Tuesday, June 2, 2009

We are back and our batteries are recharged! Freezer paper stenciling

We had the most wonderful time with our family this last week. We packed as much love into a week as we possibly could. And now our batteries are recharged and our hearts are full.

Rebecca and I grew up in Utah. Our Grandmother is still there as well as most of our cousins and aunts and uncles. We wanted to give our kids some wonderful memories of our extended family...particularly our Grandma. One thing we always did with our Grandparents growing up, was go to Hogle Zoo. It is my personal favorite zoo of all the zoos we have been to. And I've been to the San Diego Zoo, both Phoenix area zoos, the DC zoo and a handful of others. But IMO, the Hogle Zoo is the cleanest, and best maintained and I feel like you have the best access to the animals too. Love it. Maybe it has something to do with the feeling I get when I go there. It reminds me of my childhood. I think I had a magical childhood, so maybe I'm a little biased;)

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.
It was so much fun. Everyone was excited to wear their shirt, even our cousins and their children. Years ago, I would have thought it was corny. But now I see it as a way to connect with my family and a way to identify us as a large group. We saw a bunch of 20 somethings that had made their own shirts for the day too. They had airburshed them to say I love Zoo. And on the back they had different animals on the back.

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.

Read your paint. Most of them say you need to heat set the paint. Do it with a little pressing cloth and you are done.

Now do this say, 20 times for your family;)

After being gone for a week, we were excited to see some new followers and all of the rest of you that dropped by while we were gone. Thanks so much for your support.



Joanne said...

Those animal shirts are DARLING! I'll be linking!

The Queen of Clearance said...

I spent 20 dollars on a shirt just like the batman one for my husband...a long time ago. I wish I had just made my own :) good job!

the monkeys' mama said...

okay this is HILIARIOUS! i posted my tutorial Tuesday on THE SAME tutorial! wow. craziness.

Yours, of course, look MUCH better but, hey, i tried!

Claire said...

Ive started making these too. But cant find freezer paper in australia. So think im going to have to order some from America.

Alison said...

Oh WoW! I just found your blog through sugardoodle and I am AMAZED!! All of your ideas are so wonderful!

We will be making these shirts for Girls camp for sure!!

Also, I was reading some older posts and was wondering if you have the template for the paper milk cartons? If you do, I would love to have it. My email is alisonrpike@gmail.com

I am so grateful for creative women like you that inspire the rest of us!! Thank you, Thank you,
Thank you!!!

Alison said...

Looks like/Sounds like a great trip!! Welcome home!

Ferrers Locke said...

The family shirts idea is a keeper. Thanks.

Amy said...

These shirts are great!

Katie G. said...

Fabulous shirts! My family used to do that when we were young. It would be fun to bring back the tradition!

Heather - Dollarstorecrafts.com said...

Linking to your post today at Dollar Store Crafts! http://dollarstorecrafts.com/2010/03/how-to-make-a-stencil/

Redesign Diva said...

This tut is awesome! I was looking for another alternative to screen printing...and I found a whole roll of freezer paper in the dumpster...lol


Redesign Diva said...

I like it, but I dont quite get how you would fix an over paint mistake? Or were you adding paint? Either way nice tut!