The Pumpkin Lady has a lot of cute patterns for pumpkin carving, and as I browsed through them I began to think that many would also look great stenciled onto a T-shirt. Most of the designs are simple enough to easily cut into a freezer paper stencil, so I chose one of the free patterns offered, A Great Pair of Shoes, and got to work to test my theory. Here’s a short tutorial in case you’d like to do the same!
Supplies and Sources
- Stencil Pattern – The Pumpkin Lady or try our seasonal pumpkin stencil search.
- 100% Cotton Tshirt – Dark colors work best with this technique. I found mine at Old Navy.
- Freezer Paper – Available at grocery stores and Amazon.com
- Snap-off blade knife or Xacto® Knife
- deColourant Discharge Paste
- Stencil Brush
Once you’ve chosen your stencil pattern, cut a piece of freezer paper to a size that will fit in your inkjet printer (8 1/2″ x 11″ worked great for me) and print the design onto the paper side. Do not try this with a laser printer, as it may damage your printer.
Place your printed pattern on a self-healing mat or piece of glass and cut it out with a snap-off blade knife. Make sure your blade is sharp so the knife cuts the paper, and doesn’t tear.
Place the freezer paper, shiny plastic-coated side down, on your tshirt. Iron it in place, without steam, using the cotton setting.
Now you’re almost ready to begin stenciling. Place a piece of cardboard inside your shirt, to prevent any bleed through, and gather your supplies together. Read the deColourant jar for application instructions.
To avoid run unders when stenciling, work the paste into your brush a little, then stipple it onto your fabric.
Once you’re finished, it’s time to take a break and let the paste dry. I checked back a few hours later, and it was ready for the next step.
This is the point where things went a little wrong for me. I had forgotten that my iron is temperamental and sometimes likes to spit water out the top. From my experience, I’d say that getting the discharge paste wet at this point in the process is not recommended.
It’s hard to see in this picture, but the color is starting to change! I’d left the freezer paper on while ironing, so that if there were any spots that didn’t have good coverage, I could then go back and add more paste. Once the iron spit dried, I added some paste to that area, as well as any other spots that looked a little light. Time for another break while I let it dry again…
Once everything was dry, ironed, and transformed, I peeled back the freezer paper stencil to reveal the pattern…
At this stage, the discharged area feels a little hard, so the next step is into the washing machine to remove the paste residue. I laundered it in cold water on gentle cycle and hung to dry.
And here’s the finished Tshirt. Overall, this really was a quick and easy project, and a lot of fun to do. And despite the stocking smudge, I think it turned out fairly well. I’m looking forward to trying this product on some other projects, and I bought the liquid spray version to test as well.