We had a gaggle of us at the Zoo. Our Great-Aunt is widdowed and is staying with our Grandmother. Several of our cousins were there as well as our Mom and a bunch of our children. When I take my kids to a busy outing like this, I usually dress them in matching bright shirts so I can easily spot them. Usually they wear red shirts. We wanted a way to identify our group in the instance that one of us got away and we needed to quickly remember what they were wearing. I don't like children's names on shirts for the security factor. Since I have fallen in love with freezer paper stenciling, we decided to go that route. Rebecca has lots of fun toys including a Cricket cutter and an even nicer cutter. She had a bunch of designs of animals on one of the programs. We let everyone choose their favorite animal (they didn't have to be zoo animals because we wanted them to get use out of them later) and their favorite color for the shirt. Rebecca cut the designs out with her cutter and I had the fun of painting all 20 shirts and heat setting them.
I know that there are tons of tutorials for freezer paper stenciling out there. I have a few things that I do just a hair differently that I thought it was worth sharing my basic tut with you. This was from my personal blog from last Halloween. We all had batman shirts with batcapes and masks. For Christmas I ended up making a handful more batman shirts and batcapes for gifts for all the little boys in my life.
1. Put some freezer paper inside the shirt, with the glossy side up. It will set to the top layer of the shirt when you iron the pieces. It keeps the paint from going through the layers.
2. Take your image and draw or trace it onto your freezer paper. (Rebecca cut out our animal images with her Cricket from one of their cartridges. But usually I cut them out by hand since I don't have a cutting machine.) Cut out your design. I always like to have an outside circle or shape for my stencils. I just like the way it looks. You can do yours however you like. I ironed the outside part first. Remember to iron the stencil with the glossy side of the paper down. You want it to stick to the shirt. When you are ironing, make sure all the edges of your pattern are adheared to the material. If it isn't stuck nicely, you can get paint under the pattern and that is not pretty. This also irons down the paper you put inside the shirt.
3. Iron on the inside or island of the image.
4. I used fabric paint to paint the shirt. Just like you are stenciling or painting your walls, make sure you paint from the template onto your fabric. Never paint from the fabric out to the template. That just forces the paint under any air pocket you may have missed. I also like to work with a very dry brush and do several layers to help prevent the paint from seeping under the stencil.
5. Here is what it looks like with the paint on.
6. Most people say to wait until it is dry before you take the paper off. I don't like that. I carefully peeled my paper off, right after I painted. Be really careful not to smudge anything. I did this now because I wanted to fix any blemishes while it was still wet so it could all dry at one time. I didn't want it to dry, then fix mistakes and dry again.
7. Take a toothpick with some paint on it and fix any mistakes.