Project Seventy Three: A Tortoise Fable T-Shirt
Ever since coming across a tutorial for freezer paper stencil t-shirts over at MADE, I have wanted to give this a go. Freezer paper is an American thing though, and it took me a while to track some down (thank you Ebay). While I was waiting for my freezer paper to arrive I got the boy to come up with a t-shirt design for himself and I bought some fabric paint from Tindalls on King Street, and some plain t-shirts from Primark and charity shops.
The boy’s design was a tortoise and the words ‘slow and steady wins the race’ (he likes that fable). It wasn’t too hard to find an image of a tortoise I could turn into a stencil, and I cut it out of the freezer paper. I then printed out the words and cut then out of the freezer paper too (which took a couple of hours of very careful cutting). As this was our first ever go at printing on a t-shirt, we decided to use an old stained t-shirt as a trial run.
Once I had my stencils cut it was just a matter of ironing the freezer paper into position on the t-shirt (and try to hide the stain on the front), painting a few layers of paint over the stencil, leaving it to dry between coats (or speeding the process up with a hairdryer), and then peeling away the freezer paper to reveal the printed image. Once that was done I fixed the paint on by ironing it for a few minutes on the highest setting, with a tea towel between the t-shirt and the iron. The boy did all the painting and I did all the ironing.
We made this t-shirt in stages, first painting on the tortoise and then when that was dry positioning and painting on the words for the front of the t-shirt. After the front was dry the boy decided to put a big ‘S’ on the back (the first initial of his name). He’d got impatient by this stage though and only did one layer of paint, giving a bit of a streaky finish, but that doesn’t matter!
I can’t believe how easy this was and how good the results! Freezer paper is amazing stuff. I predict many more t-shirts being designed and painted over the summer by the boy and I, watch this space!