For those of you who've never heard of it, it's like making your own screen printed shirts or bags, but without the complicated and pricey supplies and equipment. You're limited only by your own imagination, and maybe the difficulty of your image (really detailed pictures might be tough to do; you'll understand more when I go through the step-by-step).
So when you've got a strong ethnic background and identity like I do (and Paula, too, in fact!), it's fun to find items that let you show your pride. For us, it's anything Finnish! And unfortunately, Finnish items aren't always easily found. So I thought I'd make something for my wee-est munchkin. She loves her Paappa (Grandpa) more than anything, so I decided to make her an "I love Paappa" shirt.
|Measuring stencil against shirt.|
- Freezer Paper (normally used to wrap around food for the freezer. It has a waxy, shiny side and a smooth, matte side. It's found on rolls right beside the wax paper, parchment paper and aluminum foil in your local grocery or department store)
- a stencil idea or pre-made stencil
- your garment, or fabric for a bag or whatever you plan to make
- X-acto knife
- fabric paint (I used Tulip Soft Matte paint in Grape, and Fashion Fabric Paint in Sapphire Pearl, Bright Green Shiny and Sapphire Sparkle)
- one or more foam brushes
You can print directly on the matte side of the freezer paper; or
You can print onto regular paper and trace your image from the regular paper onto the freezer paper.
I chose to attempt to print directly on the freezer paper. I'd seen this on other blogs and it had been done successfully, so I thought, what the heck? I cut a piece of freezer paper into 8 1/2" x 11" size so it would fit in the printer, and I put it in the manual feed tray, ensuring that the printing would happen on the matte side of the paper. This is important. Don't forget this point.
Printing directly on the paper worked okay, except that the paper jammed in the printer right near the end of the print job. Thankfully, my image wasn't affected, and neither was the printer. I think next time I do this, though, I may just print on to normal paper and either trace the design or use the X-acto knife to cut through both layers.
|Carefully cutting out the image.|
Oh, and make sure you're cutting on top of something made to withstand cutting, like a self-healing mat or cutting board. You know, so you don't mark up your furniture. (And no, I didn't do anything like that!)
|Little bits! Don't lose 'em!|
Don't forget little bits like the insides of your letters (my As and Ps!) Make sure you don't accidentally throw those away. You'll need them later!
|Stencil ironed on to shirt.|
Once you're positive your stencil is securely in place, you can start the fun stuff -- the painting!
I put dollops of paint on a paper plate for easy cleanup, and also because you're not going to be using the paint straight from the bottle.
Using your foam brush(es), dab the paint onto the stencil. I recommend going inward from the edges to avoid the possibility of getting any paint under your stencil and wrecking your image. I used two coats of paint. After this, you let the paint dry. Thoroughly. Trust me, this isn't a place where you want to rush things too quickly.
|Waiting for paint to dry is SOOO hard! :P|
|All done! Looks cute, too! :)|
While I had the fabric paint out, I drew some designs on a few pairs of Little Miss' socks that didn't have non-slip stickies on the soles. I'm not sure how well they actually work, because she was still slipping around on our laminate floors while wearing the first pair. Ah, well.
New technique challenge? A success!