Tag Archives: stencil

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!

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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.

Stencil:


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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freezer paper stencil: Torchwood Me

Torchwood Stencil How To

Fandom is not just a noun, it’s a verb.  To be a part of fandom is to participate, geek out and show your love by wearing your fandom literally on your sleeve, or in this case, on your chest.

Oh Torchwood, how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways…

22 hexagons worth, that’s apparently how much!

The amazing calypsobard shared her Torchwood stencil with me, which I photoshopped up to make it more user friendly.  This one is easy to cut out, but, in calypsobard’s words is “a bit hinky,” so I’ve added directions to the stencil itself that will hopefully make it more user friendly.

You’ll need:

  • Torchwood stencil, printed on the matte side of freezer paper
  • X-acto Knife or other stencil cutting tool
  • cutting board or other safe cutting surface
  • fabric paint, I recommend Lumiere by Jacquard, available online and at craft stores
  • sponge brush
  • iron
  • cardboard or newspaper for inside the shirt

Pre-wash t-shirt without fabric softener.

Torchwood Stencil How To

Carefully cut pieces out with an exact-o knife.  Start with the hexagons first, keeping them in order.  Then cut and discard the gray area.  (Or, if you’re my teenage daughter, pinch it from the trash and put it in the clear pocket of your binder.)

Set a dry iron to medium.

Place cardboard or newspaper inside t-shirt to help prevent bleed through.

Torchwood Stencil How To

Place stencil on t-shirt, aligning the hexagons until they are even.  Carefully press in place with the iron.

Torchwood Stencil How To
Use the foam brush to gently paint on the fabric paint, being careful to not push it under the edges of the stencil.

Torchwood Stencil How To
Allow a few minutes to dry, then carefully remove the outside of the stencil.

Torchwood Stencil How To

If the stencil is still wet, use a straight pin to remove the hexagons.  Otherwise, just gently peel away each one, setting them aside as you go.

Torchwood Stencil How To
Finish drying according to manufacturer’s directions.

Torchwood Tee

Final product.

Freezer paper stenciling is my favorite stenciling technique and can be used for any of my stencils and for most stenciling on fabric.

More Free Stencils on the Craft Page!

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sewawesome craft: Doctor Who Stencils

I’m a fan girl, you all probably know that by now.  Sci-fi, fantasy, books, movies, telly, music…I just can’t help myself!  My favorite things are just so craftable!

You all also know that I LOVE (capital letters!) stencils.  LOVE.  Stencils are a crafter’s dream medium.  They’re easy, cheap and almost instant gratification.  Almost. ;)

One of the most versatile crafters I know is craftylilthing and her daughter K.  They’re a mother/daughter craft team that have tackled just about every kind of craft you can imagine.  We have loads of fandoms in common, not the least of which are Harry Potter, Doctor Who and Redwall.  What’s not to love, right?

She’s made not one, but two fabulous Doctor Who themed stencils and shared them with the world.  That, my friend, is crafty awesomeness!

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TARDIS Stencil along with information about Freezer Paper

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Adipose Baby Stencil

Crafty? Like Doctor Who?  Check out Doctor Who Crafts on flickr!

If you make a Sew Awesome Craft or any pattern, craft or recipe from sewhooked,  I’d love to see a photo.  Email me or add it to the sewhooked flickr group.

stencils & stamps: Saving My Shirts



I’m not exactly clumsy, but I am a really busy girl with a tendency to not be careful.

Messy, clumsy, stuff on my shirt…call it what you will!

My favorite shirts all seem to have taken the same abuse.  A paint stain, a bleach spot or an unfortunate tear.  The number of shirts in my closet that weren’t being worn because of one of the above was getting completely out of control.

So, time for some quick and dirty fixes…and to haul out the fabric paint!

Shirt fix #1 – stenciling stars

supplies:

  • sad damaged tee
  • freezer paper
  • marker or pen for drawing
  • Exact-o Knife
  • fabric paint
  • sponge brush
  • cardboard or t-shirt form



My poor Dumbledore’s Army shirt, with a bleach stain right on the tummy. What to do, what to do? I thank my sister for the idea for this fix: stencil some stars on!



Freehand stars on freezer paper, then cut out with the Exact-O Knife – instant stencil!




Iron the stencil on and insert a pieced of cardboard or shirt form inside the tee. Procure some paint and a sponge brush for instant repairs.




Sponge that paint on!




Peel off the stencil after a few minutes and….




Instant shirt fix!






My Evile Crafts tee, made by superfriend Kadi, had a big ole blotch of bleach, too, so it also received the star treatment, along with a little glitter spray paint.

Shirt fix #2 – stamp it!

This second shirt fix was inspired by Stampin’ On Stained Jeans.  Same problem:  A favorite tee gets hit by something that leaves a mark, bleach, paint, or something else that’s super-duper permanent.

You need:

  • oopsie tee
  • fabric paint
  • stamp(s) large enough to cover the spot(s)
  • foam brush
  • cardboard or t-shirt insert



Use the sponge brush to add paint to the stamp.  Don’t dip the stamp in the paint or you’ll end up with a blob of paint on the fabric.



Stamp on the spot that needs to be covered.  It looked awkward to me like that, so I just kept stamping until I felt like I had enough!



Another shirt, back in rotation!

Shirt Fix #3 = mask it!

This fix was a bit more complicated.  I had a cute girly shirt that got caught on something (no idea what) and I ended up with a hole right in the tummy.  After trying to stitch it and not liking the artificial belly button I received for my efforts, I decided to repair it with an iron on.  Great idea, until I realized I went from artificial belly button to giant round dot on my tummy.

For this fix you’ll need:

  • damaged tee (this works for spots, too!)
  • masking tape
  • cardboard or t-shirt form
  • fabric paint
  • foam brush or roller



Giant dot, as illlustrated by my left hand.



Mask out a large triangle with the apex at the top, with the damaged part of the shirt on the inside.  Make sure your cardboard or t-shirt form is inside the shirt.  Fill in the space with fabric paint.

Hint:  If you’re working on a stretchy fabric, iron freezer paper on the inside of the shirt for stability while painting.



Fill in the entire space.  Allow to dry a few minutes and the remove the tape.



And another dead shirt returns to ciruculation!  Pretty cool, too, if I do say so myself.




Allow all your awesomely repaired tees to dry per manufacturer’s instructions and then add them right back in to your wardrobe!

More t-shirty goodness:

If you make a Sew Awesome Craft or any pattern, craft or recipe from sewhooked,  I’d love to see a photo.  Email me or add it to the sewhooked flickr group.