T shirt stencilling with fabric paint

Welcome back! Today’s blog from Ideal Stencils is going to be all about How to stencil a T shirt. We are going to be using our Buddha stencil and fabric paints to personalise and create a unique T shirt design. This is a quick and easy project and great fun too! You can apply this tutorial to stenciling onto any fabrics – cushion covers, table cloths, aprons, tea towels, curtains, what ever fabric you want to personalise, be unique and do it with easy to use stencils.Lets get on with the show…

Materials for your Buddha stenciled T shirt

Buddha stencil t shirt what you will need

A Buddha stencil, a plain T shirt (that has been washed and ironed),a stiff piece of cardboard, stencil brushes, fabric paints, polystyrene plate, spray mount (repositionable) kitchen roll.

Make the back of the stencil tacky

Make the back of your stencil tacky

If you want the best results for your fabric/T Shirt stencilling project then it is advised to use repositionable spray mount to temporarily adhere the stencil to the T shirt fabric. A nice close contact between T shirt and stencil means that you are going to get nice crisp and clean edges to the design. Some people tape all 4 sides down with masking tape to adhere the stencil to the T Shirt but we ‘stick’ with the spray mount method.

Insert your cardboard into the T Shirt

Stencil a t shirt tutorial

Position the card inside the T Shirt where you are going to be stencilling your design. This is to stop the fabric paint form bleeding through to the back of the T Shirt.

Position your stencil

position your t-shirt stencil

Position your stencil and make sure that you push it down well. Especially any smaller detailed areas. This step is important if you want great results. A good close contact between stencil and fabric means that there is less chance of paint bleeding under the edges of the stencil and creating blotchy edges to your design.

Paint your stencil

Now we are going to paint through the cut out areas and transfer the Buddha stencil design onto the T shirt. Start by putting some of your fabric paint onto a polystyrene plate (or similar) and swirl your brush into the paint. Then off load it onto some paper towel just to make sure that it isn’t too heavily soaked with paint. Too much paint on your brush could cause the paint to get under the stencils edges causing blotchy, fuzzy edges to your design.

load stencil brush tutorial

Paint your Buddha T shirt tutorial

Paint with an up and down stippling motion. This will really help to push the paint into the fabric especially if the fabric is more textured or heavily woven. You will soon gauge the right amount of paint you need on your brush each time you reload it. To help avoid getting paint under the stencil a great tip is to stipple with a brushing in motion from the edges of the stencil into the cut out areas. Stencil until you have covered the entire stencil with a good, even layer of paint.

buddha stencil t-shirt tutorial peel off stencil

Hold the T shirt down with one hand and peel the stencil off with the other. And below you can see the great , crisp results we got.

buddha stencil t shirt tutorial great result

Let the T Shirt fully dry and then heat fix the paint as per the instructions on your fabric paint. Our paint told us to cover the design with a clean piece of material and iron on high heat for 2 minutes…so I gave it 3-4 mins to make sure. Some of the paint did come off on my nice new white Tea towel (doh) so use something not brand new for that job.

Buddha stencilled T Shirt…finished!

Buddha stencil t-shirt tutorial finished t-shirt

Now you can wear your T Shirt with pride. T shirt stencilling was fun, fast and you get to produce something personal and unique… I love the way that stencils put you in charge of the creative process. If I wanted I could reuse the stencil and paint many more T shirts, using different colours or repeating the stencil more than once on the same garment.

We hope that this tutorial was helpful and it has offered you some quality guidance that you can take forward and use in whatever fabric stencilling project you have planned. If you like watching video’s, click this stencil video link and check out all our video’s including this one.

Have you ever painted fabric using stencils? Let us know how your project went. We would love to hear from you!

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