Handmade t-shirt prints

The simplest technology, which allows you to make drawings on T-shirts with your own hands, is a stencil painting. Accordingly, this master-class of stencil painting in details describes the stencil technique of drawing a picture on a T-shirt with their own hands at home and from available materials.


In carrying out the order, we simultaneously took a detailed report of the technological process. As a test, a t-shirt already painted in a yellow (cumulative) color will perform. The drawing is chosen by the customer and in our opinion is not too difficult to repeat.
There are several different technologies for applying a pattern to the fabric, but only three of them imply manual work: screen printing, contour drawing and batik (cold or hot). All other technologies are industrial, for example, thermal transfer or directly printing on a T-shirt. Industrial technologies are beyond the scope of our narrative, and we will now describe the screen printing.

Preparatory procedures
Before you start painting, before applying, the fabric is preferably ironed. If a T-shirt has just been bought, then it should be washed, because in the fibers of the fabric, there may be starch, or substances that the weaving factory processes fabrics to protect from moths and other adverse effects.


The fabric “stretches” on the tablet. We have for these purposes a thin plate of real Austrian chipboard, which is the size suitable for painting T-shirts perfectly. The main thing is not to overtake, otherwise your shirt can become dimensionless. And do not pin up with clerical buttons.

Stencils for painting on fabric
A little about the stencils for painting on the fabric.

We used the same design once in the decoration of the bag with a printed pattern and in the article we gave some recommendations on the stencils from the self-adhesive film. In this article, we expand this issue a little, namely in the second part of the material, which is devoted only to stencils and completely theoretical.

Next, we will assume that the future stencil from the film you already have. Most likely it will be a piece of film, on which the picture is cut. It is necessary to select the parts of the film from those places that will be painted in the future. Small parts, if not peeled, choose a needle. So we get a screen image.


The most difficult part of the work that the stencil technique offers us is to transfer the stencil image directly to the T-shirt. This is done using a so-called mounting film.

The piece of the mounting film must be on all sides somewhat larger than your stencil drawing. It is necessary for its reliable fixation, and then you will understand why. The mounting film is glued onto the stencil, starting from the corner and one side, then gradually rolling. Gradually, so that “waves” and “jams” do not form.

For knitting we used a felt blade. With a rag and hands it will not turn out so neatly, so in any case you will need to have at hand something soft, but quite resilient, such as felt.


After the assembly film is rolled with a stencil image, the film substrate needs to be separated. This is the most difficult procedure, which can require a lot of patience, nerves and skills. Sections of the film can stubbornly not peel off from the substrate, and the crayons can try to break. In this issue, it is hardly possible to give any recommendations. Just do not start with complex stencils, and try on something less significant until you understand how this technology works.

Stencil on a T-shirt.
Now we will be helped by the fact that the mounting film is somewhat larger than the stencil drawing.

Place your stencil on the T-shirt in the right place and as accurately as you can, but do not press it down or glue it yet.
When you make sure that your stencil lies flat and in the right place, then stick it. Fix a properly stencil on one side with the protruding part of the mounting film. The other side of the stencil is raised, slightly stretched and begin to roll it to the fabric in the same way. The film to the fabric adheres well, so removing the mounting film will be easier than separating the stencil from the substrate. But still do it slowly and carefully. Keep a close eye on the small pieces that are still striving to remain on the mounting film.
When you release the stencil from the editing, once again carefully hold it down stencil. Especially at the edges of each piece, so that the paint does not flow under the film.

Drawing a picture on a T-shirt.
Drawing a picture on a T-shirt – this is a very simple operation, which provides us with a stencil technique. Place a sheet of paper under the T-shirt so that it absorbs excess moisture and the paint does not spread on the wrong side of it.

The paint must be acrylic for the fabric. There are special acrylic paints, which are used to paint on the fabric. Paint color as desired. The paint is applied either with a foam rubber swab or with a stiff bristle brush 2-3 times. It is better to try to make a painting on the fabric for 2 passes, and then the paint and so gives a dense crust.

Paint areas start from the edges, passing inside the blank space. Try to apply and spread out the paint so that you immediately close all the gaps, all visible points, bubbles. Do not be afraid that the paint will leak to the wrong side. It should flow, because the main condition is to leak and soak the fibers of the tissue. Just a piece of paper that you put in can be changed more often.


There is nothing to explain here. Just paint over, but make sure that the paint does not splatter and drip. Random spray “where you do not need” you will not wipe off and clean. This is the feature of acrylic paint for fabric. How to paint over everything and make sure that the paint has laid flat and dense, that there are no stains left and no painted areas. Now let the t-shirt dry up, after which the film stencil simply tear off. Do not jerk, otherwise you will damage the fabric. We now remove the small parts of the former stencil with a needle. Now the paint must be fixed. It would be more correct to say “bake”, but not in the oven, but with an iron with a maximum permissible temperature for this fabric (which is indicated on the label). We bake the paint, ironing the t-shirt with the hot side of the iron with a hot iron.

That’s all. Wear and wear. Our master class of the T-shirt stencil painting is completed, the screen image is applied, the T-shirt decor is made, the T-shirt is like from the store.


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