Tag Archives: stencil

31 Days of Halloween – All Hallow’s Eve

31 Days of Halloween on sewhooked.com

We’re back again with another fun and free project for 31 Days of Halloween!

Get ready to hold your breath, because we’re going way outside my comfort zone today!




All Hallow's Eve by Jennifer Ofenstein (2)

That’s right, friends, today we’re turning our paper piecing brains towards applique.

You see, many years ago, my hubby and I were on a super tight budget with one toddler and a baby on the way.

In an effort to make our little home festive for Holidays, I would make decorations for our front door out of supplies I had on hand.

All Hallow's Eve 1997

In this case, those supplies included my little sewing machine, black felt and, no kidding, orange denim.

I remember painstakingly sketching a witch on a broom onto felt with a piece of chalk I’d sharped as much as possible.

The result was a not-terrible banner that we used for many, many years.

That was 1997.

As you can see, the banner (above) has seen better days!

All Hallow's Eve by Jennifer Ofenstein (1)

Download it here OR get it on Craftsy

Don’t want to applique? You can also hand embroider or even stencil this pattern!

My opinion of the traditional Halloween witch has changed greatly since 1997, so our new friend here is much cuter and definitely curvier. I imagine she’s wearing her Halloween best as she rides her trusty broomstick to a fun party, perhaps in Hogsmeade!

The pattern prints at approximately 7 1/2″. If you want something bigger, try out my tutorial for enlarging/reducing patterns!

Omni Arc for Circles

If you are lucky enough to have an OmniArc Ruler, try using the 8″ circle guide to create your moon.

I ironed my fusible webbing in place first and then folded the orange fabric before cutting with my rotary cutter. Follow the instructions as printed on the ruler.

Your moon will be about 1/2″ bigger than the one in the pattern, but it will still work great for, oh, say a 12″ quilt block or fun Halloween cushion!

No such luck? You can also cut around a ceramic plate with your rotary cutter!

Need fusible web? I recommend Misty-Fuse, Steam-A-Seam 2 or Heat’n Bond Light.

Are you making projects from 31 Days of Halloween? Share your photos with my flickr group! There will be a fun surprise after Halloween for one lucky winner!


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31 Days of Halloween – Tri-Wizard Tee Costume

31 Days of Halloween on sewhooked.com

Crack open the WAY BACK MACHINE for today’s 31 Days of Halloween!

Today we have a fast, easy costuming option for the Harry Potter fans out there.

TriWizard Tee Tutorial sewhooked.com Craftster Swap - HP for our kids

Originally created in 2006 for a Craftster Swap, I’m breaking this tutorial out today for anyone that might not have a costume in mind, or, like me, might need something a wee bit cooler to wear come Halloween!

The best part about this project is that you can sew it by hand if you don’t have a machine or use a serger to finish it even faster!

You’ll need:

  • 1 red t-shirt
  • 1 black t-shirt in the same size and style as the red t-shirt
  • Rotary cutter, 24″ rotary ruler & cutting mat
  • OR a straight edge, pencil and sharp scissors
  • Seam ripper
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine, serger or needle and thread
  • Freezer Paper, cut into 2 8 ½” x 11” sheets (print Hogwarts Crest Stencil & Potter/Star Stencil on these sheets)
  • fabric paint in red, green, blue, yellow, white and gold
  • foam paintbrushes


t-shirt black t-shirt red

  • Find the center of each shirt by folding in half towards the front and matching the sleeves.
  • Mark the top and the bottom with a pin.
  • If using a rotary cutter, this is your cutting line.
  • If using a straight edge, draw a pencil line from top to bottom.
  • Cut as straight as possible.

Sleeve Reconstruction

t-shirt left right sleeves

  • Select the red shirt right (right side when the shirt is worn) and black shirt left and carefully remove the sleeves from each side of the shirt using a seam ripper. Be very careful to not stretch the fabric.

t-shirt left right sleeves2

  • Swap the sleeves so that red sleeve is with black shirt piece and the black sleeve is with red.
  • Turn the shirt half you are working on inside out and place the sleeve, right side out inside the
  • sleeve hole (right sides will be together), matching the top and bottom creases. Pin the sleeve in place, being careful not to stretch the fabric.
  • Using a serger or a stretch stitch on your sewing machine, stitch in a 1/4″ to 1/2″ seam all the way around.
  • If stitching by hand, take small stitches.
  • Repeat for second sleeve.

Shirt Body Reconstruction

t-shirt 2

  • Place one shirt half inside the other, right sides together so that the wrong sides of the seam lines will be on the outside. You will have two seams, a front seam and a back seam.
  • Carefully pin every few inches starting at the t-shirt ribbing and work your way down, trying not to stretch the fabric.
  • If the bottoms hems do not meet, pin the bottom edges together and ease along the middle of the shirt (t-shirts can be really wonky, but you can make it work!).
  • Carefully stitch along this line as for the sleeves.
  • Snip the corners of the inside seams on the diagonal.
  • Turn the shirt right side out.

Stenciling the front (Hogwarts Crest)

  • Cut out the four sections of the Hogwarts Crest stencil.
  • Place cardboard or newspaper inside the t-shirt to protect from bleed through.
  • Using a warm iron, carefully place the stencil on the upper left side of the shirt (the black
  • side).
  • Stencil the upper left section red, the upper right section green, the lower left section yellow and the lower right section blue*.
  • Gently peel stencil away and allow to dry.
  • Optional: Paint a cursive “H” over the four sections in gold paint.

Stenciling the back (Potter & Star)

  • Cut out the Potter and Star stencil.
  • Optional: Create a stencil with your own name using a Sans Serif font OR use purchased iron on letters.
  • Place cardboard or newspaper inside the t-shirt to protect from bleed through.
  • Using a warm iron, carefully place the stencil in the middle of the back of the shirt, matching center lines.
  • Stencil the name and star with red paint.
  • Gently peel away and allow to dry.

*I recommend testing your paint on dark fabric before you start. Some paints will need multiple layers. If the paint doesn’t cover, you can start with a white base coat.

TriWizard Tee Tutorial sewhooked.com

Need more information on stenciling? Check out my post from last week!

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Are you making projects from 31 Days of Halloween? Share your photos with my flickr group! There will be a fun surprise after Halloween for one lucky winner!


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31 Days of Halloween – Give Me Candy!

31 Days of Halloween on sewhooked.com

Welcome back for another 31 Days of Halloween post!

Today I’m excited to share a brand new and absolutely free Halloween stencil! This the first stencil I’ve shared in an age and I do hope you enjoy it!

Give Me Candy Stencil by Jennifer Ofenstein, sewhooked.com

Designed by me entirely in Inkscape, Give Me Candy represents a lifelong love, nay, adoration, of candy corn! Yum!

New to stenciling? Here’s a video tutorial I created waaay back in May of 2008. It’s hard to believe, but it pre-dates even Talk to Me Tuesday!

I also have a written tutorial specifically for my Torchwood stencil. Give Me Candy is much easier to execute!

For this project you’ll need:

  • The stencil, printed on the matte side of freezer paper (for easy printing, I cut a sheet to letter size then tape the top side to a piece of regular printer paper)
  • You can print or download the Give Me Candy Stencil OR Get it on Craftsy
  • X-acto Knife or other stencil cutting tool
  • cutting board or other safe cutting surface
  • Fabric paint. For this project, I used Tulip Soft Mandarin Orange, Sunshine Yellow and Velveteen White.
  • 1″ sponge brush
  • iron
  • cardboard or paper for inside the shirt/back of fabric
  • You’ll need fabric or a t-shirt. Most instructions say to pre-wash, but I won’t lie, I rarely do and I’ve never had any issues with the paint sticking or not lasting.

Give Me Candy Stencil by Jennifer Ofenstein, sewhooked.com

I used Tulip Soft Fabric Paint for this project.

Give Me Candy Stencil by Jennifer Ofenstein, sewhooked.com

Here’s the stencil all cut out and ironed on to my fabric. I like to use a pressing cloth after I iron the pointy bits are in place to ensure everything is nice and stuck.

Freezer paper creates a temporary bond, and it will peel off, so check your edges before painting.

Give Me Candy Stencil by Jennifer Ofenstein, sewhooked.com

I wanted a candy corn effect on the letters, so I blended my colors, starting with white and working my way down. When all the colors were in place, I went back and blended a little between the edges.

The stencil is designed so that the candy corn pieces can be entirely separate if you wish. If you’d prefer to blend yours, simply cut away the dividing bits before ironing the stencil on to your fabric (I didn’t do that, and had to go back with a tiny paint brush, no fun!).

Give Me Candy Stencil by Jennifer Ofenstein, sewhooked.com

It looks complicated, but it’s so, so simple! Just take your time and don’t be too fussed if the edges aren’t perfect.

Give Me Candy Halloween Stencil by Jennifer Ofenstein, sewhooked.com

And, done!

I stenciled this on a piece of Moda Marbles and now I’m thinking my Jack cushion might need a companion…

If you’re feeling ambitious, try it with embroidery or even applique!

What do you think? Any ideas for how you might use this fun (and free!) stencil?

One more time…

Download the Give Me Candy Stencil OR Get it on Craftsy

Pattern #4 from Jack's Lanterns

Here’s Jack’s Lanterns, Pattern #4, looking good!

Jack's Lanterns, 9 Patterns to Paper Piece by Jennifer Ofenstein

Get Jack’s Lanterns on Craftsy for just $6!

Are you making projects from 31 Days of Halloween? Share your photos with my flickr group! There will be a fun surprise after Halloween for one lucky winner!

See you tomorrow for a look back on Halloweens past and this week’s Craftsy feature!


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Thread and Paint

Union Jack Patches made using a zig-zag stitch.
I’ve been talking a lot about Halloween lately. I hope you all don’t mind, that’s where my head is at the moment!

First off, let me tell you this: I do not have an embroidery machine. I’ve thought about it, toyed with it, and in the end decided that I really don’t need one. I don’t, really. It would be fun, but, firmly, no.

Enter the need for Union Jack patches for Gareth’s Halloween costume.

Hum. I checked around online and two things were obvious to me. 1) they’re kind of pricey on top of the cost of the rest of the items for his costume and 2)I could make that. 2) Happens to me all the time.

Just about now, an embroidery machine would be handy. Still, no. Don’t even think about it…

Onward, then! I love making ATCs and my thinking was that the patches are the same basic size and shape.

So I pulled out the stiff, fusible interfacing that I keep for ATCs and…

Union Jack Patches made using a zig-zag stitch.

The Stuff: Blue fabric, stiff/fusible interfacing, white and red threads and a picture for my guide. Not shown, blue thread, scissors, an iron and an hour and a half of time.

Union Jack Patches made using a zig-zag stitch.
First, I cut the blue fabric to size (in this case 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″), then marked the center of each on the horizontal with a ceramic pencil.

Union Jack Patches made using a zig-zag stitch.
Next, I ironed the blue fabric to the fusible interfacing. The muslin is to keep the other side from sticking to my ironing board. As long as I don’t apply heat to that side, it won’t fuse, but it will get a little warm. Better safe than sticky.

Union Jack Patches made using a zig-zag stitch.
Then, I started stitching! The entire project is done with a zig-zag stitch on my regular home sewing machine. This is a 6 width on my machine and the shortest I could make it.

Union Jack Patches made using a zig-zag stitch.
It wasn’t quite wide enough, so I stitched again on either side of the center line, overlapping each. This was a “figure it out as you go” project.

Union Jack Patches made using a zig-zag stitch.
Much better!

Union Jack Patches made using a zig-zag stitch.
Repeat for the vertical line.

Union Jack Patches made using a zig-zag stitch.
I switched to white thread and started shadowing the red cross. If I had been very, very clever, I think I would have done all the red stitching first. My tension was a little weird with all the thickness, so I ended up stitching the white lines twice. Union Jack Patches made using a zig-zag stitch.

White shadowing done! Diagonal lines drawn for the next step.

Union Jack Patches made using a zig-zag stitch.

Not bad, not bad!

Union Jack Patches made using a zig-zag stitch.

The patches were slightly stretched and lumpy from all the thread when I was done, so I pressed them flat, adding muslin to the back while I was at it.

Union Jack Patches made using a zig-zag stitch.
They look much better all trimmed up!

Union Jack Patches made using a zig-zag stitch.
I wanted to give them a finished edge and catch in all the threads that I trimmed, so I used a shiny blue rayon.

Union Jack Patches made using a zig-zag stitch.
All done! Are they perfect? No way! Does my son think they’re awesome? Why yes, yes he does! Am I happy? Yeah, pretty much. It was a fun experiment, but I will say this: about half-way through I realized it would have been much faster to just stencil them. Oops.

Speaking of stencils…

Ghost Balaclava

This scary looking critter is the balaclava for one Simon “Ghost” Riley, which you may remember from the very end of this post as part of the Halloween costume for my darling 13-year-old son.

He really is darling, despite his XBox tendencies. He says please, and thank you, and has repeatedly given me hugs for creating this scary persona for him.

Ghost Balaclava

While researching this costume, I looked everywhere for a stencil. There was none to be found, so I made my own. Shown above is the 1.0 version, which is the one I used for the balaclava shown. I’ve cleaned it up considerably so I can share it with anyone else looking to make the same thing.

Ghost Balaclava Stencil PDF

This stencil was specifically sized to echo the size of my son’s face, so if you use it for yourself, you might need to scale it up or down a bit.

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And now, on to more quilty endeavors!


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Stencil That Fandom!

I got on a bit of a stenciling kick yesterday. It started in the afternoon and kept going until about 10 pm, with various and sundry other things stashed in between, not the least of which was trying, quite unsuccessfully, to get my out-of-state house guest to try bbq ribs. Oh well, maybe next year!

Runs With Half Demons
The first tee was stenciled for my darling daughter, Elena, who is currently on vacation visiting her paternal grandparents. I haven’t seen her in two weeks and I’m starting to show some withdrawal symptoms. Anywhoo, this stencil was her idea, which I then took and created in Photoshop. She’s a huge InuYasha fan (definitive proof in this post) and thought it would be fun to do a play on the “Runs with werewolves” and “Runs with vampires” stuff inspired by Twilight. So…”Runs with half-demons” (of which InuYasha is one)!

Portal T-Shirt - Front
The second shirt is for Gareth, and was also his idea. Aperture Laboratories is the setting for the Portal games. He’s a fan and thought a tee would be hysterical…turns out, so does the hubby. (see below)

Aperture Science
We’ve talked about Portal here before and you may remember my Aperture pattern from a previous post.
Portal T-Shirt - Back
This is the back of the Aperture tee. This little addition was Gareth’s idea.

From Urban Dictionary:

Roughly translates to “your promised reward is merely a fictitious motivator”. Popularized by the game “Portal” (found on Half-Life 2’s “Orange Box” game release for PC, X-Box 360, and PS3). During the game, an electronic voice encourages you to solve intricate puzzles using cake as a motivating perk. When you have “broken out” of the game’s initial testing phase (from threat of death), you find scrawls on walls of the innards of the testing center warning you that “the cake is a lie”.

Employee #1: Yo, Dave, manager says we will probably get a promotion if we meet the sales expectations for this quarter.

Employee #2: Yeah, so, don’t get your hopes up on that one, Ed. The cake is a lie. 

Employee #1: Really, aw crap.

Portal - Aperture Laboratories tee #2
Why stencil one tee when you can stencil two? This one is for The Hubby, as mentioned above. He’s also a video game guru and loved Gareth’s tee.  His does not include “the cake is a lie,” but he loves it just the same!

Code Geass Black Knight Tee

Last, but definitely not least is the Black Knight tee. This one is a bit more of a mystery to me, because I’m not as familiar with the fandom, Code Geass. It’s the current favorite of my teen house guest. She suggested the design and helped me choose the font. I like the way it looks on the girl-cut tee! The photo came out a bit…crooked, but that has more to do with the angle of my squirrel-proof clothesline (read: chain) than the tee.

All-in-all, a very stencily day!

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Birthdays and BFFs

Birthday 2010 - My gift from Jewells!

Just over a week ago, I got to do something that I look forward to all year around – see my best friend, Jewells.  We live hundreds of miles apart and with our kids still in school, we’re lucky to get one visit a year.

I’ve talked about Jewells here before, when I shared the quilt I made for her 2008 birthday.

Jewells always shares amazingly thoughtful handmade gifts.  She’s knitted socks for me, made “snowballs” for my kids (who rarely see snow here in Texas) and just generally shared her talent, creativity and thoughtfulness with my family.

Due to a variety of circumstances beyond her control, my birthday gift for this year was belated.  Parts on back-order and such created one delay after another for her.  Due to the delays, she was able to do something that I can’t remember happening in many years – hand deliver my birthday gift!

I’m so excited to share this truly wonderful gift here.  This gorgeous perpetual calendar was an idea from a craft store flier than ended up morphing into a whole new design that Jewells made especially for me.

She pieced, stitched, stamped, glued, stenciled, covered buttons, crocheted and oh my gosh, I don’t know what else!  Look and be amazed.  I am truly a lucky girl to have had such an amazing friend for almost half of my life.

Oh, and?  It was her FIRST QUILT ever!

Jewells talks about this project here and even more here!

The whole Kit And Kaboodle!  Why coffee?  Because it’s been one of our favorite past times since our time as college roommates and we still enjoy sitting over a cup o’ Joe and chatting the day away.

The months are stamped on felt which sticks right to the velcro.  Each month is customized with coordinating ribbon!

The months have their own nifty little pouch for storage.

Each date was stamped on fabric, which was then used to make custom velcro-back buttons.

The set includes the calendar and two pouches (one for the months, one for the days).  Even the back is coffee themed!

Perpetual Calendar...action shot!

I repurposed a cafe rod and hooks for hanging this beauty in my foyer.  The cafe rod and hooks were cream and brass and have been primed and spray painted black.

Thank you, Jewells, I can’t even express how much I love the time and thought that went into this gift.  Even better was getting to open it in front of you!




Recipe: Stenciled Brownies for My Sweetheart!

Brownies for My Sweetheart

I really don’t need a reason to tell my husband how much he means to me.  Even so, any excuse to make his day a little brighter is one I’ll take.  He loves brownies and homemade ones are extremely easy to make and much yummier (in my opinion!) than the store bought variety.  Baking brownies make the whole house smell like chocolate, which is an added bonus.

This year I thought I’d combine two of my favorite things, baking and stenciling, and make a Valentine’s treat fit for the sweetest of the sweet, my own True Love.

I think the original brownie recipe is my Mom’s but it’s in my handwriting in my recipe collection, and I’ve been making them this way as long as I can remember, so I’m not entirely sure.   Mom, let me know if it’s yours and I’ll give you credit!

Stenciled Chocolate Brownies

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temp or slightly melted in the microwave (~40 seconds)  *note – for a moister, chewier brownie, you can use shortening instead*
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 6 TBS baking cocoa
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • wax, parchment or clean wax paper, trimmed to fit inside a 9″x13″ baking pan
  • powdered sugar

You can make this recipe with or without a mixer.

Preheat oven to 350°F. With non-stick baking spray, coat the bottom only of a 9″ x 13″ baking pan.

Cream together butter and sugar, adding eggs one at a time.

Sift together flour, baking powder and cocoa. Add to sugar mixture, stirring well.

Mix in nuts and vanilla. Stir by hand.

Spread into prepared pan.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.   If you like chewier brownies, stay closer to 20 minutes.  Allow to cool at least fifteen minutes before stenciling.


Fold prepared wax paper in random lines vertically along the length of the paper.

Cut hearts out of the paper along the lines.  The amount and size of your hearts is completely up to you.

Completed stencil.

Place stencil on top of brownies. Trim if necessary to make sure it fits snugly as possible.

Sift on powdered sugar.

Carefully remove stencil onto another sheet of wax paper and admire your Sweetheart Brownies!

If you’re handy with an Exact-O Knife and have the time, you can get much more creative with the stencil.  Share your fandom love, write birthday wishes, admissions of undying love or maybe even a marriage proposal!  This same technique will also work on an unfrosted cake.

Fun with powdered sugar
A simpler version, made with store bought brownie mix.
These were for a school party.  They were cooled completely, cut and then stenciled.

more recipes

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