Tuesday, March 3, 2015

DIY St. Patrick's Day Shirts

Both of our grands have Irish surnames, so shamrock shirts are in order.   I found this idea on Pinterest (how on earth did we ever manage before Pinterest?).   There is a detailed tutorial on Jessica's blog.   The technique is pretty similar to the Sharpie mugs we made at Christmas, except we're using paint, not Sharpies.

The hardest part of the project was finding plain white tees !  Target had all kinds of printed ones, a bazillion Frozen ones, and only these two styles in plain white.   I washed and dried the shirts first so they would do any shrinking or other laundry bad-behavior before I painted them.   Washing also removes the sizing used that makes the shirts look all smooth and perfect - it also can prevent the paint from sticking.

First, the shamrock.  Jessica has a template on her bog, or you could free-hand it.  I used her template and enlarged it to about 120% for the larger shirt.  Trace the template on to freezer paper.  Freezer (or deli) paper is key.  

 Position the template on the shirt , shiny side (plastic) down and lightly iron so it adheres to the fabric.

I used two shades of green paint, plus one with glitter to glam up the one for Montana granddaughter.   Since I used regular acrylic paint, not fabric paint, I added texture medium .  Fabric paint, or acrylic paint with texture medium, helps the paint be absorbed into the fibers and be more permanent.

Now, the fancy tool - a pencil with an eraser.  Pencil erasers make the best dots- you can even use them with a stamping pad.  Be sure to slide a piece of paper - freezer or whatever paper is handy inside the shirt before you start painting so the paint doesn't bleed through to the back of the shirt.

Now the fun begins.  Dip the eraser in paint and start painting dots all around the shamrock.  Paint the dots close together at first, then start spreading them out a bit as you add more rows.  The first couple of rows closer together ensure a crisp outline. 

Here is the little shirt fro Texas grandson with all the painted dots and the paper template still in place.  Once you're happy with the dots, peel off the freezer paper.  The magic of freezer paper is that it will peel off without leaving any residue.   Let the paint dry for twenty-four hours.

 For best results, the paint should be heat-set.   You can either put the shirts in the dryer (on hot) for 30 minutes or iron - set them.   I put a piece of paper over the design and  then use a hot iron (no steam) to set the paint.

This is the larger shirt with some glitter paint dots.  I added some to the neckline to girlie it up .

This is fun, easy and really goof-proof.  It would be a great project to do with the kiddos.  Consider the possibilities - hearts for Valentine's Day,  pastel dots around eggs for Easter,  white dots for snowmen on a dark blue shirt - all kinds of fun shirts.

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