So February’s challenge was to use stencils to make something.

I wanted something practical, so opted to stencil a t-shirt.  First step was finding a stencil I liked.  I love anything rockabilly so I opted for an anchor.  It also meant that the stencil itself was straightforward too.  After a quick google search I found lots of free printable stencils at pixgood.com. I printed it out onto paper and using a craft knife, I carefully cut out the shape, remembering to place cardboard underneath to protect my work surface.

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Now this is where the lesson in common sense and hindsight begins!!

Note to dumbass self: NEXT TIME,  DO NOT PRINT ONTO PAPER, PRINT ONTO THIN CARD.  I didn’t and as a result the cutting out was surprisingly more difficult than I thought, as I had to ensure that I held the knife at a slight angle to avoid creating rough edges.  It turned out okay, but the real problems came later…

Next, the paints.  I found these a few weeks ago in The Works for the bargain price of £4.99.  The set has 8 different colours and it has a spray top, which worked well for my nautical theme.  Only thing is, the set has no instructions at all, other than to say that it is machine washable.

I stuck the stencil to the t-shirt with tape to keep it from moving around.  Note to dumbass self: DON’T FORGET TO PUT NEWSPAPER INSIDE THE T-SHIRT.  I had forgotten this.  I sprayed it, and then realised that if I wasn’t quick, the paint would leak through onto the back of the t-shirt.  I managed to do this just in time.

NOW THE REAL HINDSIGHT LESSON: if you have cut it out of paper, the paper will curl, so you need to spray quick to keep the shape of your design.  Obviously, if you have done the sensible thing and cut it out of cardboard, you won’t have this problem.  Mine LOOKED fine.  But it wasn’t.

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I had to wait for ages for it to dry, but when finally I removed the paper I found that my anchor design looked a little blurry around the edges and in one part, the paint had made a hideous big blob where it had spread out following the curling of the stencil.  DISASTER!  I wish I had taken a photo at this point, but I was so busy trying to think of ways to fix the problem that it slipped my mind.

So, I found some other fabric pens I had hidden away in my craft boxes and tried to think of a way to neaten it up.  I used a metallic grey pen to draw an outline around most of the anchor.  Then I used the vibrant pink colour to paint a flower shape over the large blotch at the top of the anchor.  I added a second, smaller one to add balance to the image.

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This is what it looked like whilst wet.  You can see the blurred blue edges where the paint seeped under the paper.

When it dried the final design looked like this:

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So the verdict: I thought this would be straightforward to do but it wasn’t.  However, this was largely due to a lack of common sense on my part!  Despite this, it was fun to do and I would love to use the spray paints again.

The final thing will be fine as a t-shirt to lounge around in at home but I won’t be wearing it anywhere else.

March Craft Challenge: Paper flowers.

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