Saturday, April 11, 2009

Two new obsessions coming together...

A successful fifth week of commuting by bakfiets completed. Today as the rain started pouring early in the morning and didn't let up all day, I knew we wouldn't be out by biking today. Instead, I went for an indoor activity that I've been dreaming about-- bringing together my two new obsessions:

Bakfietsen + Freezer paper stenciling = New shirts for my boys

A couple of weeks ago when perusing the bakfietsen photo collection on Flickr, I came upon this and got terribly excited. I'd been thinking about making bakfiets t-shirts for the boys and Travis's design kicked my creative juices into gear. (By the way, I am a huge fan of Travis a.k.a I love reading of his adventures with his three boys and their bakfiets. I also adore how they decorate their cargo box for different occasions. You really need to check it out now if you haven't seen his snaps already.)

I learned about freezer paper stencilling for other bloggers and I decided to pay it forward by putting up my own tutorial just in case they were folks interested in learning how to do this as well. I've had a bunch of people ask, "What exactly is freezer paper?" It's pretty simple-- it's a roll of white paper, waxy on one side only, found in the supermarket with the aluminum foil, wax paper, parchment paper, etc.

1. Draw and color your design on the 'papery' side of the freezer paper. I drew this picture and then scanned it into the computer since I knew that I would need to make shirts for each of my three boys and this saves me from re-tracing each time. Also, I discovered that if I cut the freezer paper to the correct size, I could actually feed it right into my printer. Cool.

2. Cut out the colored part of your design. I use an x-acto knife on a craft mat but some folks use small scissors and you can simply cut on a piece of cardboard. Make sure you save the 'floating' pieces that you will need for your stencil. For example, the pieces inside the wheels....

3. With a warm iron, adhere the stencil to the shirt, waxy side down. One trick I learned for a really flat surface (easier to paint) and to stop the paint going all the way through to the back side of the shirt is to iron a piece of non-cut freezer paper to the inside of the shirt as well.

4. Get the 'floating' pieces you saved and one-by-one lay them in their proper place on your design. Again, waxy side down, press your warm iron on them to affix.

*After all the work it took to cut out the bakfiet stencil, I decided to make use of all parts and do a 'negative' stencil on a shirt for another son. Here I ironed the wax paper bakfiets right onto a shirt and made a frame around it. (The blue and green here are just marker-colored wax paper, not the finished print on the shirt.)

5. Using fabric paint, found at a craft store, paint around/over your stencil. If possible, paint into the center of the design as opposed to out out towards the edges. This helps to stop paint bleeding under the wax paper stencil.

6. Let dry. Some crafters report that they've had success peeling the stencil off right away, but I've been more cautious, letting the paint dry for several hours (even overnight).

7. Peel away the stencil-- very satisfying-- and reveal the design below. I cover the design with a tea towel and iron again. My fabric paint says to wait 72 hours before washing the newly printed shirt and to wash and dry inside out.


Jennifer said...

Hey, way cool! If you added bakfiets t-shirts (for adults too) to your Boys Like Pink site, this bakfiets fan would definitely buy one.

Dottie said...

Cute designs.

Andrea said...

AWESOME! These look great! And that is a very thorough, clear tutorial...Now I want to see one with three boy heads sticking out of the Bak.

Angela V-C said...

This is so great! Thanks for the instruction manual -- I really want to try this at home. Also I love your "boys like pink" shirts!!

Travis A. Wittwer said...

Those came out great. I am pretty fond of the MLB spoof, but the multi-colored idea you have works well. I like the box a different color. Sets it off. I also appreciate the step-by-step.

There is a market for these sorts of designs. I am not sure if it is cost effective, but I know that bakfiets buying parents would totally outfit their litten's in bakfiets shirts. Hmmmm.

Keep it going. You rock.