DIY Iron On Letter (Bae Area) Sweatshirt


Lately, I've really grown fond of sweatshirts (like this short sleeve sweatshirt DIY) and graphic tees (I've got a project in the works!) as an actual wardrobe staple - partly because they're oh-so cozy, and partly because I'm all about the casual, laidback (yet deliberate) California style. This sweatshirt might be on the too casual side of the spectrum, but I've been dying to do this project for awhile now, ever since I came across a version of sweatshirt on an Instagram post a couple months ago.

Am I the only one who finds "Bae Area" so funny?!? I feel very lucky that this (now overused) slang term can so easily be punny for us Bay Area residents. With everyone referring to East Bay and South Bay and the Bay and Bays everywhere, the word play opportunities are endless!


If you want some context on the word bae, Esquire wrote an article here that summarizes its beginnings. As taken from ever-reliable Urban Dictionary,

“Bae” is an acronym that stands for “before anyone else,” or a shortened version of baby or babe, another word for sweetie, and, mostly unrelated, poop in Danish

That being said, for those of you in other places, you can obviously write anything you want. I think pretty much anything would be cute - since this sweatshirt naturally looks very collegiate, it's pretty funny to write anything not collegiate. I've seen a lot of "Kale" (like Yale, on a navy sweatshirt) and recently I saw "Havarti" (instead of Harvard, on a maroon sweatshirt). You could also do "Kale Yeah," which I think is hilarious!

As with most of my projects lately, this is SUPER SUPER easy. I know I say that every time, but I mean it! Perfect for a busy working girl or someone who might be overwheemed with some of my other projects. There are only 4 supplies and 3 steps!


Things you will need
Crew neck sweatshirt
- Iron-on applique letters (Joann's$1.99 each, but there are usually coupons you can find!)
- Iron
- Pressing cloth (I used a pillow case. A sheet works great too!)

I got my sweatshirt, of course, from the Salvation Army, in the men's section! It was only $4.50! If you don't have time to browse your local thrift shop, you can always buy one from Target, Uniqlo, H&M, or any other place that has good basics.


Note: The particular ironing time may depend on the specific  instructions for your letters, but if you buy the same ones I do, you can follow these directions.

  1. Decide where to place your letters. Try on your sweatshirt, to see how wide it is compared to your body. Take note pf where the letters might not show well (e.g. where the sweatshirt starts to fold or bunch. You want most of the letters to be flat, right across your chest. Take the sweatshirt off, lay it out on a flat surface, and place your letters.
  2. Iron your letters for 10-15 seconds per letter, with the pressing cloth between the iron and letters. Press firmly down onto the iron. 
    Check underneath the pressing cloth to see if the letters are pretty attached to the sweatshirt. They won't be secure by any means, but they should stay in place. This step is simply to hold the letters in position while you turn your sweatshirt inside-out in the next step. 
  3. Turn your sweatshirt inside out, and firmly press the iron on the inside of your sweatshirt for 25-30 seconds to secure the letters. This will really secure your letters, so before you actually iron, be 100% sure that the letters are in the right place (you can use your hands to feel if the letters are properly positioned). 

And then you're DONE! I saw this sweatshirt selling somewhere for like $50, and it cost me maybe $15. I know that "bae" will probably become less popular soon, but I think I'll still chuckle (and probably draw attention) when I wear this sweathshirt.


What other words or phrases would you put on a sweatshirt?