Saturday, October 24, 2009

And a Tie Fighter to Sit On

Today is the birthday party for the kiddo of a mom friend, and frankly, I found it refreshing to craft for a change for a kiddo who's way into not unicorns or rainbows, but STAR WARS!!! Not that there's anything wrong with unicorns or rainbows, but now that you mention it, I AM a bit played out of the "let's pretend there's a unicorn and we ride it and it uses its magical horn to take us all over the rainbow to Candyland" game.

The Star Wars web site, sort of oddly, has a section for Star Wars-themed kids' crafts, and in that section I found some Star Wars stencils that are ostensibly to be used for pumpkin carving. But I'm hell not going to waste my 8.5x11" freezer paper sheets (my computer is finicky, so I daren't cut the freezer paper myself for it) on a pumpkin, so instead I dug around in Willow's shirts drawer to find a shirt that she doesn't often wear because it's not "beautiful," and I made the birthday kiddo a Stormtrooper shirt:
Awesome, right? I am VERY pleased with how it turned out.

When I do freezer paper stencilling, I actually end up preferring the negative stencil image almost every time (Do you know how to do freezer paper stencilling? One stencil will give you two images--one positive and one negative), and so, since I also didn't want to create a plastic bin for "half-used freezer paper stencils" in my so-organized study/studio, I found one of Matt's work shirts sitting unsuspectingly in his closet, and put the negative Stormtrooper image there:
Do you think he'll be able to wear it to work?
Sponge brushes work best for freezer paper stencils, in my opinion, and are also best used with the best-quality fabric paint that you can afford. I use a basic set of Jaquard Neopaque that's lasted me for way over a year now, and when that finally runs out I'll probably buy the exact same thing, only with more colors. When I make a negative stencil image, I like the outside edge to look like it has brush marks, but the way you actually do that with a sponge brush is actually just to dab, not brush. Now you know.
Then, of course (because you KNOW that if I'm going to make one thing I might as well just make a dozen), I decided that I couldn't fancy up shirts for other people and not fancy up any shirts for my babies, so Sydney got a castle----which she insisted on trying on even though it hadn't been heat-set yet, and then threw a fit when I wouldn't let her model it while jumping on the bed on account of the bed was covered in organized stacks of clean laundry.
Willow got the negative castle: See? I just think it always looks better!
And so THEN I got all irritated that I always make stuff for other people and never make anything for myself, so I stencilled a Tie Fighter on the butt of my jeans--
--and I didn't want to waste the negative, of course, so I ruined another one of Matt's work shirts:

Another handy trick: If you have a cheap-o iron like I do, it might actually not get quite hot enough to adequately heat-set fabric paint. I line my ironing surface with aluminum foil, shiny side facing the fabric, and if I'm feeling super-paranoid I also might sometimes put aluminum foil on top of the fabric, too, and then a pressing cloth on top of that. It radiates more heat into the fabric and heat-sets the paint at a more appropriate temperature.

I've never bothered to write a freezer paper stencil tutorial because 1) it's easy and 2) every other blogger and their dog already has one. If you seriously need some hand-holding, however, check out the tutorials on:

Okay, though, as I was just now making that list I thought of all these fiddly little things that I want you to know about freezer paper stencilling, not every point of which is addressed by any one of those tutes (although they're all excellent, but you know how I am with tutorials), so next time I stencil, I'm totally going to write my own tutorial after all. to iron the butt of my jeans!


Anonymous said...

Love Love Love the storm trooper shirt! I adored Star Wars as a teenager, and I was so thrilled when my sons became enamoured with the saga, too. I think they need storm trooper pajama shirts.

Anonymous said...

The Storm Trooper shirts are very cool, but the TIE fighter on your butt...priceless!!

I have freezer paper and fabric paint, and really no excuse not to do it (except for the no time excuse).