Happy Friday everyone! So excited you are stopping by today to check out this fun DIY project. Everybody needs clothes, so they might as well be cute & when you can personalize them they take on a whole new level of adorable. I’m pretty sure we’ve made like 17 so far, and I just keep pinning and pinning and seeing all these adorable ideas I want to do. So, to save you the trouble of your bank account disappearing on shirts – I am showing you how to make your very own. It is seriously SO simple you will be shaking your head at the end of this. It takes a little practice, and a lot of patience – but I’ll share my tips along the way. Here we go:
First things first, I have noticed that this method of ‘screen printing’ on shirts works best on used, worn lots of times shirts. I tried it on a few new shirts after one wash and there was lots of ink bleeds & the paint didn’t adhere as well. So head to goodwill, the DI or your local thrift store to pick up a few used shirts – or just shop your own closet! I bet there are some old tee’s in there that could use a little re-vamp! If you absolutely cannot stand the idea of a used shirt (My hubby has a thing against goodwill clothing so I can sort of relate) just wash your shirt several times to get it worn in.
You will want to measure and write down the space you want your wording/graphic to be. Keep in mind where the shirt will sit on you, your hips, etc. You don’t want the dots of your “i’s” right on your twins. That would just be awkward. Write down this number, or if you have a good memory just remember it. I don’t know why, but I can’t for the life of me remember these numbers. Must be all those sleepless nights with a sick Toddler catching up to me!
Next you will want to insert a notebook, piece of cardboard or thicker cardstock into the middle of the shirt. This will keep the ink from going through to the back. TRUST ME, you don’t want to forget this step. If you do, you will end up with a really cute design on the front and a bummer one on the back & that isn’t fun. Whoops alert here a few times. Then iron the shirt flat so that you have a perfect surface to work on.
Then, open up Silhouette Studio on your computer and create your image or text. PLEASE keep in mind about copyrighting images, giving credit & really at the end of the day – my vote is to just make your own. I will find shirts I like on pinterest and then make my own with different fonts, widths etc. Once you have your design, flip it so it’s backwards. This has to do with the way you will be cutting your stencil. If you don’t have access to a Silhouette; then come over to my house and we can play – OR bust out the exacto knife. While I wouldn’t want to do this by hand and am so thankful to have this amazing machine, if push came to shove – I’d do it.
So, you will be cutting your text/graphic out on FREEZER PAPER. Crazy right?! I got this ginormous roll at Walmart for around $4 and it is going to last FOREVER. I don’t think I could use it all if I tried. So, after you FLIP your image you want to put this freezer paper on your cutting matt SHINY SIDE UP. Then once it is cut, you will peel off the freezer paper and place the shiny side DOWN on your shirt. This shiny portion turns into an adhesive to stick onto your shirt as a stencil. Try to handle this as little as possible – those sticky fingers make the freezer paper not adhere to the shirt as well as you need it to.
Next, you will need to take an Iron on ‘cotton’ setting & adhere the freezer paper to the shirt. Try to get it as even and lined up as you can before ironing it. You only get one chance to get in on straight! I go over my text once to get the full design down & then go back to add all the tiny pieces (the middle of the O’s and A’s etc.) Make sure there isn’t any bubbles and that the freezer paper is sitting completely flat on the shirt. Any bubbles/creasing/lifting of the freezer paper will result in bleeding which is a huge bummer and pretty much ruins your shirt.
You want to work pretty quickly because the freezer paper doesn’t stick forever. I like to have all my stuff set up and ready to go. You will want to grab a spotter brush & your Deco Art SoSoft Fabric Paint & then get to work. I usually start in one corner and work my way to the other – then start back for another layer depending on how bright I want the color. Keep in mind, after the paint sets & you wash the shirt in a few days – some of this color will come off – so do extra to be safe!
For this specific shirt I wanted to try a bit of a glitter ombre’ that looked gorgeous while drying, but after running it through the wash isn’t super noticeable. Next time I’ll try it with different shades of pink or blue. I can’t wait!!
I give the shirt and the paint about 5 minutes to sit & then you will want to peel off the freezer paper. The paint will still be damp at this point – so be careful when you are peeling. I’ve found it’s easiest to have a second pair of hands for this portion. One to peel & one to hold the shirt down flat. Grab some tweezers to remove those tiny pieces & you are just about done!
EEEK! This is the best part when you see if your shirt is turning out as you hoped! Next up you will want to carefully remove that cardboard piece or notebook inside the shirt and slip in a hanger to keep the front & back separated. Shirt is still damp at this point so be careful. Hang this up in a closet or bathroom and just let it relax and look gorgeous for 48 hours. Then you’ll want to send it through the washer and dryer once & you are good to go and model your own shirt!!
Crazy insane cool right? Seriously I can’t stop thinking of all the matching shirts and quotes I want to do. ENDLESS possibilities. Make sure you follow me on Instagram so you can see the few we have made already & the few we will end up making next week too!
Thanks for stopping by today, for sharing & coming back. I really, really, really appreciate it.
I also realllllly appreciate DecoArt and being a part of their team. It is so fun to work with such high quality amazing products I can stand behind.