Thursday, November 19, 2015

Disney DIY shirt

So, I didn't blog last week (or really the week before) because our schedule has been messed up and then we were on vacation.  I'm sure my mom was the only one that actually missed it, but she was on vacation with us, so she didn't really miss anything.  I'm working on a Dos and Don'ts of Disney post, but in the meantime, here is a Disney shirt DIY.

When we took the kids to Disney two years ago, we didn't tell them ahead of time.  We got them all the way to the airport before we broke the news and it was great! This time, since my parents went with us, we decided to let them in on it from the beginning, but I still wanted some surprises (that wouldn't break the bank, since Disney lets you do all kinds of in room celebrations, for a fee).

I decided to make everyone matching Disney shirts, in a color that matched their magic band.  After about 12 hours in Joann Fabric debating options (iron on? paint? sparkles for some?) we decided on bleach.  I don't have any pictures of this process, because it was a super stressful DIY project, that involved a lot of cussing and even a few tears and I was so focused on getting it right, I didn't take any pictures.

I used this tutorial for the basic stencil. You can use about anything, so long as it is a silhouette and doesn't have much in the way of details.

We bought our shirts at Joann's but anywhere that sells the color of shirt you want is fine.  You'll also need freezer paper, which is NOT freezer wrap.  It has to be the papery stuff and Meijer will look at you strangely when you buy the wrong thing and then return it! LOL

Pre-wash your shirts, for proper fit and to help the freezer paper stick and the bleach to work correctly.

Print out the design and trace it on to the freezer paper.  Cut it out carefully.  If you are using a more detailed design, you will want to use an x-acto knife and a self healing cutting mat.  The Mickey head in the tutorial above is simple enough for plain scissors.  Freezer paper is single use, so if you are doing multiple shirts, go ahead and cut out multiple stencils now.

Get your iron and set it on medium to high heat and iron the stencil on the shirt, where you would like it.  Make sure you put the shiny side down, because it warms up and sticks to the shirt.

We had some debate about the best location and finally decided front and center was the way to go.  Be super careful to get the edges sealed tightly or your bleach will bleed under and mess up your whole design.  Even though I recommend cutting all your stencils at once, don't iron them all at once.  This isn't a strong bond and the edges will peel up.

Now you need to mix your bleach.  It is going to depend on that shirt color that you are using how much bleach to how much water, but 50/50 is generally a good place to start.  Our shirts were red, blue, orange, green, pink, and yellow.  Blue and green worked REALLY well.  Red and pink were pretty good, orange was eh, and yellow sucked.  By the time I got to yellow, I was almost straight bleach and you still couldn't see it very well.

I've seen places online recommend using a pump type spray bottle, but I've never tried that.  I just used a cheap spray bottle I picked up at Dollar Tree. I wasn't able to get the "sprinkle-y" look that I was going for, with a solid outline of the head at the same time, so maybe a pump would have helped.

Next you are going to want to line the shirt with something.  Originally, I used just a sheet of aluminum foil.  We eventually settled on a piece of cardboard, covered with aluminum foil (because the bleach soaks in and the cardboard gets soggy). Whatever you pick, LEAVE IT IN THE SHIRT UNTIL THE BLEACH IS DRY or at least rinsed out.  We didn't do that the first time and the design bled through to the back, but only sort of and it looked kind of terrible.

Be sure to protect the parts of the shirt you don't want bleached.  You won't be able to control every drip and drop of bleach, so tuck the sleeves, bottom of the shirt, neck, etc underneath the liner.

Hold the spray bottle about 6-8 inches above the shirt and mist the bleach on the shirt.  Watch the process and make sure you have as much of the shirt covered as you want.  Make sure you dab the bleach off the freezer paper, or it will soak through or run off when you pick up the shirt.  Mist a second time, if the color isn't where you want it to be and dab again.  Let it set for a few seconds, and peel off the freezer paper.  At this point, you can either dunk the shirt in cold water to stop the bleaching process or you can set it aside to dry.  We decided we wanted the higher contrast, so we set the shirts outside to dry.  You don't want to put these on anything that can be damaged by bleach and we wanted to keep them away from the pets, so we stashed them on the patio for a couple of hours.

Once they are dry, wash them on cold, by themselves.  There is still bleach on these, even if you rinsed them instead of drying and you don't want to ruin other clothes.  Dry normally. Finally, sneak them into your carry on luggage and surprise your family with new shirts on your first park day!

Keep in mind, you are working with bleach, so don't spray these on the living room rug or while wearing your favorite black sweater! I did them on the kitchen table, one at a time because of overspray, but if the weather had been even a little bit warmer, I would have done the whole thing outside.  The fumes were pretty strong and, although I'm a weirdo that likes the smell of bleach, it was a little overpowering for the rest of the day.

Some notes, I had a hard time getting my stencil to stick right.  Mostly, I just cranked the heat on the iron and pressed really hard.  I've read online that some people used a glue stick and then ironed it.  Spray adhesive and even Karo syrup have been suggested as alternatives as well.  If you use any of those options, let me know how they worked.

You can see here that the yellow didn't work well.  Part way through the day, I whipped out my Sharpie and traced the head, so it would at least show up some.

No comments: