April 8, 2013

Easy DIY printed tees

My kids love to design their own cool t-shirts and printing them is super easy! A great school holiday activity.

When I say 'design', what I really mean is jump on Google Images and have a browse for something that appeals. Just use the search term 'stencil' plus whatever subject matter the kids have in mind. Dragons and ghosts were the objects of desire in our household today.

Materials required:
Plain t-shirt (old or new)
Stencil design (printed or hand-drawn)
Clear adhesive plastic sheet (eg. Contact)
Small foam roller
Fabric paint

Start by printing out your image then stick it to the window with a piece of clear adhesive plastic sheet over the top (paper side facing outwards). Be sure to cut the adhesive plastic large enough so there's at least 10cm of space around the outside of the image. Trace over your design, then use a small pair of scissors to carefully cut it out. Be sure to only cut out the inside of your stencil area! (You could also use a stanley knife to cut out your stencil, especially if it's detailed, but with the kids keen to do it themselves we tend to stick to simple designs and scissors!)

Then carefully peel off the paper backing and stick the adhesive plastic to your t-shirt. Press around the edges of your design to ensure the plastic is well stuck down. Also slide a piece of cardboard or a few sheets of paper inside the t-shirt so that the paint can't soak through to the back - don't forget to do this! 

Also pop on some old clothes and a smock!

Use a spoon to spread your fabric paint on a plate or the lid of an ice-cream tub. This makes it easier to evenly coat the roller.

Then the fun part! Use the roller to apply the paint so that the area of fabric within the stencil is evenly coated. Just be careful not to get paint on the t-shirt outside of the plastic-covered area - though of course with kids at work this is nearly impossible. :)

Carefully peel off the adhesive plastic and check out your awesome handywork!
Leave your t-shirt to dry fully then iron it to set the fabric paint (as per the instructions on your container of paint). All done!

Your might also like to pop over HERE for more inspiration and ideas for printing kids' tees by Cheri from I Am Momma, Hear Me Roar.

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