Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cricut Contact Paper T-Shirt Stenciling

For H.O.G.S. night (see above post), I made t-shirts for the graduating Seniors. I used my computer to design, cut it out on the cricut to make a stencil then painted on the t-shirts. This tutorial has been recreated all over the interwebs about 20 million times, so I'll be brief. If you want more details or options, google it and you can read about it all day long.
Here's the instructions:
Cricut (or an exacto knife)
Make the Cut! software
Contact paper, freezer paper or adhesive vinyl
Fabric Medium (find it in the Acrylic paint aisle)
Acrylic Paint
Large pieces of cardboard
Here's a pic of the fabric medium. This turns acrylic paint into fabric paint, so it fades less and wears longer. Costs about 2 bucks for a little bottle like this. Acrylic paint aisle in Michaels/JoAnn's. You mix one part medium to 2 parts paint. And voila! Fabric paint.
First I made a cardboard t-shirt form out of an old smooth cardboard box. Don't throw away your cereal boxes- they're the perfect size for kids shirts and onesies! This box was from a huge picture frame.
After the shirt is nice and tight, make the stencil.
Here's a close up of the stencil. I used Make the Cut software. I stuck the contact paper, with the backing still on, onto the mat. After it was cut, I peeled off the stencil off, making sure to keep the middle parts of the O's. You can also use freezer paper, which is in the foil/plastic wrap aisle of walmart. Instead of sticking it to your shirt, you use an iron to iron it on.
Some tips on design- use bolder letters over skinnier ones. If using contact paper, once it's off the backing it can shift a lot. So leave a large area around the design for stability and room for painting error. In the picture below, I should have left another 2 inches around the design, but I was trying to fit it all on one mat. Would have been better to have a large area around.
Don't use wax paper, the wax on both sides of the wax paper makes a huge mess.
Mix up the medium and paint, then paint it. I used cheapy dollar store kid paint brushes, but foam works too. Best to make sure the kiddos are well occupied at this point. Nothing to ruin your day like black permaneant fingerprints on a white t-shirt.
Let it dry, 24 hours. Place a cloth on top, then iron on high for 30 seconds to heat set the medium.
My finished front:
One of the backs:
And here at HOGS night, is the Art table with the t-shirts, and fabric markers for the youth to write messages to their graduating seniors.

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