We had a cool vintage shirt that just said “Jock” and thought it would be infinitely cooler if it had “Jams” added to it. Brush-style lettering seemed like the perfect typographic style to contrast against the collegiate letters on the shirt, and from there the project fell into place.

After methodically filling-in the letters with seed beads and iridescent sequins, we flipped the hoop over and brushed matte decoupage medium over all of the loose threads, making sure to completely overlap the edges of the letters. The decoupage medium provides a three-fold benefit: it secures the loose beading threads (so they don’t loosen over time), it discourages future fraying of the cut edges of the letters, and it stiffens the fabric enough that the letters don’t warp when being placed as appliques.

Once the decoupage medium was dry, we cut out the letters one-by-one. Then, after pinning onto the shirt, we hand-stitched the letters onto the shirt. The finished shirt can be machine-laundered inside-out on the delicate cycle.