Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Star Wars Birthday Shirt

Yesterday I posted about the Star Wars paper snowflakes I was making for my son's birthday decorations.  Today, I'm showing you how I made one of them into a stencil for a t-shirt for him.

A tradition in our house is that I always make each of the kids a special birthday shirt to wear that day.  I have been reading about freezer paper stencils forever and just never looked into it.  I have used freezer paper to cut out quilt patterns and it works awesome, so I actually had some in the house.  You can buy it at the grocery store in the aisle with the cling wrap, etc.  (I could not find it at Target.)  Anyways, freezer paper has two sides, one paper side and one slightly shiny, smooth side.  You can sketch or print your stencil template onto the paper side, and after you cut it out, the shiny side, can temporarily adhere to fabric when ironed on.  This will anchor it and allow you to use fabric paint to fill in your picture.  I read one description of freezer paper stencils as "poor man's screen printing".  I am totally hooked, call me poor man if you will!

Oh, and you can totally cheat like me, I bought a 30 pack of freezer paper printer sheets on (you'll see why tomorrow).  If you have the time, you can take the roll of freezer paper and cut out an 8.5x11 sheet to fit in your printer- I did not feel like cutting out 20+.

When searching for ideas of what to print on the shirt, I came across a great tutorial at Dana Made It- clearly she's more advanced than me;)

Here's what you need to do:

Find a picture you want to stencil on a shirt, something without a lot of detail- unless you are a true picasso.  Print or draw the picture onto the paper side of the freezer paper.  I printed the template for the yoda snowflake on the freezer paper and cut it out with the exacto knife.  Hazel wanted to do a shirt too, so we printed out a big silhouette of Hello Kitty and cut it out.
Once your template is cut out, iron it onto a t-shirt, with the shiny side down, so it will adhere to the fabric:
Place a piece of cardboard under the layer of t-shirt you are stenciling, so the paint will not run into the other side of the shirt.  Using fabric paint (acrylic will work, but will fade a lot during washing)- you can get fabric paint at Michael's or Hobby Lobby- fill in the cut out part of your stencil.  We used sponge brushes to dab the paint in.
Let the paint dry for a few minutes, then peel the paper away and you will see your stenciled image on the shirt, hang it up to dry for several hours.  Once it is dry, place a thin piece of fabric over it, and iron it for about 30 seconds to heat set the paint so it will not fade during washing.

Here is the finished Hello Kitty, she insisted on putting a giant heart on it, since we did this the day before Valentine's Day.
Since my son was turning 7, I needed to add 1 more yoda into the picture, so I cut out a stencil of his head and place it in the center:
Considering he has worn this shirt about 7 times in the last two weeks, I'd say he loves it!

Stay tuned tomorrow for more Star Wars t-shirts!


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