Sunday, April 14, 2013

DIY Awareness Shirts

     I've never been able to find an awareness shirt that didn't feel like something my grandmother would like, not that I don't love my grandmother's fashion >>wink<<. So after seeing a really awesome fundraising campaign done by Sevenly for the start of Autism Awareness Month I've been pining over their truly trendy looking tees. Not being exactly what I'd call flush with cash, I wasn't able to justify $50+ on two tee shirts for us. The campaign came and went, and I thought my chance was gone. Then I started thinking, perhaps making a design, using freezer paper stencils (a technique that I'm proud to say I've learned from the wonders of Pinterest) and some fabric paper could get me just as sweet a shirt.

So here it is! My first tutorial, my diy awareness shirt!

What you'll need:
desired design (printed exactly as you want it on the shirt)
freezer paper
felt tip marker or pencil
exacto blade
cutting surface
fabric paint
scrap cardboard
helpful dinosaurs optional

1. Lay your freezer paper over your print out of the design. We don't have a printer so I very gently used a felt tip marker to copy off the computer screen. My husband, the computer tech, strongly discourages this but didn't know I did it until he came home and saw the pictures.

2. I suggest cleaning up the lines of your design before cutting. Practice a little with the blade if you are new to it and take it SLOW! Its a pain and there's nothing worse than messing up at the end.

3. Warm iron. Place freezer paper on your shirt with the cardboard inside, between the two layers of fabric. Use the iron to stick the paper into place. Take more time, than less. You want to be able to have a good clean stencil.

4. After the paper is back to room temperature, apply paint. VERY THIN LAYERS! We learned this the hard way, freezer paper is just like any other paper, it doesn't like to get wet. So by using a minor amount of paint, you don't risk bleeding or peeling.

5. Let dry over night.

6. Peel back the paper to reveal you lovely new shirt! 

Helpful hint:
when your design has letters with holes like A,O,B,D etc. don't cut the center completely out, you can cut it after you run the iron on it once so that the center is in the right place but not fully sealed down.

Alex working on his own shirt!

Let me know what you think!
Feel free to ask questions or share your own shirts in the comments below!

Additional projects we've made since making this tutorial:

and of course, autism awareness doesn't have to be the only use!
A logo from one of my husband's and my favorite video games.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the inspiration!


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