Let's talk about freezer paper stencils. I've dabbled in them before, but have always tended to choose fonts or large (and less intricate) shapes to transform into stencils. That is, until I came across the MADE blog. And then I was convinced that you can paint ANYTHING onto a t-shirt.
This month, Dana (author of Made) is featuring a ton of projects for BOYS. And freezer paper stenciling is one of the projects that she detailed, a couple of weeks back. And it happened to come at just the right time, because I had recently begun to notice (and fixate) on the fact that EVERY item Big J owns is gray.
The boy needs some color.
Which is where the idea for the smurf shirt was born. Cheap t-shirt plus Dana's freezer paper stenciling tutorial? Done and done.
Here is the LINK to the tutorial, to give you an idea of what's involved. It takes some attention to detail, but all-in-all I would say that my smurf stencil took 20 minutes to cut. Not to bad and certainly less demanding (and more funner) than 2nd grade math. Also, I will note that her tutorial talks specifically about turning a photograph into a "posterized" image, which is tons easier to translate into solid stenciling lines. Since I was using a cartoon, I didn't need to "posterize" my image---it was easy enough to define features just as it was.
But while I had the freezer paper out and Walmart was having a long-sleeved t-shirt sale, I decided to try my hand at silhouetting. And just to kill two birds and blame it on the Irish, I decided this would be L's St. Patrick's day shirt. I like it, but it was really hard to get the details EXACTLY as I like them--I think you can tell it's a silhouette, it's just not distinctively L. My final opinion, however, is that I still like it, but have decided that it needs a polka-dotted bow attached at the ponytail--and as I am out of green polka dotted ribbon, (GASP!), this particular embellishment will have to wait until later this week or possibly 7 years from now if it falls off my radar or gets buried in a freak avalanche of unfinished projects.
Also...many of you have probably noticed that I like to use large circles of different fabric to monogram (or freezer stencil) on to. This is my fool-proof method for not ruining a perfectly good shirt, with a mistake I am BOUND to make in my constantly frantic state. I like that it adds a little more punch to a t-shirt, but also like that I can throw it away and start over if I mess it up. I usually attach it to the shirt with a double border, which I like to stitch in a somewhat erratic pattern for a little extra whimsy.
Be sure to visit MADE for an explanation of freezer paper stenciling that actually makes sense, but also check out her ideas because they are FANTASTIC!