Show & Tell

I thought I would put together a quick Show & Tell post (yes, I realize it’s not Wednesday).

I love the look of  a simple graphic style tee, especially for a little boy.  I’ve toyed with the idea of purchasing a silk-screening kit and making my own, but that can be a bit expensive and it’s a little time consuming.  Then it dawned on me; why not use rubber stamps and fabric paint?  It’s quick, easy, relatively inexpensive (depending on how crazy you want to go buying stamps) and really darn cute.  So gathered up my supplies and made a whole stack of onesies and shirts.

If you are tempted to make some for yourself (and I think you should), here’s what you’ll need-

1. A small scrap of knit material (I save old t-shirts and use them to cut up for different sewing projects)
2. A rubber stamp, of your choosing   3. Fabric paint   4. A cheap sponge bush  5. A t-shirt or onesie

I start by tracing a rectangle on my scrap of knit material.  It needs to be slightly bigger than the stamp you are using, so make sure you do a rough measurement.  After I’ve traced lightly around the shape I carefully cut out the rectangle.  Cotton knit likes to move around, so take your time cutting.

Next, I dipped my brush into the fabric paint (don’t dilute the paint, full strength works best)

Then I carefully brushed an even layer of paint over the stamp.

Once you have the paint on the stamp, you want to work quickly.  Center the stamp on the rectangle and apply firm, even pressure.  Carefully lift the stamp off and heat set the image with a hot iron.  I just hold my iron over the image and give it a quick blast of steam.

The brilliant part about using a scrap of fabric instead of applying the stamp directly to the shirt, is you give yourself the freedom to make mistakes (like this one).  Ruining a small rectangle of knit fabric is so much less irritating than ruining an entire t-shirt!

Real quick, just a couple of tips on choosing a stamp.  Try to buy stamps that have deep grooves.  A few that I bought were so shallow that the details didn’t show up on the fabric.  Also, the simpler the stamp the better. 

Now that you have your image heat set, center it to the front of the shirt and pin it.

Carefully sew all the way around the rectangle. 

You can use a straight or zig-zag stitch for this.  If there’s a tricky part to this project (and I’m not saying there is) this would be it.  Onesies are small. You don’t want to stretch them out while you are sewing and you don’t want to stitch the front of the shirt to the back, so go slow and be careful.  Always check to make sure the back of the shirt hasn’t gotten caught under the presser foot.

That’s it!  It’s really that simple.

I had fun trying different stamps, dying onesies, using a variety of colors.  I was concentrating mostly on making shirts for little boys but there are so many darling stamps that could be used for a little girl.

This one isn’t a stamped tee, but I threw it in because I loved the way it turned out!

As always, if you have any questions please feel free to ask  ~ April

17 thoughts on “Show & Tell

  1. Richgem

    Positively adorable! You could also stitch those stamped rectangles onto your awesome bags you make. I’m picturing a burlappy kind of fabric bag with the keys on it! Gosh, if you lived near me, I’d always be begging you to make this and make that! My daughter has a machine, but we both seem to be afraid of it. Dare me to dig it out and plug it in!

  2. H0LDfast

    oh my crazy goodness!!!!
    can i buy them all, please??!
    i think chad could pull off the dyed oneies look pretty well …. just sayin’
    ps, i was hoping the bold italics would help get my point across : )

  3. inanorchard

    @H0LDfast - Alli, you get me some onesies and I will make Chad a nice big stack :)   I was thinking about him as I was making them!

    @purpleamethyst76 - Oh yes Shanda!  I’m going to make some for G and J too.  I think this would work great for bigger boys!  I’d really like to try some little girl shirts as well.  Lots of fun to be had!

  4. lifeisadance

    And I feel SO incredibly honored to be the recipient of some of them! LOVE the simple graphics, it seems so Boden, or Gap, or super-duper expensive. Thank you!!! ♥


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