Painted t-shirts are one of my go-to gifts for kids. They are so easy to tailor for each kid’s taste and level of individual quirkiness. Plus, the time to cut the stencil and paint is short enough that I don’t gasp when the recipient grows out of it in two minutes flat.
For this shirt, I embraced my inner nine year old. What’s better than owning a bearded dragon? Watching it eat lunch! Nom nom nom. Run little cricket, R U N !
You can see some variation in the lizard color on this photo; some of the paint went on a bit thicker, and it really shows up in the photos. In real life you barely see the variation, especially when the shirt is on a nine year old boy who is whizzing past you on a skateboard.
The lizard was done with a freezer paper stencil. I opened out the top of the shirt, put a paper bag inside of it, and stenciled the lizard right around the neck hole – its tail goes right around the back of the shirt. I did have some trouble with fabric buckling around the neckline; next time I will either have separate stencils for the front and back, or just apply it half at a time.
I cut the little crickets out of template plastic (thinner is easier), and then used a repositionable spray adhesive to keep the paint from running under it. The beauty of using a plastic template is reuse – I washed it and flipped it over for the second cricket. Originally I was going to paint more crickets on the back, but I didn’t leave myself enough time.
My arm and hand seem to be getting better, so I should be back to knitting and spinning soon. In the meantime, I’ve been exercising my embroidery skills. Photos soon!