Friday, August 14, 2009

Back to school...

Things have been hot and decidedly summery around here but the calendar tells me that it is time to get ready for the beginning of school. I honestly can't believe that it's that time again...time to inventory everything from socks and pencils to class schedules and aspirations for the new year. When I was a girl, I loved this time of year— I have a real thing for school supplies and books and smell and feel of a new school year. I still love all of those things, but as a mom I have to say that this time of year has a way of sneaking up on me. I am never quite ready to let go of summer and get back into the routine of school schedules, homework and all that good stuff. Maybe it's because school starts in mid-August around these parts and for some reason I am convinced that it's not supposed to begin until after Labor Day. Anyway, this year we are adding a few new projects to make the getting ready more fun. We are just getting started, but here's what we've been up to so far...

A little printing a la maya*made and the freezer paper method. A big shout of thanks to Maya for her amazing and inspirational blog. This was our first attempt at this kind of printing and it was a huge success. I highly recommend this project.

First we found an inspiring image. We chose a bold, graphic design so it would be easier to print. Kids' books are great sources for these images. We especially love Lois Ehlert (this was from an old favorite, Mole's Hill). Love that happy face...

Then we drew our version of the image on the freezer paper and used a craft knife to cut around the image. We placed the freezer paper stencil, waxy side down, on old T-shirt and ironed the freezer paper to the shirt...

Then we put a piece of cardboard inside the T-shirt and painted it with a sponge brush and textile paint. You can use textile paint, silk screen paint or acrylics for this. We used Jaquard's textile paint. This paint is great and is really easy to use. It needs to be heat set. Ironing over the painted section (inside and out, cotton setting, no steam, paper or cloth over the painted section to protect your iron) will do the trick. The painting is easy, easy, just dip the brush into the paint and pounce it onto the shirt...great for kids of all ages.

Now the hard part, waiting until paint is dry. Tick, tock, tick, tock...Two minutes later...Is it ready now?...No?...Five minutes...Still a little tacky)...I'll go get the hair dryer...Yes! It's dry and time to peel the paper off! Note: If you do this step carefully and the paper is dry, you should be able to reuse the stencil once or twice more.

Voila!...My guy couldn't wait to wear this shirt and has only taken it off long enough to go to the pool and get a bath. It is a big hit!

It was fun for all and all for fun with this project. There is definitely more of this in our future. We are finding inspiration for new prints all around. It has definitely become a happy preoccupation. Love that!

Okay, I'd love to stay and chat but I've got to go find more T-shirts!...Happy printing!


  1. hi alison! that t turned out great - i've always wanted to try that...

    thank you for the blog, i enjoy hearing+seeing what you're up to. the children are beautiful, and big! when did that happen?! ;)

    i should be packing right now, but i'll visit you again here on monday, ok?

    xo - annri

  2. Thanks Annri! I'm loving your blog too. I'm (hopefully) going to be making a little back-to-school gift for the kids this weekend that was inspired by you and your blog—so many good things there. Have a great time this weekend!