February 2, 2011

Tea stained apple print shirts

We had a big time this morning making our own tee shirts.  Okay, well I didn't get one, but I'm super jealous!  I saw something similar over at Martha's site where they stamped lunch bags and things using apples as stamps.  I thought this would be a darling shirt but decided to add an extra step before stamping to get an earthy, natural fiber feel.  Those great unbleached cotton shirts that we became accustomed to back in Oregon are a bit harder to find around these parts.


 First thing first, we needed to tea stain the bright white under shirts to give them that more natural look.  The kids each got a tea bag and plopped them in a giant pot of water.


  I brought it to a boil (well, almost.  I'm impatient.) and then let the kids sink their shirts in one at a time.


 They all loved the idea of making a shirt permanently dirty on purpose.  Here's our dirtying pot.


 Hannah Jane was committed to the dirtying process and sprawled out on the counter to keep pushing the shirts back under if they bobbed to the surface.  I rinsed them repeatedly and then popped them in the dryer to let the heat set the stains and dry them for our next step.


 I got the apple ready and gave it a test run on some paper.  I used a brush to coat the surface with acrylic paint rather than stamping into a glob like you would a stamp and ink pad.  If too much paint gets into the area around the seed, you don't get the cool seed outline on your print.  Also, if you are a perfectionist - unlike myself - you will want to use fabric paint instead of acrylic.  Acrylic is just as permanent, but leaves the tee stiff where fabric paint will soften.



Before you paint, you'll want to slip some paper or cardboard inside the shirt to prevent the pain from bleeding through to the back.  You can see where the corner of Hunter's apple didn't print.  What we learned is that you want something soft with a little give underneath so that if your cut is not perfectly flat you still get the full image.  I slipped a potholder between the layers and that fixed the problem.


 For the smaller fellas I painted the apple myself to make sure that the entire surface was coated.  Then I let them make the stamp.

 Hannah Jane follows directions a bit better, so she got to paint her own apple.  She also went with a slightly different color scheme, which she was sure I would not understand enough to handle the painting for her.


Our stem fell off half way through the project, so I went back and faked it for the last few apples.  The stem really made the difference between looking like blobs of paint and apples.  You totally want the stem, even if it means faking it!


Here's the finished product up close!  You can see the lines where the pot holder was quilted, but I think that added texture makes for a nice effect.  It's much more hand made looking than the print we did before we used the potholder.

We're doing a service project tonight at the food pantry, so the kids are super excited to wear their new food themed shirts while they work.  I hadn't planned it that way, but it's a fun coincidence!  They're sure to get lot's of inquiries about their coordinating apple shirts!

1 comment:

Hit me with some comments!!!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
© At Home with Momma Skyla. Powered by