Wednesday, July 13, 2011

DIY Freezer Paper Stencil Tutuorial

Well, the long-awaited tutorial is here. About a week ago, I found out that you can make stencils for t-shirts, bags, pillows, etc. out of freezer paper. It looked pretty simple and freezer paper is cheap so I decided to give it a go. Nathan and I decided to make t-shirts because the Harry Potter premiere is coming up and we wanted to have awesome shirts for such a momentous occasion.
Here's what you'll need:
a t-shirt
freezer paper (about $4 for 150 sq. feet at Wal-Mart)
a pen (or a printer-more on that in a moment)
an Exacto knife
an iron
a paintbrush or sponge
paint (we used acryllic because that was what we had on hand, but fabric paint will work, too)

Let's get started! I don't have pictures for the first step because 1) I'm a slacker, and 2) I was too excited about making the shirts to stop and take pictures. Lame, I know. I will be better next time, I promise.
Ok, first, you will need to decide on a design and put it on the freezer paper. I put a lightning bolt on the back of my shirt and Nate just free-handed that for me so he drew it directly on the freezer paper. We put words on the front of the shirts and I wanted a specific font, so I printed out the phrases we wanted. Here is where the tape comes in handy. We simply taped the freezer paper on top of the computer paper so that it would stay still as we traced our design. Important Note: Your design needs to be traced on the papery side of the freezer paper, not the waxy side. (I have read that you can cut the freezer paper to the same size as normal computer paper and print your design directly on the paper. This would certainly save time, but as I don't have a personal printer and have not tried it, I cannot personally recommend it. I have heard that it works well with normal printers, but could cause problems in larger, industrial-type printers).
After you have traced your design onto the freezer paper, you need to cut it out. An Exacto knife makes this pretty easy. Make sure you save the little inside pieces (i.e the little circles that go inside a lowercase 'e' or 'o') of your letters or picture because you will  need them later on. Also, make sure you put a cutting board under the paper so you don't ruin a table or work surface (Thankfully, I'm not speaking from experience here!)

Once you have cut the inside out of the design, your stencil is ready to be ironed on! Simply put it waxy-side down on your t-shirt and iron it on. Make sure that all of the edges (both inside and out) are completely secured to the shirt so that the paint does not seep through. This is also the time when you will want to iron any of the little pieces on.

Now you simply need to paint inside the stencil. Nathan and I used paintbrushes for the front sides of our shirts and then I used a sponge for the back of my shirt. Both the paintbrush and the sponge worked equally well, so use whichever you are more comfortable with. We both needed to paint two coats on our shirts, but that may only be because we were painting light-ish colors on a black t-shirt.
Once the paint has dried, just carefully pull the freezer paper off and you're all set!

Seriously guys, this is so simple, not to mention, cheap! Nate already has plans for putting one of his own drawings on a t-shirt. As soon as I get to Hobby Lobby to buy some canvas bags, I plan on decorating a few of those as cute, but inexpensive, personalized gifts. There might just be a onesie project planned for the near future, too (Hi Sean!). :)

If you try this, let me know! I would love to see pictures!
Thanks for tuning in for my very first tutorial! I have more planned and will hopefully be posting a few within the next few weeks!
P.S. I will be posting the pictures of our finished shirts on Friday, the day of the movie premiere!

The Maintenance Man's Wife

On the way to work this morning, we passed a house that we drive by every day that I have never really paid any attention to. 
Nate commented, "Those guys are always selling something weird. Now they're selling bobcats." My eyebrows shot up and my jaw dropped just a little bit.
"Bobcats??! I want to see!", I exclaimed as I twisted around in my seat, trying to catch a glimpse of their fenced-in yard. And there they were, prancing around the yard...NOT! Much to my dismay, I saw two big ol' pieces of Bobcat machinery parked in their front yard. I spun around immediately to find Nate staring at me with a look of awe on his face. Then we both just started cracking up.
Nate rolled his eyes. "Seriously?" he asked.
"What?! I'm not a maintenance man. When I hear 'bobcat', I think of the animal, not the machine!", I exclaimed defensively.
We just laughed again.
As glad as I am that my husband is a maintenance man who is very handy around the house, I sure wish that just a little bit of his expertise in all things maintenance would rub off on me!! Haha!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Toothbrush Wars

A conversation between Nathan and I as we brushed our teeth the other night:

Nate: Your toothbrush is a lot louder than mine.
Julie: Because mine is way better than yours!

A little bit of competition is healthy in a marriage, right?? 

Keepin' It Classic, Baby!

I bought my first tomato pin cushion last night.
My mom has had one of these for as long as I can remember.
I know what you're thinking..."Julie, does owning this classic sewing accessory immediately make you more well-rounded, mature, and feminine all at once?"
Why yes, yes it does.

P.S. Photo courtesy of the hot guy I'm married to.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

DIY Pillow Slipcovers and Pillows!

Woo hoo! I have finally found a material that I like at a decent price so soon I will be making throw pillows for our living room! We found our couches on Craig's List at a great price over a year ago and we covered them so that they would match our living room and they do look great, but the arms on these things are not comfortable at all. We love cuddling on the couch to watch movies, so the pillows are a necessity. Nate saved three pillows from being thrown away last year and they are very comfortable, but ugly. I have been talking about covering them ever since I saw them, but I just can't ever seem to find a material that I like that is also decently priced. This weekend, I finally settled on a couple of solid colors and I bought the material and thread so this project is at least started. I also bought some stuffing so that I could make a few extra small throw pillows as well. I am so excited to finally be making these! I just hope that this project is as easy as I am imagining it to be. I am only making basic pillows/slipcovers this time, but I do have my eye on a very cool rosette pillow that I would like to attempt if this project is successful. My mother is an amazing seamstress so I'm counting on her genes for this one. Now I just need to sweet-talk my mom- my beautiful, wonderful, smart, pretty, awesome (Are you reading this, mom??)- into letting me borrow her sewing machine! :)
Pictures will be posted just as soon as the project is complete!