Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Craft Camp: Stenciling T-Shirts

        I have discovered the deal with five year olds is that once you even vaguely mention something in passing they latch onto what you have "promised" like a dog with a bone. So when The Boy came to me this past weekend with my Ed Roth stencil book and I mentioned that maybe we could make a t-shirt together "one day"- he immediately decided that "one day" was Monday. Which is how I found myself stenciling up a storm with the Littles in a patch of sunshine on Monday afternoon!

You will need:

a t-shirt or two- because this truly is addictive
a pre-made stencil of your choosing- I have this cool Ed Roth Stencil 101 book
ink or fabric paint- something that will hold up to washing
a stiff brush or stencil brush- found at hobby stores
a piece of cardboard

Step 1: slide a thick piece of cardboard between the front and back of t-shirt, this will provide a solid surface to work on- keeping the shirt from shifting around as well as create a barrier to prevent any ink from leaking through to the back of the t-shirt. Tape stencil in place using regular packing or masking tape- Scotch tape is too flimsy.

 Step 2: using a small amount of ink load up your brush- you don't want too much ink on the brush as that will cause a blotchy design. This is more of a "dry" technique and you can always go back and add more ink later. Tap or- as the technique is commonly known as- pounce the brush against the stencil's cut out areas.

Note- if this was my project I would work from the outside of the stencil in- covering the edges and working in towards the centre of the stencil- however each person has their own technique!

Step 3: once the stencil area is completely filled in carefully remove the stencil- let your t-shirt dry for about a half hour before heat setting with an iron. To heat set place t-shirt of ironing board with cardboard still inside- place another piece of paper or paper towel over top of image- iron over the area with the image for about five minutes to ensure your image is set and will with stand laundering.

Step 4: strut your stuff!

      This is a super fun and easy project- a really nice way to personalize your wardrobe and make it more interesting! A quick word about clean up- fabric ink is pretty permanent- even if it is not heat set- be sure to wear "art clothes" and wash your brushes as soon as you are finished- lay your stencil flat and wipe with a damp cloth. Also if you have white furniture or carpet this might be a good outdoor project!

    In other news I am gearing up for Kids Clothing Week next week April 22- 29- an online community event where in the participants commit to sewing kids clothing for an hour each day for a week. Only an hour a day- this is going to be fun and easy. I thought I would get inspired this week and sewed up a pair of Sandbox pants for The Boy- yes they are a bit crumpled in the photos but that is because he has worn them non stop all weekend- save for a minor repair on Friday! Miss Lo is sporting an easy, breezy pair of cotton "relaxing" pants- no real pattern here just some really pretty Amy Butler fabric- her new humming bird tank and Salt Water sandals complete her outfit!

    Be prepared for loads of sewing posts next week- feel free to jump in and share your own projects I would love to hear- if you blog and are sewing kids clothes next week please post a link in the comments area so we can all see what you are working on. I'm feeling very inspired by all the awesome images being pinned on the Kids Clothing Week Pinterest albums- the trick is now for me to focus and not get too distracted by all the pretties!


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