Saturday, September 25, 2010

Coolest, Easiest, and Funnest Project Ever

I stumbled across a tutorial while blog hopping a long time ago using Freezer Paper to make "Screen Printed'' T-Shirt designs.

I know...say what?

I can't even remember where I originally read about it but I know it was last year around this time because I was working on I-Spy bags when it happened. I mentally filed it away for later use but then never had a need to use it.

Until now :)

I knew I wanted to make/get each of the Little Dudes a ''Big Brother'' shirt to wear up to the hospital when they meet their little sister for the first time. I even proposed the idea to them and they loved it! Problem is I have 3 Little Dudes all whom wear a size 4T or smaller and it's not easy finding 3 shirts in the right sizes and styles. Not to mention they each cost around $12 (or higher) so we're looking at dropping almost $40 on 3 tshirts.

Um, I think not.

So I did what I do best and thought ''Oh it wouldn't be hard to make those". The problem was I knew that those Iron-On shirt transfers don't hold up very well to washings. I knew that I didn't have a steady enough hand to hand-paint each shirt with Puff paint and seriously, it's 2010 not 1993...I think we've moved past puff paint. Then I remembered the Freezer Paper shirt idea. So I headed over to one of my favorite blogs: Made and searched through her tutorials. Ah-ha, Freezer Paper Stenciling tutorial.

I won't get into all the details but basically freezer paper works wonderfully as a stencil for creating a screen-printed effect on tshirts. You simply trace/draw your design on the dull size of the freezer paper; cut it out with an exacto knife. Iron the freezer paper 'stencil' (shiny side down) to the shirt. Apply fabric paint, let it dry and then remove the just peels right off! Then you have a super cute shirt that is 100% original, cute, holds up well in the wash and, most appealing to a mom of soon to be four kids....CHEAP. And did I mention cute? {please excuse the crappy cell phone pic; it's 1am folks and this is the best you're gonna get for now}
Seriously how adorable did those turn out? I used a fun playful font and added a number to the boys just for cuteness. Best of all, the breakdown:

3 Long Sleeve Shirts (size 5t, 4t, and 2t if you're curious) @  $3.50/each = $10.50
4 pack of fabric paint (in the colors the boys had chosen) = $4.00
Newborn white onesie: Free (we already had that)
Grand Total Spent for 3 Customized Shirts = $14.50
Each kiddo having a special shirt to wear on a very special day: Priceless

Overall it took about 3.5 hours to do all 4 shirts. Most of that time was spent cutting out all the letters with an Exacto knife; not exactly a quick task. It may have gone fast if I hadn't been eating Oreos and watching 'How I Met Your Mother'' at the same time. The best part is now that I know how easy it is, I plan on making them cute personalized shirts for their Birthday's and instead of buying Holiday tee's at Old Navy I can just whip up something at home. Woohoo!

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