Painting designs on plain t-shirts is so much fun! If done tastefully, it can up your tee from ordinary to original with little effort and a lot of satisfaction. The kids can get involved too and make their own. Either use a template, stamps or free hand draw your design with a wide variety of fabric paints, which are available in every color, texture, glow in the dark and dimensional. The options are just about endless.
I picked bright pink for my shirt to stand out in my blue world! All the boys made blue shirts, so it was fitting that I rock the pink, all bright and original!
What you'll need for this craft:
a plain t-shirt
an old magazine
Don't we all have those extra t-shirts lurking around in our drawers begging to be used?! I used some plain t-shirts I already had, that were perfectly suited for rejuvenation. Alternatively I'd say just buy a couple of inexpensive t-shirts and wash them ahead of time to allow for shrinkage. Let's make things beautiful.
As a next step it is very important to add a buffer between the front and back layers of the t-shirt. This serves a dual purpose. Firstly, it'll give you a hard layer to press on and secondly, it will protect the bottom layer from paint transfer. I have used wooden and cardboard boards before, but old magazines will do the trick too! Plus they too, are just lying around without a purpose, right? I had a large advertisement mag that was made of heavy paper, which was perfect for the job.
Next step is to secure the stencil into place, so that it doesn't shift while you're painting. Masking tape works really well for this, is easy to remove and doesn't leave sticky residue. Choose your fabric paint and dispense some onto a pallet. I just use a disposable plate. You can use a paint brush or a sponge brush. I prefer the sponge, because it doesn't leave behind fibers and leaves a great impression when blotted on. Use the paint as dry as possible. Add no water and make sure the sponge isn't moist from a previous use. If it is too wet, then the design will run and your image will distort.
Blot the paint on in thin layers. Too thick layers may smudge under the stencil.
As you can see from the image below, the paint is blotted onto the fabric so thinly, that in places the t-shirt color shows through. I liked this shabby effect with the irregular, rough edge design I'd chosen. But by all means, you can ensure even coverage for a more polished look. If you're using dimensional paint, then it is fun to add thicker layers in places, so that when the paint has dried, raised ridges appear on the shirt.
Remove the stencil as soon as you've completed the painting. The overlapping paint will dry intact with the design on the t-shirt, so that when you remove the dried stencil, it may take some of the design off along with it. Be careful when you lift the stencil, so as not to smudge the image. Allow the tee to dry flat, for about 4 hours. Turn the t-shirt inside out and iron the back of the painted design, in order to set it. At this point the tee will be perfectly fine to be worn out and about! Wait 72 hours before washing it though.
Enjoy your newly created, beautiful tee and wear with pride!
And I enjoyed creating this tee so much, that I repeated the process in black ...
Create. Enjoy. Repeat.
THREE & ME