Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Freezer Paper T-Shirt Tutorial

Hello Friends! It's Hump Day and I can taste the weekend, sweet sweet weekend.

As You may know from my prior gushings, I got a sweet new digital cutting machine. While these bad boys scream intricate scrapbook pages and beautiful handmade cards, I took one look at mine and saw:

Super Awesome DIY Tees!

Now if you don't have a digital cutter (or a friend with one you can schmooze) don't worry! With a little determination and patience you can follow this same process using an x-acto knife.

Here's what You'll Need:
Plain t-shirt (lighter colors will work best)
Digtal cutter or x-acto knife
Freezer Paper (can be found by the tin foil and cling wrap)
Fabric Paint
Small craft sponge brush or make-up sponge
Iron and ironing board
Your design (the simpler the better, see below about floating pieces)

Paint supplies not pictured :)

1. Cut your Design If you have a digital cutter you can follow one of the many tutorials to help you create a cut file based on your design. Then cut it out of the freezer paper. I set my blade settings to Speed 3, Thickness 10, Blade 1, and that worked great for me.

If you are doing this sans machine, your goal will be to create an actual size version of your image on a sheet of paper. You can print something out from your computer or just free hand it. Obviously the simpler the design the easier this process will be. Also, keep in mind the floating pieces in your design, such as the center of an O. As you can see, the design I used didn't have any floating pieces for me to worry about. If you do have a floating piece, be very careful when cutting it out and be sure to keep it for the next step.

You can see on the lower hand were the paint dried before I removed the stencil.

Next will be the part that requires patience for those of you without a digital cutter. You will need to use the x-acto knife to cut out your design from the freezer paper. Since the freezer paper is somewhat see-through you could place it on top of your design and cut it out that way. If the lighting isn't working in your favor you could always place the image on top and cut through to the freezer paper. In either case, I would recommend securing both papers to your work surface with tape. Also be careful not to cut through and scratch up your work surface :) Perhaps a cutting board would work well here.

NOTE: The shiny side of the freezer paper will be the side pressed to your shirt. Do all your cutting with the shiny side down, unless you want a shirt that is only legible in mirrors :)

2. Iron on your Design Get you iron heated up as high as it will go. Place you shirt over the ironing board in a single layer as you would to iron it. Place your design (shiny side down) centrally on your shirt. You may want to put the shirt on or compare to another shirt to ensure you have the placement correct. 

Ironed on and ready for paint.

Once your design is placed, iron in on. My freezer paper was pretty curled at first so I just started in one corner and worked my way out. I left the center of the arm pieces til last and made sure they were centered with my other pieces before ironing them on. Do the same with any floating pieces you have. Iron on your outside boarder, then place the floating pieces as best you can. Remember it's DYI. Try not to stress too much about it being perfect.

3. Paint Using whatever color fabric paint you prefer, gently dab the paint over your freezer paper stencil. Start with a thin coat and work on building an even layer. If you want to use different colors for pieces close together, you could use a piece of painters tape to block off pieces and avoid spillage from one area to the next. My arrow was far enough away from my arms that I didn't worry about it.

There's the painting supplies!

Once you have the coverage you want you can carefully peel off the freezer paper. I recommend doing this before the paint completely dries. Otherwise the dry paint will stick to the stencil and create uneven edges. This happened to me on one of the hands (see above). But again, it's DIY, remind yourself that you are going to be the most picky about your project then move on :)

Wooooo! Ready to chop!

Take some time to oooh and aaaah over your finished tee. Once the paint is dry slip it on for a victory dance!

Chop won't stop.

Smile at your awesomeness and enjoy!

Smoose Update: In other news, we are on day 4! So far so good. Dinner time has been the hardest. Luckily last night's honeydew smoothie was to die for. Full disclosure, we have been supplementing our smoothies with some additional yummies. Most nights we've had a handful of unsalted pistachios with our dinner smoothie. Last night, one of Mike's fellow students organized a b-day meet-up for her and another guy. Mike indulged with a beer and we split a side of sweet potato fries. We both agreed we didn't need them, but it was nice to kick back with our friends. 

Tonight I'm heading to another cooking class with my favorite plant-based chef MJ Conboy. That means no smoothie for dinner tonight for me. The main goal of our smoose-ing was to hit a reset button and kick-off some healthier eating. We've talked a lot about the heath and wellness goals we have, for example reducing our sugar intake and increasing our intake of greens and veggies with every meal. Friday will be our last day of smoothies 3 times a day, but I think the breakfast smoothie is here to stay :)

Happy Hump Day! 

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