My little girl has an interesting favorite animal. Can you guess what it is? Here's a hint:
Yeah. It's hard. That pink stuffed shark in the picture above I actually made for her myself last Christmas, and she was so excited because it was actually pink. Then she informed me that "you forgot to sew on the gills and the pelvic fins, Mama." I had to go out and buy more pink fabric so that her stuffed shark would be anatomically correct.
Hence, the desire to try making a freezer paper stenciled pink shark shirt! I bought the brightest, most obnoxious pink fabric paint I could find. It's neon pink and it has glitter...it was perfect! I paid a little more for the paint, about $2 as opposed to the $0.69 puff paint. But as I learned from my DIY polka dot jeans experiment, it's worth the difference to buy good paint! Cheap fabric paint will chip and crack and will not hold up in the wash. This stuff has been through three washes and bleaching and still looks fantastic.
To make a freezer paper stencil, you need a shirt (or fabric item of some kind), some fabric paint, cardboard and freezer paper. You will need to draw your image onto the non-slippery side of the freezer paper. For my Girly's shark I just free handed a shark silhouette:
Then you will cut out the inside of your drawing, leaving the outside intact. I used a sharp knife and cut it out on a cutting board. It will look a little something like this:
Position your freezer paper with your new stencil on your shirt where you want it:
Iron it on the "cotton" setting for about 3-5 minutes, moving it around so that every part of the paper you can is firmly ironed down:
It will look like this:
Slip a piece of cardboard inside the shirt, to prevent the paint from bleeding through to the other side:
Put several dollops of paint all around the outside of your stencil. This will help it be more even when you spread it on:
Using another small piece of cardboard, VERY gently spread your paint onto the open areas of the stencil, working with strokes from the outside in to the center:
When your freezer paper stencil is filled in evenly, let it sit for 2-4 hours to dry completely. Sadly, I'm not kidding about this part, I've ruined many a freezer paper stenciled shirt by being impatient and ripping off the paper too early. Don't do this! The paint will smear!
Once the paint is completely dry, gently tear away the fabric, revealing your design:
You should have a cute, clean lined design:
Cute right? I love how it turned out, but I wanted to add just a little touch to make it really adorable. A little embellishment can go a long way towards making your stenciled design look professional.
So I added a pink button eye! It's perfect, and God forbid I forget to make sure that this shark has anatomically correct eyes.
No, Seriously. I'd never hear the end of it!
I now have one VERY happy little girl, who is so excited to have a shirt with her own favorite animal in her favorite color! I love that this project can really be used to make a truly individual piece of clothing.
So cute! So now when the girls pretend that they're "Shark and Dolphin Scientists" having adventures and rescuing sea animals, they have matching shirts to wear! Prepare for cuteness overload: