When I was a kid there was a store in my hometown called “Initial It”, and my dad used to love going in there to get personalized t-shirts for me and my sister. I had many a shirt emblazoned with “LIZZIE POOH” while my sister was “LUCKY LAURA”. I vividly recall one 3/4 sleeve scoopneck top with rainbow banding around the neckline (this was the 70s, after all) that read “ELIZABETH” in an arch over the chest. When I wore it to school one day in 3rd grade, our gym teacher, Dr. A, pretended he was having trouble reading it and announced me to be “Irving”, which unfortunately stuck with the boys straight through the end of 5th grade. Damn him.
Nonetheless I still love anything monogrammed or personalized. I also love having a fun easy craft to do with my kids, which is how Aesthetic Nest‘s recent scribble initial t-shirt tutorial caught my eye. With no camp last week, my boys and I spent a bleary, hot morning following the tutorial to make some fun t-shirts of their own design.
If you’ve never made a freezer paper stencil, it honestly couldn’t be easier. The main thing is to be sure you are actually using freezer paper rather than the kraft paper I tried the first time I did it.
Freezer paper is that stuff Sam the Butcher uses to wrap up meat – it’s paper with a wax coating on one side. You can buy it in the grocery store in the ziploc section – it’s even labeled “great for crafting”.
Step 1 is to print out the image of your choice onto regular paper, then trace it onto the paper (not shiny) side of your freezer paper. Then cut the image out with an exacto knife. (Coming soon I’ll show you how to make a full monogram! Coming soon I’ll also learn how to get better light for my photos.)
Iron the stencil shiny-side down onto the surface to be stenciled, whatever that may be, with the heat on medium. Then away you go! Anneliese used Sharpie fabric markers, but I picked up some Crayola ones. My kids scribbled away onto their t-shirts, both inside the stencil and more than a little on the paper outside.
Even a 2-year-old can do it!
Cute results, and my oldest just happens to be wearing his shirt today.
I also love to make my kids match, whether they like it or not. Before our summer vacation last year I made matching, personalized t-shirts for my boys and their cousins, using iron-on transfers from the office supply company. I made my initial images in Powerpoint by assembling various geometric shapes into a cute foresty-looking scene.
Then I saved the slide as a .jpg, went into my photo software, and “flipped” the image so it printed backwards, like a mirror. After trimming the image down, I ironed it onto the t-shirt, and voila! One year and several washings later we’re still in pretty good shape.
Cousins in matching t-shirts makes for a pretty cute photo.