Monday, April 15, 2013

Custom made shirt design? Splendid!

So I was recently watching a YouTube video that featured Ingrid Nilson (Missglamorazzi) wearing a shirt sporting The Cure's song title, "Friday I'm in love."  I have been thinking about the shirt for a couple weeks now, so I decided to make one for myself the other day.

I used the freezer paper stencil method I first learned from Dana's Made blog.  Basically, I found a font I liked and printed out the words.  Then I taped the printout onto freezer paper and cut the letters out using an Xacto knife.  Cutting the letters was the most difficult part, but only because it takes precision.  After cutting the letters out, I positioned the stencils on a t-shirt I got at Old Navy and ironed them down.  The freezer paper has a thin plastic coating that acts as a light adhesive when ironed to the shirt.  It's what keeps the paint from seeping through the paper stencil.

After inserting a piece of cardboard into the shirt to keep the paint from leaking through to the back, I started painting with Jacquard Textile Color in 107 Ruby Red. I applied two coats of paint, and I think that gave me a great amount of color without drying too thick.

I let the paint dry overnight, after which I removed the freezer paper.  You certainly don't have to let it dry that long, so check the label on your paint.  Honestly, I just got side tracked with a visit to an ice cream shop and a few episodes of Doctor Who with my roommate.  Waiting to set the design doesn't hurt anything.  To set the paint, I put a towel over the design and ran a hot iron over it for 30-60 seconds. 

The finished product!
I'm trying to decide if I want to add a heart or leave it without.  I like the font I used (Handwriting - Dakota bold), but next time I do something like this, I'll probably use a fatter font.  I can definitely say I'm very happy with how it turned out.

This is the third time I've tried this technique, and it's so simple that I just keep coming up with more and more ideas for personalized apparel.  What do you think I should make next?


  1. You could personalize onesies (or little kid tshirts) with funny sayings or pictures. Sucker parents like me would pay you.