Skip to main content

diy: graphic shirts with fabric paint and stencil

I've promised to do a diy tutorial for my graphic shirts once I get my hands on fabric paint. I apologise for not updating for so long because I have been busy with school. My recess week just started, so I have some time to diy more shirts and do up a tutorial for you guys! 

The popular Brandy Melville graphic shirts can now be replicated with a bit of patience and time at your hands! This tutorial is suitable for any typography kind of graphic shirt. 

  • Plain shirt
  • Scissors & cutter, cutting mat
  • Fabric paint 
  • Makeup sponge
  • Spray adhesive/Weak adhesive/Purple Uhu glue if you plan to use a paper stencil
  • Iron if you plan to use a freezer paper stencil
The materials needed should not cost you much. You can dig around your house for old plain shirts or find some at a thrift store/flea market.  In case you are wondering what glue and fabric paint I use, here they are. The glue is by Zig and it actually dries to form a temporary bond that has the strength of a post-it. I got it from a scrapbook store for about $5 I think. It was a long time ago and I never thought I'd have a use for it. The fabric paint costed me $4.50 from art friend at Takashimaya. I think it was the only fabric paint brand around unless I'm blind. I looked through all the shelves of paint and there were loads of acrylic and oil paints but no fabric paints except this. 
  • Print out your stencil on paper. In this tutorial, I am trying to imitate Brandy Melville's You Can't Sit With Us shirt. I used the font Trade Gothic No. 20 - Condensed in 135 pt. You can scale it up more if you'd like because the print on the actual shirt is quite big. You can download the font for free online, then type it out on a landscape word document.
  • Then, you are going to take your pen knife or cutter and cut out all the alphabets. If you are using freezer paper, place the freezer paper over the print out and cut out the alphabets. Make sure that you have placed your freezer paper with the wax below. Remember to cut and keep the insides of alphabets such as "O" and "A". I think this is the easiest quote I've done to cut out so far because it mostly involves cutting straight lines and edges. You should be able to finish this in 15 minutes. 
  • If you are using freezer paper, iron the freezer paper onto your shirt. If you are just using paper, apply glue to all the cut out edges of the paper and stick it onto your shirt. The glue I used does not leave a residue so do a patch test first. This step ensures that the stencil does not move as you are painting.
  • Place a few pieces of paper/cardboard under your shirt so that the paint doesn't seep through. Squeeze out some fabric paint elsewhere (I used a plastic sheet). Then, take your makeup sponge and dab some on. Learn from my mistake here. Your sponge should not be dripping with paint, rather you should dab and re-dab until there is only a thin layer of paint on the sponge. If you load too much paint onto your sponge and apply, the paint is going to end up bleeding and smudging through the edges. 
  • Dab the sponge onto your shirt. It is okay if the first layer turns out light and not everything is covered. I did about 3-4 layers of paint before everything was painted. This took 30-45 minutes to finish. Your patience will definitely pay off. 
  • Leave the paint to dry for awhile then peel off your template! I find this step rather fun to do. If you have done it right, the edges of your alphabets should be rather neat and straight. You can still choose to outline the alphabets with white paint to tidy it up. However, once I do that, I'd want to outline every alphabet and that would take a rather long time. I did this with my two previous shirts because I overloaded my sponge with paint. This one turned out fine though because I learnt my lesson.
Here's the end result and I must say that hardly anyone would realise it is a DIY shirt unless you tell them! Heat set your print after 24 hours or as directed by your fabric paint bottle instructions. I also cut off the sleeves and cropped some so to make them into muscle tees instead.
Another one that I did earlier on, Shopping is my cardio. I don't think the font for this is free but you can download the picture here and scale it up on your word document.
And finally, I outlined this freehand because the text was too small and thin. I love you to the moon and back in Courier 35pt. I just placed the paper under the shirt and traced out the alphabets. You'd need a relatively thin brush for this though. 
Be sure to share your creations with me in the comments!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Real vs Fake Adidas Superstar/Stan Smith

I've wanted to do this post for a long time, ever since I started on my crazy collection of Adidas Superstars. I mean, I think I make quite a credible source because at one point, I owned 14 pairs of Superstars and Stan Smiths. I will be migrating my Superstar collection post over to this blog over the coming days so that you can read up on where I got them. I'm not sure if these shoes are still as popular and wanted now because I am sort of out of the loop but if you are looking to get yourself a pair of Superstars or Stan Smiths, these are a few pointers to look out for in identifying if what you are buying is real or fake. Take note that these features are mostly applicable to recent releases only. Old models and Superstar 80s are slightly different. Then again, old models are not sold in stores anymore so if you find brand new pairs elsewhere, you should be cautious.  I owned a a few pairs of fake Superstars before I purchased my first original pair from the Adidas

Arctic Fox Hair Dye Review on Dark Unbleached Hair

I've been meaning to try Arctic Fox's hair dyes for a couple of years but never got around to it because I feared it wouldn't show up on dark hair. It's been coming up more and more on Instagram again so I did some research and apparently Purple Rain, Aquamarine and Poseidon do show up on dark hair. So that's what I purchased! These retail for $7.99 (4 fl oz) or $13.99 (8 fl oz) on the Arctic Fox website but I got mine off Amazon .  Arctic Fox hair dyes are vegan and cruelty free. They also do not contain harsh chemicals like peroxides, ammonia and PPD. These are semi-permanent and they contain conditioning agents which means you can use these dyes as often as you want to without damaging your hair. Semi-permanent hair dyes only coat your hair so it will fade with each wash. The bottle claims that it can last up to 40 washes. These smell like grape candy so it is such a treat to use them. The instructions to use this is pretty simple. 1. Shampoo and w

diy: hair bows

From the cloth I bought recently at Daiso, and with the major diy mood I was in, I decided to make a bunch of hair bows to wear when school reopens. My tutorial has been inspired and sourced through many inspirations on pinterest.  Start off with a rectangular or square piece of fabric. Squares will result in bows like the blue floral one above while rectangles will be like this bow in the tutorial. Mine measured about 24cm by 12cm. For my blue floral one, i used a 15cm by 15 cm square.  Fold your fabric in half, with the insides facing out and straight stitch as highlighted. Leave a gap at the edge because you will be inverting the fabric after you're done sewing. This gap should also be of reasonable size, not to small or you will have trouble inverting the cloth.  Once you are done, invert the fabric and  straighten it out. You can sew up the gap at this point if it bothers you.  Using a pin or a needle, make some pleats with the fabric and pin through to get the bow s