Sunday, March 8, 2009

DIY * T-Shirt

I made my first T-Shirts with iron-on letters. The next day I upgraded and used a freezer paper stencil to make my mom one. Then today I got the bright idea of teaching you how to make your own! The one I'm working on in this demonstration will be a FTF prize in my next large cache, or a donated prize if I end up at caching event first...

You Will Need
*A Picture -Black and white. I like to find clip art of some sort. Clip art type pictures are usually pretty solid with clean lines which make it easier to work with.
*A Pencil
*Freezer Paper
*A Craft Knife (A good sharp one! Change the blade if you need to.)
*Fabric Paint
*Paint Brushes ( I use the spongy ones)
*A T-Shirt
*An Iron

Step 1:

Place your image under the freezer paper and trace. Make sure you trace on the dull side (with out the wax). It may help if you tape down the wax paper so it doesn't move around on you when you trace. Shade the black when you are done tracing, so you will know what to cut out and what to keep in the next step.

Step 2:

Tape down your freezer paper to a piece of cardboard. With your craft knife, carefully cut out the shaded areas.

Be sure to keep and loose white pieces, you will need these.

Step 3:

Pick a spot and Iron your stencil on your T-shirt. Shiny(wax) side down. It doesn't take a tremendous amount of heat/time/pressure, just make sure the paper is on there good... no steam.
Step 4:

Pick your fabric paint. I used acrylics the first time around, but these paints I picked up at Michaels worked a lot better on this shirt - I will be using them from now on!

Place a piece of cardboard between the layers of your T-shirt. Paint away. I only needed one coat. On a dark shirt you may need more. It looks nice if you paint in one direction, I usually go "with the grain," top to bottom rather than across the shirt.

Step 5:

Let the shirt dry and then slowly and carefully peel away the freezer paper. For small pieces or bits of paper that get left behind - pull out those tweezers!

Step 6:

Follow the directions on your paint bottle. My shirt needs to dry 24 hours, and then I have to set the paint with an iron on both sides for 30 seconds. Your paint may be different - so read the bottle!

I'm going to be adding more to my shirt (this is the back) I hope to post a finished project soon!


  1. Pretty slick. This looks like something that even I might be willing to take a stab at.

  2. Well aren't you the artsy talented person! You should make a dozen and sell 'em. ;)

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  4. Awesome!

    I think you should do 3 matching so you can all match next week.

  5. I really like this! The GC website has only a few designs for shirts, so it's neat to know how to make one myself (should the mood hit).

  6. Thaks guys! It is pretty fun - and not too hard, I swear! ;-)