Tropical T Shirt

You will need


A white t-shirt, oversized – preferably at least two sizes, A stencil – you can get the palm tree stencil HERE  (if you need it to be smaller or larger you can resize when printing), freezer paper, fabric paint or acrylic paint ( I used neon pink acrylic paint in a tube from Tiger (UK) )


Stencil paintbrush or sponge,  washable marker, self-fading pen, or pencil, craft knife exacto/knife/scalpel, cutting board/suitable cutting surface, sharp fabric scissors, a metric ruler, Iron (and a suitable ironing surface).


  1. Lay the T shirt flat, front facing upwards, on an even hard surface. Protect the surface with newspaper if necessary. Place paper or tissue paper inside the T shirt to prevent any paint transferring to the back of the T shirt.
  2. Print the stencil onto the dull side of a piece of A4 freezer paper and let it dry. Using a craft knife and a cutting board (you can use scissors but it may not be as accurate), carefully cut out the printed areas on the stencil. (Alternatively, you can use regular A4 paper and attach it with spray-mount or spray-on stencil adhesive. This will remove easily afterwards.)
  3. Place the stencil, shiny side down onto the T shirt in a the position you want. Cover the sheet with a piece of scrap cloth and iron the freezer paper onto the front of the T shirt with a hot iron (cotton heat setting). This will make the freezer paper stick to the t shirt  and form a barrier around the edges of the spaces you need to print. Make sure that all of the cut edges are stuck down well .
  4. Using a sponge or the flat end of a stencil brush (or suitably adapted paintbrush), paint onto the exposed area of T shirt within the stencil,  going over the edges, making sure that it is well covered. If the edges of paper are well sealed the outlines will be nice and straight. Leave for a couple of hours to dry thoroughly. When the paint is dry remove the stencil and touch up where necessary. To fix the paint, cover again with a scrap cloth and iron again firmly with the hottest cotton heat setting. Leave to cool.
  5. Draw a straight faint line, parallel to the hem, approximately 7.5 cm above the top row of stitching on the hem. Draw another line on each sleeve, parallel to the edge of the sleeve, approximately 4.5cm away from the sleeve hem stitching. These lines will act as guidelines when cutting the frills and help keep the T shirt edge of the frill nice and straight. Cut away the lower hem and sleeve hems just above the hem stitching to give raw edges on the hem and sleeve.
  6. Starting from the middle, working outwards, cut vertically up along the hem line, stopping at the faint drawn line. Continue to do this at 1cm intervals around the hem and sleeve hems to give an even frill. The measurements do not have to be exact but it looks better if they are as accurate as possible. Mark them beforehand, if you are not confident about doing it by eye. Pull slightly at the strands of the fringes to make them curl and give them that rolled look.

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