Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mario Mushroom T-shirt

Technically, this isn't a t-shirt project.

For Christmas, I personalized a jersey jumper for my daughter using a freezer paper stencil. Freezer paper stencils are so easy and they produce very professional-looking results. As you can see, my daughter is quite fond of Super Mario. Since I'm a fan, too, I was pretty excited to try my hand at applying a "mushroom power-up" to the jumper. The same method I used on her jumper can be used on a regular t-shirt.

First, here's a photo of what the jumper used to look like.

It was pretty cute, but it was a little too sweet for my daughter. So I looked online for an image to add to the jumper and once I found one, I collected the rest of the supplies necessary for stenciling the image onto the jumper: freezer paper, a Sharpie marker, a piece of cardboard, fabric paint, an iron, a craft knife and cutting mat, and a sponge brush.

I placed a piece of freezer paper shiny-side-down over the mushroom image and traced the image. I made the line around the top portion of the mushroom thick. You'll see why later.

Then I placed the traced image over a cutting mat and cut the eyes out of the mushroom using a craft knife and set them aside for later use.

Next, I cut the rest of the mushroom out including the thick line I had traced around the top portion of the mushroom.

I shifted over to the ironing board and using a dry, hot iron, I ironed the outside of the stencil, shiny-side down, onto the jumper. When heated up, the shiny side of the freezer paper melts and attaches the stencil to the fabric creating a barrier.

Then, after letting the first portion cool a bit, I ironed on the rest of the mushroom. 

Once the paper cooled completely, I placed a piece of cardboard inside the jumper to protect from any paint bleed-through that might occur. I squirted some fabric paint onto the stencil and pressed my sponge brush into the paint to "load" it.

I applied paint by "pouncing" the sponge brush onto the image. The stencil should create sharp edges, but to be on the safe side, I like to dab the paint this way to avoid causing the paint to seep under the stencil.

I kept adding paint until the entire image was covered and then I washed my sponge brush. (I like to try and use my sponge brushes a few times, so I wash them before the paint dries and ruins the darn things.)

While the paint was still wet, I carefully pealed away the stencil. I used a craft knife to help peal off the inner portion of the stencil. And then I let the jumper dry as directed on the fabric paint bottle. Some paints require setting with an iron, so be sure to check the paint instructions before you start.

Once dry, the jumper was complete!

I think adding the mushroom to my daughter's jumper was just the detail it needed to make it more "her." Now I just need to make one for me!

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