Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What is it?

Update: It's zucchini bread muffins. That was quite an anticlimactic guessing game.

Since I can't think of anything new to post, I'm blatantly stealing my sister's idea of "guess the image". What's inside ? :)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Stencil time!

Want to add some unique t-shirts to your wardrobe? Make a stencil and bust out some fabric paint!

It's really quite easy! All you need is:
  • some printable transparencies
  • an X-acto knife
  • a decent paint program
  • a shirt (I like the cheap $3 ones at Hobby Lobby)
  • some fabric paint (also Hobby Lobby).
I didn't think to photograph all of the steps until I was nearly done, but I think you can figure it out. The first part is finding an image you want to use. Not all images will work, it is best to find one with a good contrast of dark and light areas.

For this shirt I decided to take several images and Photoshop them together to make a funnier image. If you just want to use one image, all you have to do is use your paint program to desaturate it (make it grayscale) and then tweak the brightness and contrast. Basically ju
st set the contrast to full and then adjust the brightness as needed until it looks like a decent stencil.

Can you tell what it is? :) Ok, before printing you need to check the image for "islands" of white space surrounded by black space. Just make sure you can cut out all the black areas without any white areas floating in the middle, or else there is nothing to hold them in place to be painted over. If you have any "islands" you can usually just incorporate a solid line to it in your design somehow.

Ok, next is the least fun part of the whole thing - cutting out the stencil. This can take hours. I prefer to do the cutting while watching a game on TV or something, if you sat and did nothing but cut the stencil you'd go insane. Once it is all cut out I recommend putting a board or chunk of cardboard in your shirt to make it flat, then put something heavy on the edges of your stencil to hold it firmly in place (like the tape dispensers in the picture above). I use sponge paint brushes and tap them over the stencil rapidly rather than brushing. Brushing will lift the small detailed portions of your stencil and paint in areas you don't want painted- learn from my past mistakes! According to the instructions on the paint (your mileage may vary), let it dry flat for four hours. I like to leave the stencil on while it dries because usually the shirt soaks in the paint and you will have to do some touch up. Re-centering the stencil is no fun at that point. When it's dry very carefully remove the stencil and enjoy your creation!

I flipped the mirror image so it looks like it really should instead of reversed.

It's He-man and Skeletor, Master Attorneys at Law of the Universe!! Don't they look awesome in their suits and ties? I think so.

Here is the original image in case you want to try it, although I would not recom
mend it for a beginner.

Update: Here is a better picture...