Saturday, January 15, 2011

Monogrammed alphabet tee

My oldest son is in preschool, and is learning to read the alphabet and short words, so I thought this little t-shirt would be fun for him to practice recognizing different letters.

alphabet shirt modelled
I used my computer to pick my fonts and arrange the letters, with a giant J for Joshua in the centre. Then I cut out the whole thing onto freezer paper to make a stencil (I’ve included some photos below, but if you need specifics, just Google freezer paper stencilling). I thought I was being clever by joining most of the letters, figuring that I would have only piece of freezer paper to iron down, but I completely forgot that I would be painting in the negative space, which actually meant I had to spend a couple minutes figuring out how the parts went back together. Not a big deal, just not what I expected.
Once everything was cut and placed, I ironed it onto our seemingly never-ending supply of preschooler sized plain white tees. LOVE these for crafts! It’s sort of hard to see the white freezer paper on white t-shirt details in the photo below, but if you squint a bit, you can see what I mean.
alphabet shirt stencil
Next step was to apply fabric paint. I used two colours of dimensional fabric paint from Walmart that happened to be in my stash, but I didn’t want the dimensional look that you get from a squeeze bottle, so I applied the paint with a foam brush from the dollar store. To stop the paint from soaking through the t-shirt, I cut the front off of a cereal box and slipped it inside the shirt, and then used the remaining box frame to keep the fabric from slipping around.
alphabet shirt in progress
I used two colours to create an informal monogram of my son’s initials. His middle name is after my grampa, who passed away just a month or so before I got pregnant, so he never knew about his first great-grandson to be. We don’t use Josh’s middle name often, so I liked having a chance to highlight his middle initial here.
After the paint has dried for about 10 minutes, CAREFULLY peel off the freezer paper to reveal your artistic genius.

I purposely keep one long fingernail to help with little jobs like peeling paper, but a pair of tweezers or an Exacto blade to help lift corners makes the job a lot faster.   (=
And voila!

alphabet shirt painted
Upon further inspection, I realized I forgot to add a W to the mix – rather ironic given that W was the preschool letter of the week – so I’ll have to go back and fix that. Oops! My youngest is two now, but I’m not afraid to claim mommy brain!
UPDATE!! Note the wee W at the bottom  (:
alphabet tee with W added closeup
 Happy weekend!

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  1. wow!!! I have been humming and hoing about the silhouette (i have luddite tendencies), but I absolutely love this. Great job, great project.

  2. It turned out great! I love that you left the w off, it makes me feel a little more normal, lol. Have a great day!

  3. Cute! I've never tried freezer paper...maybe I could give it a shot? Thanks for linking up to Mad Skills Monday!

  4. I love this shirt. I too have never tried freezer paper. I think it should be a goal of mine for 2011! Thank you for linking up to Sew Woodsy!

  5. Clever idea! This would be great to do on a canvas to hang in a child's room, too. Nice work!

  6. So cute!! I'm sure your little guy loves it! I've seen this idea before but I've never tried it, with your good instructions I might have to :)! Thanks for linking again this week, hope to see you every Monday at DWYH!

  7. Thank you again for linking up to Sew Woodsy! I've featured this shirt today!!! Please make sure you grab a featured button and display it proudly!

  8. I love this idea! I am going to have to try it for B! :)

  9. What a great idea! I love it!!!

    Thank you so much for linking up at For the Kids Fridays at I can't wait to see what you have to share this Friday!