Thursday, July 02, 2015


Okay, friends.  I know it has been like 25 years or so since I posted a tutorial of any sort.  There are many reasons for this that I could name:  I can sometimes be lazy.  I've only done cookies in the last year.  I have toddler twins.  So many reasons.  But, a couple of weeks ago an idea took hold of me, and I actually saw it out to fruition and sort of documented it for any who may also want to recreate this.  Or something better that you can think of using this technique.

So, I was shopping on the app of my favorite boutique and fell a bit in love with a watercolor tiger shirt.  Here's a screen shot of it, because it is now sold out.


It was also a bit pricey for me, and then I thought - maybe I could recreate it!  So, I set about to order a shirt that I thought I would like.  Amazon to the rescue.  I wanted something white and a little slouchy/comfy.  I found this shirt and got it in the mail two days ago.  At under $15, it wasn't super cheap, but I like that it had a style I wanted and is super soft.

So - for this project I relied heavily on my Silhouette machine, Freezer Paper (available at all grocery stores) and Matte Fabric Paint (Tulip brand like this but in several colors and available at most craft stores).  I purchased the digital file of a tiger head to cut out through the Silhouette online store.

If you don't have a Silhouette, you could search for "tiger head clip art" and print something out to trace.  You could cut the freezer paper with an exacto knife, though this will add time to your project.  I had my Silhouette cut the head out after adjusting a few of the lines to make it the size I wanted.

I ironed the main outline and the eyes onto the the shirt, centering as best I could.

Then I painted using these colors.


I used a lot more water than I normally would to get the "watercolor" effect.  I also marked with pins generally where the snout was and the "cheekbones" to help guide myself while painting.

This is what it looked like when I took the freezer paper off.

Because I messed up the face of the original freezer paper stencil I had cut, I had to cut an extra face out and ironed it over what I had done to make the stripes and paint the eyes.  I used much less water to get crisper lines.

I do love the results - though in retrospect, I would have made the tiger face a bit bigger.  Next time.  I googled actual tiger faces to try to get the eyes to look sort of legit.

Obviously, nothing is perfect about this little project, but I think it will be one of my favorite summer shirts to throw on.  Comfy, breezy and light, with a pop of neon and sparkle.  I highly recommend Freezer Paper stenciling.  There are a ton of better tutorials online if you need/want more details.  The possibilities are endless, and it takes very little paint, so the $6 a bottle doesn't seem like a lot when you get to use it forever.  I made shirts for both Lily and Bella's birthday parties using this technique.

Happy creating!