Basketball Player Costume, On the Cheap

In 3rd grade at my kids’ elementary, they get to participate in a wax museum.  Each kid reads a biography and then dresses as that person for an oral report.  The parents (and the rest of the school) get to come see all the kids in costume at once, posed and holding still.  There’s the “wax museum” part of it.  If you’ve been reading this blog for a really, really long time (hint: my mom), you might remember Macy’s Helen Keller ensemble.

Keller came home and announced that the biography he’d selected was for Steve Nash.  Um, OK?  The next sentence was “So you can just buy me a jersey or something…”  Sorry, no.  I love you but this is a book report.  I’m not spending that kind of $$$ for a book report costume.  I knew I had to get creative.




2 cheap-o t-shirts.  Mine came from Michael’s and were 2 for $5.  One was an adult size small and the other was an adult size XL.

Avery Personal Creations InkJet Iron-On Dark T-Shirt Transfers, White, Five Sheets per Pack (03279)
(I used 2 sheets out of the 5 sheet pack.)

You’re going to make the shorts from the XL shirt.  Fold it in half and use the existing hem to save yourself some time.  I traced a pair of Keller’s shorts and then just cut a little bigger for seam allowances.  (Who am I kidding?  This is a costume that will be worn for under 2 hours.  I didn’t trace.  I just cut.)


Be sure to include an extra 2” or so at the top for the waistband casing.  Sew the inner seams on each leg and then sew the crotch seam.  Make the waistband casing, insert some elastic and you’re done.  Seriously…5 minutes.

For the “jersey”, I cut both sleeves off the size small shirt about where the (really wobbly) yellow line is in the picture below.


I pressed them under along the seam and stitched them in place so they wouldn’t flip back out. You could hem the t-shirt at this point if you want, but I just made my kid tuck it in (back to that whole “wearing it for less than 2 hours” thing).

For the Suns logo, I used the print and cut feature in my Silhouette Studio software.  You can ABSOLUTELY do it without, you’d just cut out the shape with scissors.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  My Silhouette has made me lazy.  Open-mouthed smile

Here’s a brief how to if you have a Silhouette and want to do it that way:

Find an image of your team’s logo.  Open it in Silhouette Studio.  Display your registration marks now so you don’t get all the way done and discover you made it like a millimeter too big.  Trust.  Once you’ve done that, you’re going to want to use the TRACE function (red arrow) and then select an area to be traced (green arrow).

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Adjust your trace settings (bottom right hand side rectangle) until you get a good outline and then select the “TRACE OUTER EDGE” option (yellow arrow).

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I’ve moved the logo out of the way so you can see what you just did a little more clearly.  You can leave it put if your eyes are better than mine.

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That line will cut precisely along the edge of the logo.  I wanted a little white border, since my shirt was dark, so I used the “OFFSET” function.  It’s under the “OBJECT” menu in the upper left hand corner.  You can then change the thickness of the white border (blue arrow).

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I still have the logo out of the way for the sake of tutorial clarity, but you’ll want to leave it put in real life.  The last step is to change the inner most line so that your Silhouette will not cut it.  You use the “CUT STYLE” menu (orange arrow) for this.

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Change the inner line to “no cut” and leave the outer line as “cut”.  Here’s what your finished design will look like before you print it from Silhouette Studio.

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Print it on the Avery transfer paper and then put it on a mat and run it through your Silhouette.  I used the medium cardstock settings.  Apply it to your shirt following the package directions.


Put your name and number on the back, if you want.


Not bad for around $8, right?



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  1. I can’t choose between Peppermint & Orange Vanilla!!!

  2. ooops – wrong post – sorry!!!

  3. nice. i used that dark iron-on-paper for the hogwarts logos on my kiddos HP costumes a couple of years ago. Trimming around them was a PAIN. SO smart to use your machine for it.. maybe someday i’ll get one…

  4. Just wanted to say how great this is. I simply cut our last name out to put it on a team shirt my son already owned and he wants to wear it daily….He’d flip over a whole “uniform” and man, the price tag on yours is much easier to handle. Thanks for the tutorial! Christmas present for my son….

  5. I need you to come give me Silhouette lessons. For real.

  6. That looks fabulous!! The wax museum is such a cute idea too!

  7. Amazing! You are one smart lady! I love it!

  8. If I can talk my son into being Steve Nash for his wax museum, can I just borrow this one? LOL!
    You are a stinkin’ genius!

  9. Great job Mom!! He looks cute.

  10. My mouth is hanging open in shock that you are so AMAZINGLY CREATIVE!!! I love the outfit. LOVE IT. And I do remember Helen Keller. When I live in the same city as you again, will you teach me how to sew? You are my here and idol (but not the false kind). And I want to be you if I ever grow up.

  11. Such a simple idea that looks awesome!

  12. What a GREAT tutorial, Char! I have featured your tutorial in the Tips and Tutorials section of the website where I am a moderator. Come visit, or better yet, join nearly 1400 other members that own Silhouette machines!

  13. Oh, thank you for the tutorial on using the silhouette! I’m a complete novice and need all the help & practice I can get. You’re awesome! Thanks So much!

  14. Thanks for two tutorials in one! Can’t wait to get my new Silhouette Cameo…it’s coming this week! Yay!

  15. just found this tutorial tonight. thank you! i’m curious at the end when you talk about cutting the outer edge but putting the inner edge on ‘no cut-” how do you do that exactly? do you move the logo out of the way to put the back part on ‘no cut’? any help would be appreciated. i’m still learning how to use my machine. thank you!

  16. Great tutorial, but you can’t just pull an NBA logo off the internet and use it any way you want. It is trademark infringement, even if it is for personal use. You can use other elements, but not the logo or other trademarked items.

  17. Thanks for the great tutorial! What a super easy and affordable way to make a costume. Yet another use for my Silhouette!

  18. Hey There. I discovered your weblog using msn. This is an extremely neatly written article.
    I will make sure to bookmark it and return to read extra of your helpful info.
    Thanks for the post. I’ll definitely comeback.

  19. What kind of printer do you use?

  20. WOW just what I was searching for. Came here by searching for micrencephalies

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