Decorating A Shirt For Christmas


We had a 'Christmas Jumper Day' at work.  Trouble is, the office that I work in is too hot for me at the best of times - there's no way I'm wearing an additional layer.

But it's for charity.  I can't just sit it out - so my solution was to print my own Christmas-jumper-style shirt.


I started with an old-ish shirt and one assumption.

My assumption was that, since decorator's emulsion paint doesn't wash out of clothes when it gets on them accidentally, it should be a cheap and easy substitute for fabric paint.

So the plan was to apply a design to the shirt using the paint, then let it dry - after which it should be indelible.



I wanted a selection of Christmas / winter - themed designs on the shirt - I could have cut my own stencils, but I decided to try stamping them.

I found a cheap set of 'princess' foam stamps on ebay that seemed to have the right selection of designs.



I placed a piece of card inside the shirt to prevent transfer of the paint through the fabric to the back of the shirt,

I brushed a thin layer of paint onto the stamps, then pressed them onto the shirt - it seemed to work just fine.

I used a metal straight edge to guide me - I was aiming to form a repeating pattern comprising several rows of different designs across the front of the shirt.



Even though I brushed the paint onto the stamps quite sparingly, I did have a few problems where it spilled off the edge of the pattern.

This caused a sort of blobby outline outside of the pattern of the design pieces themselves - but actually, it ended up looking like accumulated snow, which almost makes sense for a winter design.



I stopped when I had four rows of printing on the shirt.  I had originally considered decorating the back also, but I decided less was more.

The End Result

I was quite pleased with the finished shirt - and it was well-received by all of my colleagues on Christmas Jumper Day



Emulsion Paint As Fabric Paint

So it seems to work just fine - and the design on the shirt has survived a couple of trips through the washing machine, so I am declaring this a success.  Emulsion paint is available in a fantastic range of colours and in cheap little tested pots - so I will be trying this with other colours and other designs sometime soon.  


Here's a video showing some more of the details of this project:



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