The Journey

Mar 25, 2012

Permanent Fabric Paint Stenciling

I first saw how do this here. I've been stenciling ever since!
Gather your materials:
*Plain article of clothing: t-shirt, pants, onesie, dress, etc. When I find them at Target or Wal-Mart, I buy several colors in several sizes and hold onto them for the next birthday. 100% cotton is best.
*Reynolds Freezer Paper- I found mine at Wal-Mart on the aisle with plastic, aluminum foil, and wax paper. It's a HUGE roll that will last me a decade! It has paper on one side and plastic on the other. There are a ton of uses for this product, but I'll stick with stenciling for now!
*Tulip Soft permanent fabric paint- matte or glitter. You can find it at any craft store. (Ask someone for help if you can't find it! They put it in weird places sometimes.) I have white, blue, purple, and silver glitter. I buy shirts that will coordinate well with the colors of paint that I have.
*fun stencil...more on this in a second
*exacto knife
*good cutting surface
*foam brush

Ok, decide what you'd like to stencil. Names are an easy pick. I also like dinosaurs and animals for little boys. Flowers for girls. Literally, your choices are infinite. Search "coloring page" with the item, and you'll find easy-to-cut-out images on google. Find images that are s.i.m.p.le.- you don't want to be cutting all day!
Print out the name or image and make sure it's a good fit for your article of clothing!
This was the latest stencil that I did- name shirt for Eliza's birthday.
Cut out a piece of Freezer Paper that is a little bigger than your image and tape the image to the top of the paper. Make sure the plastic side is DOWN.
Carefully cut out the image. The goal is to have a perfect NEGATIVE image- the stencil.
**Keep the insides of letters like e,d, a, p, b, etc. You'll need these later!
The stencil is ready!
Place the freezer paper stencil on top of the shirt where you want it.
Warm up your iron and carefully press the stencil and adhere it to the shirt. The plastic side of the paper will adhere to the cotton.
**Check the directions on the Freezer Paper box and adjust the temperature of your iron accordingly. I have had my iron too hot and turned the paper brown. You want a good seal so the paint won't leak under the stencil- but you don't want to burn the paper!
Don't forget to adhere the "insides" of the letters during this step!
Check the edges of the stencil, and make sure there's a good seal.
Time to paint! Using a foam brush, apply little amounts of paint at a time. DAB is a good word.
Let the first coat dry and reapply.
Once the paint is dry- and ONLY once it's dry- remove the stencil.
Last step, place a piece of scrap material on top of the stencil or turn the shirt over and iron it.
You want to "set" the paint. (I always read the directions on the bottle to remind myself what to do.)
Nevertheless, your creative, original gift is done!

Fold it, wrap it up, give it away...and go make another one (or two or three)!

Happy making and giving,

~Crib Sheet Tutorial~

This tutorial is for beginners! Making a crib sheet will possibly be the easiest thing you'll ever make- well, maybe not, but it'll be close!
Go buy 2 1/4 yards of adorable fabric, a package of 1/4" elastic (I use knit elastic, but it doesn't matter what kind), and you're ready to go! You'll need 61" of total elastic (1yd+25").

**WASH, DRY, AND PRESS your fabric. Do not skip this step! You don't want your sheet to shrink once you've made might not fit!
Cut your fabric so it is 44" x 68". I like folding my fabric into quarters (so it is doubled both ways) and making cuts at 22" and 34". It's a lot easier to handle this way.
Then, carefully cut 8.5" x 8.5" out of the corners (already shown in the picture above). I do this at the same time when the fabric is still doubled up. 
Your fabric should now look something like this- a large piece with four corners cut out.
Now, you're ready to sew!
Match up each corner, and pin the good sides facing.
 Stitch down each corner. I use 3/8th seam allowance. Reverse or lock stitch at the beginning of each line to secure your stitches.
You should have four "pockets" that look like this on each corner.
 At this point, you have a few options:
1) serge each corner- makes for a professional look
2) if you don't have a serger, you can zigzag down the raw edges to keep them from fraying
3) or you can leave them raw. If the sheet is for your little one, and it doesn't matter if there is frayed fabric on the inside of your corners or not, then go on to the next step.
Now, it's time to prep the border of the sheet for the elastic casing.
I serge around the entire border of the sheet...very close to the edge. I don't want to lose much fabric in this step.
If you don't have a serger, you'll want to turn down 1/8th-1/4th" and then turn down 1/8th-1/4th" again to hide the raw edge. Try not to lose too much fabric on this step. Stitch around the entire border.

You can see in the pictures above that the entire border is serged, and the corners lay down nicely.
Ready to make the casing for the elastic!
I like to use a paper clip to feed the elastic through the casing, but many tutorials suggest a safety pin. I have pulled the head off of several safety pins and have ditched them ever since.
Using the paper clip as a guide, I turn the border under and pin all the way around the sheet. I want to make sure that the clip will fit through the casing, and I want the casing as narrow as possible.
Make sure to leave an opening in the middle of one side of your sheet. I "double pin" the beginning and end of the opening so I don't forget to stop. Reverse stitch at the beginning and end. I stitch right on top of on serge stitches...very close to the edge.
You can barely see where I's right on top of the serge stitches. Makes for a clean look.
Cut 61" of elastic- 1 yd + 25"
The first time I made a sheet, I fed the whole 3 yds through the casing, and then pulled and pulled until there was a custom fit to the mattress. This ended up being 61". You can custom fit your sheet if you want.
Begin to feed the elastic through the casing. TIP: pin the END of the elastic near the opening. You can easily pull the end through the casing and not even know it!
Once you get back to the opening, overlap the ends of the elastic and zigzag on top of them to secure them.

Time to close the opening. I like to stitch looking at the GOOD side of the fabric. Reverse stitch at the beginning and end of the opening.
All done!

Go try it on your mattress for a perfect fit!

Wasn't that easy?! Go make another!

Happy making and giving!
God bless,