Saturday, July 9, 2011

Liven up your t-shirts with Freezer Paper

I've been wanting to try a technique that I've read a lot about over the last year or so. Unfortunately, I kept on forgetting to buy what I needed from the grocery store. Now I wish I had done this much sooner, freezer paper stencils are genious! If you've never worked with or bought freezer paper, it is pretty cool and very versitile. Many quilters use freezer paper for making appliques. However, I'm going to jazz up a rad tie-dyed t-shirt that I made for a very special teenager in my life.

She and I have an inside joke, if you will. We constantly try to get that happy little song "Sunshine, Lollipops & Rainbows" by Lesley Gore, stuck in eachother's heads. It's silly, but once it's stuck in mine, it plays on a continuous loop all day long. Then the children sing it, the hubs sings it. I bet if she could, our dog Maty would sing it too. So.....  There wasn't a better phrase to put on the front of this pretty shirt!

First I grabbed the freezer paper. Because I finally remembered to buy some at the grocery store.

Then I cut a few pieces to size, and fired up the Cricut machine.

I used the "Lyrical Letters" cartridge and used three different fonts.

*When feeding the paper into the machine - make sure the shiny side of the paper is facing DOWN*

After they were finished on the machine, I trimmed them up, but not trimming too much near the letters, so the paint has somewhere to go near the edges. Make sure you don't forget the little dots inside your letters, such as e, o, p, R and so on. (or whatever letters you have with dots inside)

If you don't have access to a Cricut machine, you can do this by tracing a printed piece of paper, then using an exacto knife to remove the letters (or image) to create a stencil.

Lay pieces in place on t-shirt - fitted onto your ironing board. (I forgot to get pics here, sorry)
Once they are in the right places, carefully iron them down, without using steam. They will magically stick! Don't over-iron, I've learned that it tends to lift a little around the letters if you do so.

Once your paper is ironed on, slip a piece of cardboard under the letters, and then slide the shirt and board off the ironing board.

Now is time to break out the fabric paints and paint brushes. Some fabric paints require a heat setting, so read your bottles or instructions. I had some "puffy paint" (remember that!) on hand, and by using a brush, I got a nice smooth finish.  Depending on what color you are painting over, you may need to use a few coats.

Since I am not a patient person, I used the blowdryer between coats.
And when the hubs asked me to bake him up a batch of chocolate chip cookies, I put him to work with the dryer. :)

Once your letters are dry, you can peel off your paper. Go slowly and try to avoid ripping the paper. You will need to grab a pair of tweezers to get the "dots" out of those letters that we talked about.

Look how nice it came out!
The word "sunshine" has a glitter painted over it to make it sparkle.
The possibilities are endless.

(do you see the heart I tie dyed?)

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