Saturday, July 7, 2012

Initial shirts - A Simple Project Kids can Make!

Freezer paper stenciling is an easy way for kids to create one-of-a-kind t-shirts.   Levi's birthday shirt was made using this method.

Here is a quick tutorial on how to make your own!

You will need:
Freezer paper (found in the grocery store where the ziplock bags and tin foil is)
newspaper or similar
fabric paints (we usually use puff paint, but any fabric paint should work)
paint brushes (I like the sponge type)
t-shirt (cotton or cotton blend)

  1.  Cut a piece of freezer paper to cover as much of your shirt as you can.  Put it on the shirt dull side up and draw your initial - you can also do a simple shape, number, etc.  Older kids can help draw the shape here. 

2. Cut out the shape.  Iron it onto the shirt, going over it carefully to make sure its fully stuck down. For letters with "holes" in them, iron the outer shape first, and then position the 'holes' and iron those down. 

(on this example, the shirt is not fully covered on the edges, its better to cover it if you can so the paint won't end up where its not supposed to be)

3.   If you are using a dark shirt, and/or if you have younger kids, paint the whole shape with white fabric paint, let it dry for a little while before continuing.  This helps prevent paint from bleeding under the paper with enthusiastic painters!  It also helps give full coverage in case they miss some spots.  

4.  Dress the kid for a mess, and then hand over the fabric paint!   I use puff paint because its thick, which provides good coverage, and prevents seepage.  Levi likes to squirt it on and then use a foam brush to spread it out.  He does lots of layers too! 

5.  When everything is covered, let it dry completely. 
6.  Sloooowly peel off the paper.    Depending on the paint you used, you may have to heat set it.  Read  the directions on your paint.  

Thats it!  Now go wear it! 

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