My nephews are pretty easy to please. They are often informing me that the current day is the “Best Day Ever”. Since they say it all the time and it’s super cute, I decided to make their very own shirts that loudly proclaim their very own catchphrase.
While I was working it out, I started thinking that while I have seen DIYs online about how to make the stencil, you don’t really see anything about the computer work you do beforehand if you’re making a custom text tee. So – here is my attempt at putting that tutorial out there on the internet. It may go a bit slowly, but I wanted to be sure to cover every step in detail for those out there who are less computer literate. If you’re a Geeky McGee like me, then you can skim over or completely skip the first part!
Because it seems that the Office suite is a more common program out there, this tutorial uses Microsoft Word. I’m not saying Word is the best program to use, you can complete this project with other programs like Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Publisher if you have access to them.
So, let’s turn on our computers and get Word loaded up! Commands will be put in like this: If you need to click file, then save it will look like: FILE–>SAVE
STEP 1: First we’re going to make the full document visible on your screen. This will help to determine what size you want your font to be. You can keep a piece of paper close by and compare what your screen looks like with the paper to kind of guess what size it will print out.
With your Word document open, go: VIEW–>PRINT LAYOUT. Go View–>ZOOM. On the window that pops up, click: WHOLE PAGE–>OK.
Next we are going to turn our page to behorizontal so that we can get larger words on the sheet and change the page margins so that we can use more of the space on the paper.
Go FILE–>PAGE SET UP. On the pop up window, change the MARGINS area to 0.25 for Top, Bottom, Left, Right. Leave Gutter and Gutter positon AS IS. Switch the page to be horizontal by clicking the LANDSCAPE button. Hit OK.
STEP 2: Type in the words that you want to turn into a stencil. Here I typed in Best Day Ever.
CONTINUING STEP 2: Use the enter key to break up the saying so that you have one word, or group of words, per line as you would like it on your shirt.
Select the words with your cursor (or click the Control key on your keyboard and the A key at the same time). Choose the font that you want to use. I recommend Arial Black. It comes on most systems and is really easy to use with stencils, but use the font you prefer. If you want to look for a new font – check out last week’s post on getting and using new fonts (for free).
Next, we need to make the text large enough for the stencil. Start with a number around 130. Type it into right next to where you change the font. Type in a larger or smaller number until you are happy with the size.
If you want your words to be centered, now is the time to do that. Click the center key as show in the image above. You can also make the words justified to the right by clicking to button to the right of the center button. Or you can make the words justified to where they will stretch the entire distance available by clicking the button to the right of the right justify button.
STEP 3: If you want to make your words all capitalized, you can do one of two things. One is to go back and retype the words, or you can go: FORMAT–>FONT on the pop up check the ALL CAPS box–>OK
STEP 4: Print the document. If you need the words larger or smaller, use it as a guide while changing the type size on screen.
So – you have your words ready to turn into a stencil. Now time for the hands on portion of the DIY!
STEP 1: Cut apart the words on your printed sheet. Place them together at the distance that you want them to be from one another. Tape the sheets together.
STEP 2: Place the words underneath a piece of freezer paper with the stickier side down. Trace the words onto the freezer paper with a pencil. Be sure to keep any of the shapes that appear inside of the letters. For example, you’ll need to keep the top and bottom loops in a letter B. I use identifying marks to help me know which piece goes where in each letter for the next step. After you have cut out all of your letters, trim the freezer paper so that you have space between the cut stencil and the edge, but can easily see where you are placing it on your shirt.
STEP 3: Place and iron on the larger portion of the stencil. The sticky side will be facing down. Put all of the shapes you cut out of the letter insides and iron those down as well.
STEP 4: Time to paint! Use either fabric paint, or purchase acrylic paints and a bottle of “textile medium” from a hobby store (it will be near the acrylic paints and it will be in a 2 ounce bottle that looks just like the acrylic paint bottles). Mix the acrylic paint and the textile medium together as the bottle states.
Using a small amount of paint on your brush, make quick taps on the fabric inside of the stencil. You’re going to pop the brush straight down and straight back up again. Make one pass over the fabric and allow to dry. Continue making passes until you are happy with the coverage. If you want your text to look older, only do 2 or so coats of paint. Do 4 or 5 if you want fresh, even coverage.
STEP 5: After allowing the paint to fully dry, peel of the freezer paper stencil. For some reason, this is the fun part for me! If you put on many coats, you may need to use tweezers or something similar to help out peeling the smaller pieces up. Set the paint by running a hot iron over it, or follow the specific directions from the manufacturer on your paint or textile medium.
WELLL… That was a long one! The great thing is after you do it once, it’s so easy! You may not have a single shirt in the house that isn’t saying something by the time you’re tired of freezer paper stenciling!Written by Allison Murray - Visit Website