Hello! or Good Day!

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Have I ever told you guys that I’m multi-lingual? I mean, I could be a foreign interpreter for the country (just as long as they let me bring along my trusty Google Translate app). No seriously, I speak like 2 languages and with 1 of them (Gujarati), I still sound like one of those Indian movie actresses speaking really bad “valley-girl Hindi”. I took Spanish for 5 years so I’m not so bad with it. However, I had a Spanish teacher who seriously got divorced and re-married every year in high school; so you can understand my commitment issues when it comes to keeping up with Spanish.

I also had a bit of spout with Hindi for a couple years in college. The worst was when we had to try and read stories out loud in class then translate them. One time I translated “She lost her heart.” into “She has a black heart.” To which the professor asked if was subconsciously talking about myself. He was a very smart man.

So why make a sweatshirt that says “hello” or “good day” in 9 languages? (And yes , “Yo” is part of our vocabulary down in the south). No real reason really, I just thought it’d make for a really cool sweatshirt. I was also a bit tired of seeing Ballin’ (for Balmain) or Célfie (for Céline) tees and sweatshirts strewn across the fashion blogging world.

In case you are wondering, here’s where each “hello” or “good day” comes from:

YO: made-up by someone pretty awesome
¡HOLA!:Spanish
NAMASTE: Hindi
GUTEN TAG: German
KONNICHIWA: Japanese
BONJOUR: French
HUJAMBO: Swahili
HEY YA’LL: Texan
CIAO!: Italian

Making this is probably the easiest thing in the world. In fact, I’m embarrassed to even put it up as DIY because it’s so simple. However, there are a few things that came up while I was making it.

Supplies you will need:

  • Sweatshirt or t-shirt (pre-washed)
  • Iron-on letters
  • Ruler
  • Iron
  • Ironing board / flat surface
  • White sheet

1. Write out what you are going to iron onto your sweatshirt and count out the number of times each letter appears. This will determine how many packages of iron-on letters you will need. I used 3 packages* and was able to get the above 9 words from it. *I bought the packages from Michael’s using 40% off coupons and spent about $10 on them + $6 for the sweatshirt from Hobby Lobby.

2. Write, type out or arrange (on to a different surface than the sweatshirt) how you want the words to appear on the shirt. REALLY IMPORTANT: Make sure you are spelling each word correctly! (Once it’s ironed on, that’s about it).

3. Spread your sweatshirt onto an ironing board or another ironable surface. You could even fold up the white sheet a bit, place it on the ground, spread the sweatshirt on top of half of it and then when you are ready to iron, fold over the other side of the sheet onto the sweatshirt.

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4. If arranging words in a straight line place ruler onto sweatshirt a few inches away from the side of the shirt. I made mine about 3 – 4 inches away, so when someone looks at the top straight-on they can read most of the words without being like “huh?” Konnichiwa wraps a bit around but you can still make out most of it.

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5. Place the letters above the ruler.

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6. Take the ruler and put it a few inches underneath the first word and then place the second word above the ruler.

7. Continue to do this for each word, making sure the spacing and alignment are even.

8. Once finished, take a white* sheet and carefully place it over the entire sweatshirt making sure none of the letters are messed up. Depending on the number of words you have, you will have to do this very carefully. *Do not take a colored sheet because it may bleed onto the shirt. Trust me, I have done this before.

9. Read the instructions on the iron-on package as for how many seconds to keep the iron on the letters. I would add about 10-15 extra seconds to this, just to make sure it’s stuck on nicely. Be aware of the edges and make sure you apply enough heat there.

10. Once the letters are ironed on – take the white sheet off and lightly iron right onto the letters to ensure that they are secure.

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The scoop on this bag: I had been searching for a bag like this in Spain and Morocco but didn’t really find one. I was about to pick up something similar to it at SOWA Market in Boston for $80 that was made in Thailand but opted to get letterpress postcards instead (go figure). While perusing through Ross on lunch break one day I saw this hidden in the corner. It turned out to be 20 bucks (!); I grabbed it like no one’s business and ran to the cashier.

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I love these little polka-dot flats my cousin got for me from Spain. They’re actually the inspiration behind the TOMS shoes and they really are comfy. (Menx, if you happen to be reading this, I can’t remember which city or store you said they are from!)

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DSC_0669Beanie: Target / Navy tank: ZARA / Jeans: Old Navy / Flats: Spain / Bag: Ross / Sweatshirt: DIY

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6 thoughts on “Hello! or Good Day!

    • Haha! Thank god I airbrushed out the garden hose that was running through all the pictures, then I’m sure it would have been “Yes, I like everything but that horrid hose.” So glad you liked it though – it’s my favorite DIY thus far!

  1. It’s funny, I spotted iron-on appliques in an arts and craft store yesterday and was toying with the idea of customising my clothing (I am only an occasional DIY-er;)…and then I read your post today – so inspirational and I heart the sweatshirt:) I need to try a DIY sweatshirt/top myself!

    • Hi Priyanka! This is by far my favorite DIY – I love that you “heart” it. I kept seeing shirts with words written on them – “Thug Life” or “Celfie” (both of them I hated) and wanted to do something a bit more “universal”. Plus, it was fun to see how other countries say “hi” in diff. languages. I also liked Merhaba (Turkish) but didn’t have enough letters or room. I recommend that you take a stab at it – it’s so easy. Let me know how it goes!

  2. The DIY idea is so cool! And so easy. I am trying it out soon. I am anyway craving for sweatshirts thsis season..

    And ADORE the bag. It is so funky, so boho

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