Friday, June 29, 2012

Fourth of July Freezer Paper Stenciled T-Shirts

The boys and I are planning a little neighborhood bike parade next week and decided we needed something to wear. I just adore Cheri at I Am Momma - Hear Me Roar (although she doesn't have the foggiest idea who I am - Oh well). She has two boys (like me) and does the most amazing crafts. Like this "All by Myself Tee" using freezer paper stencils.

Freezer paper stencils seem to be all the rage right now on Pinterest, so I decided to use Cheri's tutorial and let the boys go for it. I had a little trouble finding freezer paper that wasn't in such a giant package. WalMart only carried 150 square foot boxes. We ran into one of Dillon's preschool teachers while we were looking and she suggested asking the butcher for a piece. Good idea, except they don't use it at WalMart. I did find a 75 square foot box at Albertson's. Not quite so big, but I guess will be doing some more stencilling soon. And it was pretty easy.

Here's how we did it.

First, I pulled out my Cricut and let the boys pick a design they liked. Parker chose a bike and Dillon a camper. I cut the paper to the right size and loaded it into the Cricut shiny side down.

Next, iron on the paper to your shirts. I found these at WalMart for $1 on clearance. I bought about 10 of them a few months ago. They are typically about $3.50, still a great deal. The wax coating on the shiny side will make the stencils stick to the shirt, but peal off easily later. Make sure that shiny side is down again.

I surrounded the edges of the stencil with scraps of the freezer paper, so we didn't have any oops problems with the paint. After all, my painters are only four and five.

Put something inside the shirt - some cardboard or something. I used plastic cutting boards, which wasn't the best idea, since I did get a little that bled through. Next time I'll put the cutting boards inside a plastic shopping bag.

The boys just went for it with the red, white and blue fabric paint (we used Tulip Slick paint). I found sponge brushes worked the best, so the paint didn't leak under the stencil. Just have the kiddos use a dabbing method with the brush.

When they're done painting, the shirts will look like this (sorry, I didn't get a pre-paint picture).

When they're dry, let the kids peal off the paper. It was a little tricky and the kids ended up letting me finish (probably because they were busy watching Phineas and Ferb while the paint was drying).
And here's the final product.
I can't wait to see them next Wednesday with the shirts on and bikes decked out for the event.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Old T-Shirts Become New PJs

A neighbor gave me some old Phineas and Ferb shirts a while back. They were well worn, but I knew I wanted to do something with them. But what?

I've been on a PJ kick lately. They are crazy easy to make, but kind of expensive in the store. My kiddos wear clean ones every night, so we need several pair.

The shirts weren't quite wide enough, so I had to use two for the one pair of PJs. I was lucky I had two very similar shirts. You can use one adult shirt or experiment with up to four - one for each panel - Personally, I think it would be pretty cute.

Anyway, I made these while the boys were in the tub tonight. And Parker put them on right after. I even had him stand up in the tub, so I could get the waist measurement.

Here's how they came out.
Cute. Right?

Here's how I made them. You'll need:
  • two t-shirts
  • elastic for waistband
  • thread and pins
  • sewing machine
  • a pair of shorts that currently fit (as a pattern)
There are the shirts I used. Great, but there was some fraying at the collar and sleeve.

First line up the hem on the bottom of the first shirt and smooth it out. Then lay the existing shorts on top. This will be your pattern.
My new ones will be a little shorter, but I was okay with that since the Star Wars ones are really long. Cut around your 'pattern' leaving about 1/4 inch for seams. You'll have something like this...

To make sure both sides are even, I used this piece as the pattern for the other side. Flip it over and cut out.
Your pieces will look like this. See why I flipped over the first side before cutting the second?

Now, you're ready to start sewing. Lay the two front pieces on top of each other, right sides together. And sew together leaving the crotch alone. You'll do that last.
Do that to both front and back. Now, you're ready to sew your two pieces together. Pin the edges together making sure to line up the bottom hem. No hemming! Yay! I hate hemming. Sew together and you should have a tube with the crotch open.
Pin the crotch together and sew.

Time for the waistband. Pin down the waistband to make a channel for your elastic. I used 1/4 elastic because it's what I had on hand and I didn't have a lot of fabric to work with.
Since this is t-shirt fabric, it won't fray. Just a simple fold will do. Sew up your channel leaving about an inch in the back to run the elastic through. Cut the length you need and using a safety pin push it through your channel. Sew the ends together and close up the whole.

Done! He thought he needed to pull up the shirt (a Walmart clearance T for $1. I bought about 10 of them a few months back).
Dillon wanted to get in on the action too. He happened to be wearing a pair I made using this method.
Are they cute? Or what?" target="_blank">" />