Hmm … I guess I did make quite a few gifts this year. More than I originally planned.
I forgot to mention last week that those coffee mug cozies I made – the ones that were in Green Bay Packer colors? That was left-over yarn from the Packers headband I made my husband. He seemed to like it but I think he’s only worn it once so far when the whole family took a walk together.
I still have quite a bit of yarn left so I may try making a hat or some other type of project to use it up.
The Christmas gifts I really wanted to share with you this week are the t-shirts I made. I have been seeing blog posts and tutorials for a few years now on how to make freezer paper stencils. Freezer paper is different from wax paper or even parchment paper. It has a glossy side and a matte side.
To use it as a stencil, you need to either draw or print a design on paper. I discovered that I could print directly onto the matte side of the freezer paper with my printer. It smeared a little as it moved through but not bad. The toughest part was to 1) pick the design and 2) uncurl the freezer paper so it would lay flat in the printer paper tray.
Once you have your image, cut out the portions that you want to contain the paint. I used a sharp utility knife.
This was my test sample; I used an old rag t-shirt and cut out a circle with an inner circle – just to see how it would work.
The shiny side of freezer paper is actually plastic coated. When you lay that down on a t-shirt and iron it, the plastic adheres to the shirt enough that paint won’t bleed under the stencil. In theory. Using fabric paints you then paint the portions of the shirt that are exposed. Like this:
I saw different instructions as to the next step. Some said to let the paint dry and then peel up the stencil. Others said to pull it up as soon as you were done painting. I’m not convinced it really made a difference, however, I can show you one that I consider to be a bit of a “fail”.
The letters turned out fuzzy. It may have been because for a number of reasons. I’m not sure but this might have been the one shirt I left the lettering on until dry. But I do know that the first time I ironed the paper on, I somehow got it crooked so I ended up pulling it up, repositioning, and ironing again. That meant it might not have gotten as good of a seal against the shirt. A cyber-friend on Craftster who had inspired me this year to finally try this technique suggested next time to make sure I didn’t get too much paint on the brush. That’s probably what did it as it was tougher to get the white to cover the dark blue.
The “Enjoy Bacon” shirt was one for my brother-in-law. This ice cream shirt was for my dad – he has ice cream every. single. day. At least once a day. I had tried looking for a cute saying to go along with the cone outline, but I like it just with the picture.
When I went to Michaels to pick up some fabric paint, they also had some t-shirts on sale for only a couple of dollars. So I picked up a bright pink shirt for my daughter and made this cute Elsa/Anna (“Frozen”) silhouette shirt for her.
A warning on the freezer-paper stencil technique: It’s addictive! It was so much fun to come up with designs and make the shirts. They work up quick too unless you are hand-cutting the stencil design. I really need to find the power cord for my cutting machine and then learn to use it properly; then I’ll be unstoppable!
Calling all friends and family … Who needs t-shirts?