Street Art Style T-Shirts Part 2

Yesterday, I spray-painted a plain t-shirt for my husband.  It’s best to let the paint dry overnight, even though I wanted to peel back the stencil immediately!

Notice the tape on the edges of the stencil.  I usually use masking tape, but in a pinch packing tape will do.  Just don’t iron the tape to the shirt.  Trust me.  The freezer paper peels away without leaving a residue.  I took this off in one piece, but I don’t know why I bothered because I don’t think I can re-use an old stencil.

Here’s the finished stencil.  I might refine the hand if I use this design again.  I had a little seepage under the wing area.  If you’re very worried about that then spray it in two thinner coats than I used- about an hour between coats. As it is, the seepage on the wings doesn’t bother me.  I’ll let the shirt set another day or two and wash it, which should remove the seepage and tiny bit of overspray.

Unfortunately, my husband was not happy with the photos I took- I’ll get him tomorrow when we’re doing photos for my Sewing Foundations class.

This is the original image I made into a stencil.  My husband has a fondness for monkeys on t-shirts, he almost doesn’t wear any other kind of shirt.  I like his monkey shirt habit, so my t-shirt artworks always feature primates.  I always start with an arresting image.

According to Metro News UK, the orphaned baby macaque and pigeon are inseparable.  They look like tranquility in fur and feathers.  I wonder how things worked out for them?

If you’d like to use my stencil, please use this pdf I made.  Just cut out the gray areas and go for it.  Check out Uta’s embellish-along, she’ll be playing with stenciling, too!

Heidi (from Brisbane) asked in the comments yesterday if I could run a stenciling class.  I’m finishing up the planning for my new “Sewing Foundations” class, it’s taking up all of my teacher brain cells!  The logistics of figuring out a stenciling-only class right now makes my head hurt. 

However–  My new Sewing Foundations class covers three simple and useful projects.  I like the pieces I chose for the class, not the least because they’re easy to customize/embellish. (I’d be happy to facilitate a little stenciling on the side!)   I’ll show you tomorrow, I’m really pleased to finally be able to share it!


  1. That’s come out really nicely Steph. If you don’t mind I would love to ‘borrow’ your idea to use at school. I think it might be a whole lot more interesting than dimensional fabric paint for many.

  2. Hi Steph
    Would love to know more about the Sewing Foundations Classes.. Also can’t open the Monkey & Pigeon pdf, for some reason it comes up with “can’t find page”.. did a very basic stencil this afternoon, a Goose for my Niece..I now have a purpose for the roll of Reynolds I have had for a number of years…so thank you for the inspiration..

  3. Yes! Tomorrow! I promise!

    I fixed the pdf, no idea what was wrong so I just re-uploaded… :) I’m so pleased to know you’re having fun with this.

      • haha Steph, I don’t quilt!!I don’t have the patience, bought it to print photos etc on fabric, When Lil started school I made her Library bag and printed a clipart picture for the front and appliqued it on. The only downfall is they don’t wash well, the picture fades after first wash..

  4. I love your class name sewing foundations, ots so exciting, better than sewing basics, beginners etc….i have no idea how to do stenciling and too would love to learn as I am better at actually physically learning how to do it verses reading how to do it in a book, sometimes I cant comprehend it. Thanks for the update!

  5. That is so cute. I have no idea what freezer paper is though. I don’t know if we have an equivalent in Canada.

  6. The story of the monkey and the pigeon is hysterical. I love this project! For those looking for some freezer paper, it’s got wax on one side and paper on the other. It’s different from waxed paper which is waxed on both sides. You definitely wouldn’t want to put your iron down on the waxy parts. Since freezer paper is frequently used in quilting for foundation piecing, you can definitely get it online, too!

  7. I love your stencil – looking forward to seeing the finished tshirt.
    By the way how do you find the paint wears through washing etc? I’ve used printable iron on transfer paper and fabric paint before but never ordinary spray paint

    • Well, the shirts I did for him last Christmas are still going strong. It does fade a little and soften but that’s all. I found it was rather fast.

      I’ll definitely show a picture of the finished t-shirt, it’s just getting that picture!

  8. have just done the reverse of the goose I cut out last night, the original didn’t turn out so well, my fault entirely. Just have to wait now for it to dry.. Steph how did you iron it to set the design??

    • I peeled off the stencil, put a scrap piece of cloth over the design and pressed on cotton setting. Some of the excess paint came off, no bigs. Just a few little chunks.

  9. That looks fantastic. I may have to make my son a bunch of t-shirts now.. if I can find freezer paper anywhere. (And the story behind the picture is so cute. Baby animals are adorable.)

  10. I DO use freezer paper for freezing foods; and sometimes just to wrap food for a picnic. I like it because it’s sturdier than waxed paper. Have never baked with it, though. It’s found in the grocery store, in the same place as plastic film, zipper bags and aluminum foil. Have used it — with mixed results — for applique. I prefer to use something stiffer for stencils. To keep the paint from washing out of your garment, be sure to press the finished stenciled area with a hot iron. This will set the paint into the fibers. I have even used latex house paint successfully to stencil fabric, and the ironing trick kept it from peeling off/washing out.

  11. Pingback: Finished Object: “I Choo Choo Choose You” T-Shirt in Red Bamboo « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World

  12. Pingback: Sewing with Jersey and Knits: A Heap of Links | Bygone Glamour

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