Wednesday, September 4, 2013

DIY Fan T-Shirt

I am a fan of a British TV show called The I.T. Crowd.  Maybe you know it?  It's about two I.T. guys who work in the basement of an office building and the woman who "manages" them.  Here they are:

It's about two I.T. guys who work in the basement of an office building and the woman who "manages" them.

It's a very funny show and two of my favorite episodes are THE WORK OUTING and COUNTDOWN. 

A couple weeks ago I was looking online for cool, campy T-shirts for Magoo.  I was hoping to find a BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER shirt that wasn't too girly.  One thing lead to another and I decided to look for  I. T. CROWD shirts.

There's a very funny line in the episode, COUNTDOWN, which I thought must have surely be on a T-shirt.  Here's a clip:

I couldn't find a t-shirt, but the beautiful thing about being crafty is if you can't buy it, make it.
So I decided to make myself a shirt.  (I didn't think the kick ass part of the line would go over well at Magoo's school. :) SO I made the shirt for me.)

Here's a quick tutorial on making your own Freezer-Paper-Screen T-shirt.

Step one.  Get a T-shirt.  If you only need one, you might want to shop around at Target or JoAnn Fabrics or someplace like that.  Since I buy a decent amount of T-shirts for my art show, I ordered from a place called CheapesTees.  Once you have your shirt, wash it.

Step Two:  Make a design.  I did mine on the computer.*  It looked like this:

I printed it up on a piece of standard size (8.5 X 11") paper.  But you'd want to print it up to whatever size you need.

*You don't need to be able to make your own design though.  You can print up all kinds of things from the computer or trace something from an art book.

Step Three:  Copy the design onto the Freezer Paper.  This is Freezer Paper:

See how it says "plastic coated?"  That's important.  What you need to know now is that the plastic side is the glue side.  Draw your design on the NON-PLASTIC SIDE.

Step Four:  Cut out your design.  This part is the hardest part and it's worth it to go slow and be precise.  It took me about 2.5 hours to cut all the letters out.  I just popped on a mediocre movie and got to work.   (Remember, with a stencil, you are using the negative space.  The middle part is not important, it's the sides and edges you want.)

Step Five: Iron your t-shirt. Place cardboard in the middle (because the paint will soak through) and place your cut freezer paper on top.  Then iron it (no steam) onto the shirt.  The plastic side will stick to the fabric making a nice, clean stencil for you to paint around.

Step Six:  With a sponge, apply two to three coats of fabric paint.

Since I used white paint on a black shirt, I did three coats - meaning, I did a coat, let it dry, did a second coat, let it dry, did a third coat, let it dry overnight.

Step Seven: Remove the freezer paper stencil.  This won't just fly off like a Band-Aid, you're going to need to use a little finesse to get all the paper off.  Just be patient and gentle. 


Have fun!

(P.S. Do you know what I. T. stands for?)


Lucia Sasaki said...

Humm... Perhaps Information Technology?

Julie_c said...

Yes! In fact that was one of the jokes on the show. Jen, the female manager, was at another job interview and they asked her what I. T. stood for and she didn't know.

mh said...

I love the t-shirt! I also love Chris O'Dowd so now I have a new show to watch! Thanks for the post.

musing manatee said...

Wonderful! All this non-crafty fan can do is peruse Redbubble for fun t-shirts...