11 April, 2013

Freezer Paper Stenciled T-Shirt Tutorial

     In just a few short days our followers have gone from zero to fifty!  That's just terrific!  I hope you all are out having fun with your kids this week.  My kids and I have big plans today and I hope I can share them with you tonight or tomorrow, depending on if we finish the projects tonight.
     But for now, I thought I would share a project my sister and I did last year with the kiddos.  It was a dollar store project, so for all the kids and us, it only cost me about $9!  We had bleach and freezer paper on hand, but if you don't, you can also find bleach at the dollar store and freezer paper runs at about $2.39 for the cheap brand at my local store.
      Here's what we did.  First, you draw up a design for the t-shirt.  My sister made a coffee shirt inspired by a favorite coffee cup and I chose a Pepsi design.  The kids got designs to best suit their interests at the time.  Then you draw that design onto a piece of freezer paper IN REVERSE and cut it out using scissors or an Xacto knife if the design is complex.  When the design is cut out, place it carefully onto the shirt in the spot you want it and iron it well to be sure that all edges are firmly pressed into the shirt.   This creates a seal so that the bleach will not penetrate.
     Next, hang the shirts onto an outside laundry line or tree branch.  We put white kitchen bags inside to prevent the backs of the shirts from being bleached.  You could use card board as well, or any random thing that will fit and protect the back side.  Then you spray with a bleach/water mixture.  I fully recommend doing this on a sunny day.  We did this on a cloudy day and as a result, some shirts did not show that they were bleaching when in fact they were.  Strange, I know, but trust me on this one.  Sunny day.
      So we sprayed the shirts with a little bleach, or in some cases a lot and let them sit on the line.  In some cases, we prayed it thick to let the bleach drip and make cool lines running down the shirts.  When the shirt is bleached to your liking, soak it in a bucket of water immediately to stop the bleaching process, then run it in your dryer to wear it.  Or if you are more patient then we were, you can run it through both the washer and the dryer. Here are a few of our results:
     The Good:
     The Bad:
     And the downright Ugly:

     But we learned through trial and error how to fix these mistakes and will be doing it again this summer.  I hope you give it a try.  If you do, please leave a comment letting us know how you did or what you learned in the process :)


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