Craft Cabin: Stenciled T-shirt

Posted by Penny in Remix

Welcome back to the Craft Cabin, where we play with art supplies and Flickr Commons images to make cool stuff. Today’s project: the stenciled t-shirt.  We don’t have detailed instructions here, because there’s a whole Flickr group, Freezer Paper Stencils, with a tutorials thread – pick the one that works for you.  What you’ll soon realize is that they vary in specifics, but the basic idea is this:  make a stencil on freezer paper, iron the stencil to a t-shirt, and apply paint (fabric paint or spray paint). It’s easier and quicker than it looks, and fun to do with kids — adults should obviously wield the Xacto knife, hot iron, and spray paint, but that still leaves a lot of participation opportunities for young artists.

For best results, choose an image that’s already pretty simple and high-contrast — as I did below with the portrait of Portuguese actress Beatriz Costa (from the Biblioteca de Arte-Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian). Or just make an outline stencil of something more elaborate — this  baseball action shot would be well suited to that approach. Architectural features are also interesting to stencil. Think about the image a bit before diving in — which parts will you cut out?  Which parts will remain the color of the t-shirt?

Working with images like this — really sitting down and studying their composition, cutting and painting with them — is a great way to engage with the riches of the Flickr Commons. And when you wear a piece of the Commons, you’re inviting conversations about the photo, how you found it and why you chose it. So choose wisely, and enjoy the opportunity to share what the Commons project is all about.

printing out the stencil onto freezer paper

Printing out the stencil onto freezer paper.

The stencil after cutting

The stencil after cutting.

ironing the stencil onto t-shirt

Ironing the stencil onto a t-shirt.

After first of several rounds of spray paint

After first of several rounds of spray paint.

The big reveal peel!

The big reveal peel!

Way cooler than a Hannah Montana shirt!

Cooler than a Hannah Montana shirt, right?

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One Response to “Craft Cabin: Stenciled T-shirt”

  1. tshirtTHEUNSEEN Says:

    Thank you! The post is very helpful!

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