the inventor of T-shirt quilts made with multiple blocks sizes. The modern method of making T-shirt quilts. In 1992 she founded Too Cool T-shirt Quilts. Her life has been immersed in T-shirt quilts ever since.