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DIY Freezer Paper Stenciled T-Shirt + Butterfly Template Printable

I thought I’d write a final update on the freezer paper stenciled butterfly t-shirt from a couple weeks ago. Those of you who follow this blog know that the original project ended in a craft fail, followed by an update that showed how I remade the shirt into a cute tank top for my daughter. However, that still didn’t leave me with a gift for my sister, which was the whole reason I started that project in the first place!

In the previous post, I shared how I was given a pack of Elmer’s Painters to review. According to the package, these acrylic paint markers can be used on any surface, even fabric. The only stipulation is to “heat set fabric before laundering, wash & dry on delicate cycle.” That got me thinking… and eventually I decided I would give it another try, using the markers instead of my usual screen printing ink.

I bought another of the same purple shirt and updated the design I had originally created with the new colors (Elmer’s Coral and Lilac). Be sure to wash and tumble dry the fabric you choose to stencil to take into account any shrinkage that may occur.

As before, I printed out my butterflies on craft freezer paper and cut them out carefully with my xacto knife. One cool thing about getting a do-over is that I remembered to put the inner pieces of the large butterfly back on before ironing it down in place.

This photo shows the process I used – instead of rubbing the markers across the fabric, I laid the color on by dotting the tip down onto the fabric, starting with the stencil edges and then filling in the center. I wanted the crispest edge possible. This process would be more time consuming on a larger image, but these butterflies were small and hardly took any time at all.

I waited until the ink was dry and later that same day I peeled off the stencil. Don’t wait too long or you’ll have problems pulling up the paper and may damage your work.

Ta-da!

So much better than before!

The directions aren’t specific about how long to heat set the stenciled image. Heat setting just means to give it a good press with a dry iron to help fuse the paint to the fabric. I pressed the shirt inside out with the image directly on my ironing board, before spending a minute or so ironing it directly. It put off a bit of acrid smoke, but not too bad. If you were unsure you could put a layer of old t-shirt over your image and then press it, in case you are worried about residue coming off on your iron or board.

Because this was a gift, I don’t know yet how well the image will wear. I’ll try and update that info here, if I ever find out.

What do you think? Want to make this t-shirt or one like it?

Here is a free Butterfly template printable pdf for you to download and print for your own project (or click on the butterfly graphic above). These butterflies could dress up anything from a onesie to a day bag – just enlarge it as needed. Enjoy!

P.S. There is still time to enter the giveaway for a set of Elmer’s Paint Markers AND a $25 Walmart gift card if you leave a comment on the previous post before midnight tonight, April 4th!

 


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DIY iPhone 4 Bumper Idea + Template

I finally joined the ranks of the many iPhone carrying mamas this week. After constantly reaching for my husband’s iPhone, “borrowing” it during travels, and having him phone me while I’m out to tell me I received a work email that needs attention, I figured it was high time I got my own. Call me a brainwashed consumer, fine, but ask me what the weather is going to be, directions to the nearest coffee shop, or which apps are best for entertaining toddlers, and I’ll be able to show you with the touch of a button.

Brand spankin’ new out of the box, the new iPhone 4 is a pretty sight – shiny, hefty and fingerprint-free. But that doesn’t last – at least for me. Not only is the iPhone shared by my toddler, but just three days after I got it, I forgot and left it on my lap after a phone call in the car. When I got out of the car, it dropped off my lap and onto the pavement, chipping tragically in 3 places. Very sad indeed.

So, I got to thinking – how can I make an inexpensive, temporary bumper to protect my new investment while waiting the 4-6 weeks for the free case from Apple to arrive in the mail? A quick search pulled up this idea, but I don’t own one of those rubber “Live Strong” bracelets. Next I tried modifying this free template from case-mate, originally designed for the iPhone 3Gs. It didn’t fit. Then, I remembered a sheet of adhesive craft foam I picked up at the craft store (was it Michaels?) for about $1. Perfect!

How to make your own iPhone 4 bumper:

1. Cut a strip of adhesive or “sticky back” craft foam 12mm wide (.47 inch) using a ruler and an X-Acto knife. Although the iPhone 4 is only 9.3mm (0.37 inch) thick, this gives about a 1mm (0.04 inch) overhang on both the face and the back of the iPhone to act as a buffer during impact.

Ideally, you’d be able to cut just one strip about 345mm (13.58 inches) long to wrap completely around the perimeter, but since my foam sheet was letter-sized, I had to do it in two pieces.

2. Cut out holes within your strip: approx. 47mm x 5 mm (1.85″ x 0.196″) for the speakers and dock connector, 30mm x 5mm (1.18″ x 0.196″) for the volume and ring/vibrate controls, and 7mm x 5mm (0.275″ x 0.196″) for the headphone jack (7mm x 5mm). I left the on/off switch covered, which doesn’t affect it’s usage.

3. Carefully remove the backing and apply it to the sides of the iPhone, keeping about a 1mm overhang on each edge (centering the foam on the steel antenna band as neatly as possible) . If you need to, join two separate pieces to completely cover the perimeter, slightly pulling on the foam to stretch it only if you need to bridge the gap where the pieces join.

And there you have it, a cheap and easy DIY alternative to the more expensive bumpers for sale. Even better, craft foam sheets come in a rainbow of colors (I just happened to only have black and white on hand). While possibly not ideal, it is working great so far (with no dropped calls).

Not sure where to cut out all the appropriate holes? Try this free bumper template.


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Bird silhouette magnets + template pdf

I’ve been meaning to make a little handmade something to put in the mail for someone who likes birds. I finally sat down and came up with this – felt bird magnets! After choosing some simple silhouettes, I cut them out of stiffened eazy felt. Then I cut the same shapes slightly smaller out of a re-used piece of adhesive magnet to apply to the back. I hope she likes them!

Would you like to make a set of your own? If so, you can click the image above or download the bird silhouette template pdf here.


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What nifty device can you make with paper, film and a Coke can?

I found a very interesting book on the new arrival shelf at the library yesterday. A book called Build Fun Paper Cameras: Take Eye-Catching Pinhole Photos. My first thought was Hmm, those look pretty cool! My second thought was They still make 35mm film?! It is almost hard for me to believe that everyone just doesn’t use digital these days. I love the instant satisfaction of seeing an image onscreen (especially handy when I notice a detail that needs fixing). Film cameras don’t give you that amount of control, and that idea is… intriguing.

So, I’m curious. I decided to check the book out and experiment. What if I had to physically rely on myself to manage the exposure (and not just tell my digital camera how long to do it for me)? I mean literally open and close the shutter by hand, and not with the press of a button? What would it be like to manually make my own equipment? And wind the film myself? I’m guessing the worst that can happen will be that none of my photos come out, but even so I’ll have made some pretty nifty little paper cameras. So, if you’ll excuse me – I have a Coke can to cut and pierce, film to find and purchase, and 8 sheets of freshly printed card stock to cut, fold and assemble.

To be continued…


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Valentine Idea: Day 5 – Free Printable Cards

Print your own card – I had a little extra time to whip up two cards that are free to download and print! The “Your love means the world to me” flower card measures 3.5 x 5 inches and the diagonal label card that reads “Thoughts for you, my love, on Valentine’s Day” measures 4 x 6 inches. There are two versions of the flower card, one with the flowers printed on the cover and the other with the flowers printed on the side. The side flowers are there so you can cut them out separately and adhere them with foam tape for a 3-dimensional look (like in the photo). Enjoy!


Download version 1 | version 2 (3D)


Download Valentine Label Card

Need some more kid-friendly cards? Try this free Light-up Valentine printable.


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Bias-tape Baby Bib Tutorial and Template


You can download this bib template or just freehand one

Another project that I tried while visiting Chloe’s Grandma Sandy was how to make a bias tape bib. Back when I was pregnant I had read that bibs with ties were a choking hazard, so when we were yard-saling we mostly picked up velcro versions. Turns out the ties are SO much better because you can get a custom fit around the neck, and baby can’t pull it off like she can with the velcro. Two of my favorite bibs were ones I won from Quilt Baby (now called The Modern Baby Co.), so Grandma Sandy showed me how to make something similar, while also giving me an introduction to bias tape. Here’s what I learned:

Materials for Bib
fabric piece for the cover (approx 8″x8″)
terry cloth for backing (approx 8″x8″)
bias tape (approx 54″)

1. Cut out the desired shape from a piece of cover fabric (front) and a piece of terry cloth (back). This is an ideal project for scraps. The one in the photo is about 7.75 x 8 inches. You can download, print and trace this bib template, or just freehand one.

2. Pin the two pieces together, pretty sides out.

3. Starting from the top corner, sandwich the raw edges of the fabric between a first piece of bias-tape, from one side to the other, pinning as you go. Keep in mind that the longer side of the bias-tape goes on the back so that it will “catch” when you sew it down (see this great bias-tape tutorial and video). We’re using pre-made bias tape that is 1/2″ wide folded, but you can learn to make your own from this video .

4. Cut the bias tape on both ends so that it is flush with the fabric, or just slightly longer. Sew this piece of tape down with a straight stitch, close to the edge of where the tape meets the fabric, but being careful not to fall off the edge of the tape. If it is important to you, match the top thread to the top fabric and the bottom thread to the terrycloth.

4. Next, sandwich and pin a second piece of bias-tape around the remaining outside perimeter, being sure to leave enough tape on both ends (about 11-12″) to form the strings for tying. Fold under the raw edge tips of the tape ties and tuck inside itself for a neat appearance.

5. Starting on one end of the tape, sew the tape together, all the way around until you get to the other side. Now just snip the threads and your done!


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Make Your Own Last-Minute Father's Day Card

As usual, I put off making David a Father’s Day card until the very last minute. Being his very first Father’s Day as a father, I didn’t want to just let it go, either, so I whipped up this card with a few minutes to spare. As you can probably see from the photo, I took a blank card and cut the word “Dad” out with an exacto knife. Then I glued some colored paper behind it to make it pop. Normally, pink wouldn’t have been my first choice, but being a last minute project didn’t make for many options. I figured David was man enough to handle it anyhow. Want to make your own? You can download and print this pdf template (originally sized for a 5×7 card).


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Fast food cupcakes by Bakerella

….

Aren’t these hamburger shaped cupcakes fantastic? And check out those sugar cookie french fries! Bakerella has an awesome tutorial complete with download and print packaging templates. If I thought they’d get eaten around here I would definitely give it a try for Father’s Day. Which makes me wonder… does anyone know of a tutorial for fly fishing themed cupcakes?
Via Twig & Thistle


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Making Freezer Paper Stencils (free pdf download)


What do you think of Chloe’s new tee shirt? See below to download the dragonfly stencil.

Freezer paper stencils are awesome! Not as “perfect” as screen printing, but easy and fun for single projects just the same. Watch out family, you may all be getting stenciled items for Christmas this year…

Wading through all the tutorials available, I found this one to be pretty helpful. Originally, I hadn’t been able to find freezer paper at my local supermarket (although I did see it recently at Fred Meyer). I opted to go with the large freezer paper sheets from Dharma Trading Post, since I was going to order some t-shirt blanks anyway (1,2,3,4). The nice thing about the rolls though, is you can make your stencil any length, but I think I read somewhere that craft freezer paper may have a better bond.

I’ve tried two brands of ink so far – Speedball Fabric Screen Printing Ink (which my husband already had from previous screen printing projects) and Jacquard Professional Screen Printing Ink. I don’t know if the Speedball ink was just too old, but it took two applications to get good coverage. Afterwards, the directions say to iron for 3-5 minutes on each side to set, which seemed like a really long time. I prefer the Jacquard. It applied better, nicely staining the fabric, and just needed one application for full coverage. Plus, it only took 1 minute to heat set.

While some of the ideas shown above are mine, others came from places like Arthur’s Silhouette Clipart Plants and Animals and Briar Press. I’d love to hear in the comments section if anyone has a favorite, because sometimes I just can’t decide. Also, Greta was sweet to post a photo of the yellow butterfly top and matching socks I made for her daughter Ava’s first birthday. Want to make your own butterfly, dragonfly or flower shirt?

**Click here to download the free stencil pdf.**

Postscript: I also have bird silhouette templates available to download that I made for another project, which would also work well as freezer paper stencils.

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