Sunday, January 31, 2010


My son recently won a wrestling tournament, so we wanted to letter the back of his tournament shirt with the word "CHAMPION"  for him.  The image on the front of the shirt was done in silver and red, so we wanted to use something similar for the back.

After searching high and low for iron-on letters that would work (glittery silver letters just weren't going to cut it for a H.S. sophomore), I decided to try my hand at painting them using my Cricut Expression to cut a stencil.

I had read many online posts about freezer paper T-shirts, but thought I would try using contact paper as my stencil.  I put my contact paper on my cutting mat with the paper side down, cut out my word with the Cricut, peeled the paper backing and stuck it to the shirt.  I made sure the edges were stuck down REALLY well, so that the paint wouldn't seep under.

I used a metallic silver acrylic paint called Lumiere by Jacquard that I picked up at my local Jo-Ann's store.  The first coat of paint was applied very thin, just to help seal the edges of the contact paper to the shirt.  I then painted the shirt again with a thicker coat of paint.  After letting the paint dry for a day, I heat-set the paint with my iron.
I was pretty pleased with my first try at this; it even went through the wash well the first time.  My son liked it, and better yet, so did his teammates.  They all wanted to know how he got the back to look so much like the words on the front.  Now, I'm afraid I am soon to be team "shirt letterer" as well as the team "muffin maker".  They swear I make the best muffins - even though they're simply out of a box.  Teenagers....they'll eat anything.

I am not the first to do this kind of craft, and won't be the last.  I watched MANY videos and read MANY blogs about painting T-shirts.  I wanted to give you a link to a GREAT resource for painting shirts that I went back to several times before I tried this.  Monique at Monique Griffith Designs did a great shirt using vinyl as her stencil.  You can see her step-by-step directions by clicking HERE.  She has done others including a great pink "bug" before CHA, just look for them on her blog as well.

1 comment:

Monique Griffith said...

Your shirt turned out great! Glad you found my directions to be so helpful. You really did a wonderful job!


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