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Homemade Christmas

Every Christmas I try to give a couple of things that are homemade. It not only cuts down on the spending to some degree but it brings out the true meaning of Christmas...the Gift of Giving. Today's item I have created for the girls in my book club. Every month we read a book that has been turned in to a movie. We take turns hosting so that at the end of the month we can meet up to watch the movie and then talk about and compare the two together. This month it is my turn to host and I figured with it being so close to Christmas that I would create something that they could take home to use again and again. For this project I chose a screen printed bag...it will come in handy for hauling their books, snacks and more back and forth from book club meet up every month.

For today's craft you will need the following to get started:

Freezer Paper
Exacto Knife or Die Cut Machine (I use the Cricut Expression but I am wishing for a Silhouette for Christmas)
Fabric Paint (Acrylics also work)
Sponge Brush
Fabric to Paint on
Drawn or Printed Design

To start off this Homemade gift you will need to either draw out your design like I did here...

or find a design that you like online and print it out. If you are going to be using a design online make sure that it it a free one or at the very least that you are not going to be selling your final product ...don't want to get into trouble for stealing someones design.

Either draw or print your design on to the matte paper side of your piece of Freezer Paper...you want to leave the shiny side for sticking to your fabric later on.

Something to consider:  If you will be cutting this design out by hand you might want to consider using a simpler design. The more complicated you make it the more time consuming and challenging it will be to cut it out.

Once you have decided on your design you can either have your Die cut machine cut it out like I did...

Or take your exacto knife and very carefully cut out all the way around either side of your black lines.

With your design all cut out, it is time to plug in the iron...I set mine to the cotton setting. You don't want to heat it much hotter or the paper won't stick as well and instead will start to warp and bubble.

Taking your fabric lay it flat on your ironing board and one at a time lay out your pieces where you want them to go. Keep in mind that wherever you have paper you will not have paint.

Oh! and one more thing...don't forget to throw in a piece of thick cardboard under where your paint is going to go...otherwise you will end up with the paint bleeding through to the the back side of your bag or tshirt...Never a good thing.

Once you are satisfied with your layout and it is all stuck down with a hot iron, it is now time for some paint. I use a sponge brush as I find stippling with a brush works better than brushing with a brush. It helps to push the paint in to the fabric rather that allowing it to just sit on the surface. Plus you are less likely to run into the issue of the paper lifting up, ruining your stencil and in turn your art piece if you stipple rather than brushing.

With your paint all in place you can either set it aside to dry on its own or if you are impatient like me you can use a hair dryer or heating tool to help it along. The hair dryer and heating tool can leave burn marks in the fabric if held too close so please be extremely careful not to not do that and you will be fine. I find that no more than 4 inches close to the fabric seems to work just fine...but test it out on a leftover scrap of fabric first as yours may be hotter than mine.

If your paint is all dry now you can peel off the stencil to reveal your art.


Pretty isn't it? The best thing is that it is so easy and you can put this on anything...T-shirts, Bags, Scarves, Blankets, Purses, even shoes...the possibilities are endless. I will be using this technique with vinyl to create a stencil and paint some custom headphones for JrBear for Christmas...Gotta Love Homemade!

Now Go Be Brave...and paint your way into someones heart this Christmas!


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