Thursday, April 10, 2014

Make your own custom t-shirt with freezer paper stenciling!

Have you ever seen a really cool t-shirt design that you wanted to buy, but couldn't afford? While there are plenty of places to buy cheaper t-shirts with cool designs online, I like being able to customize my clothes with my favorite movies, hobbies, and quotes. Plus after I buy the initial materials, I can do it all for about $5 a shirt! This project is super quick and easy, and it's all your design! You can also use the same techniques for pillowcases, tote bags, or any fabric material!!

You will need:

  • T-shirt (I got a $5 fitted shirt from Walmart)
  • Printer to print out desired image/words
  • Freezer paper (you can find this near the plastic wrap in supermarkets for $3)
  • X-acto knife
  • Iron
  • Fabric paint in desired color
  • Paint brush
  • Pen or sharpie to trace design
  • Tape

Step One: Pick A Design!
For the t-shirt I am making in this tutorial, I printed out a silhouette of Aurora and Maleficent that I found on Google. Credit to the amazing artist Isabel Talsma. For the movie quote, I simply typed it out on my laptop. The font I used was downloaded for free from The bolder and larger the font, the better! If you choose thin letters, it may be hard to paint in the lines!
Once you have printed out your design, cut off the extra paper and line it up on your t-shirt to make sure it looks how you want it to!

I like it!

Step Two: Tape and Trace!!
Cut a length of freezer paper big enough to hold your design. Tape your design face down to the waxy side of the freezer paper, so you can trace the images onto the smooth paper side!! Outline your image in a pen or sharpie, I recommend a sharpie if you would like to make your letters larger.

Step 3: Cut!
Using your X-acto knife, cut out your letters and/or pictures. Make sure you save these! You will need to use some of them in your next step! Anything that is going to stay white (or the color of your t-shirt) should not be cut out!!

Step 4: Iron!
Take the taped image off of your freezer paper. Iron the entire freezer paper waxy side down onto your t-shirt where you want the design to go. This will anchor it in place while you paint. Make sure that any little hanging pieces that need to stay white are ironed down flat! For your letters (like a,e,o,c,u, etc.) Iron on the insides that need to stay white, here is a picture below:

Step 4: Paint!
Cut out a second length of freezer paper and slide it inside your t-shirt, so the paint doesn't bleed through to the back. I made that mistake the first time I did this! Take out your fabric paint and paintbrush and go at it!! Only one layer is needed, unless your specific paint states otherwise :)

Step 5: Let it dry and peel it up!!
Let your paint dry for as long as it states on the bottle, then carefully pull up your freezer paper. Make sure you get all of those little pieces too! You're done!!

My shirt was done in just a few hours, because I had so many little pieces to cut. The Harry Potter shirt I made has been washed and dried many times, and it still looks wonderful! Make sure you are careful to follow the care instructions of your paint, though! Go crazy and let your imagination run wild! 

Please leave any comments, questions, and feedback below! Thanks for reading! :)

~ Ashley

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing. A custom shirt is the best accessory a man can own. Not only do they look great they are both classic and timeless.Design Your Own t-shirts