• t-shirt (or onesie, sweatshirt or other item of clothing)
• teddy bear stencil*
• card stock
• exacto knife
• fabric paint
• stencil brush (a round brush with firm bristles and a flat tip)
• plastic cup
1. Wash and dry the t-shirt according to the washing instructions.
2. Download the teddy bear stencil and print it onto card stock. If you need the bear larger or smaller simply change the size percentage you print it at (at 100% the bear is about 7.5″ tall). With an exacto knife, carefully cut out the GREY parts of the design (body, top of head, arms, feet and nose). For the eyes and mouth you can either cut out the ones I designed, draw and cut out your own design (see the stencil for some inspirational ideas!), or leave it plain and freehand a face afterwards.
3. Put a piece of cardboard inside the shirt (to prevent the paint from bleeding through to the back) and tape the stencil in place. If necessary, trim the outside edges of the stencil.
4. Pour a small amount of fabric paint into a plastic cup. Dip the stencil brush into the paint, and starting in the middle of the stencil with a small amount of paint, begin to fill in the design. You should use an up-and-down tapping motion to apply the paint- dragging the brush back and forth across the shirt will cause the fabric to pull and stretch, and can force paint under the stencil, which would give your bear a distorted appearance.
5. Once you’ve finished filling in the bear, leave the shirt to dry for about 15-30 minutes, then carefully remove the stencil. At this point you can use a regular paintbrush to fill in any spots that may have been missed with the stencil brush, or freehand a face if you didn’t stencil one. Don’t worry if your edges aren’t perfect or your bear isn’t totally filled in, it will still be very cute!
6. Allow the paint to dry completely and wash & dry your shirt according to the fabric paint directions.
I used a white t-shirt and black paint (ie the most BORING combination on the planet) for this project because it was what I had on hand, but I think this bear would look cute in/on all kinds of different colours! If you use this stencil to make something for your little one I would love to see the results, so please leave me a comment with a pic or a link to your bear shirt, tweet/instagram me with the hashtag #unicornparade, email me or post a pic on the facebook page (I hope I’ve given you enough options, haha)!
This is my very first stencil design, so I hope you all like it. If you have any ideas on how I could improve any future stencils please let me know.
*This stencil is free for personal use ONLY! Please don’t use my design to make products to sell, that’s stealing & rude as hell.