Monday, 3 May 2010

Dereliction of duties

I'm finding it ever so tempting to just hide away now and do nothing until the new baby is born (I'm increasingly thinking that the Victorians had the right idea about confinement). This week I have weathered a full moon, a birthday and a bank holiday, none of which have triggered labour as I so confidently predicted!

My husband, with some amusement, reported to me that the boy had suggested my birthday cake be hidden in the kitchen 'because mummy doesn't often go in there'. Clearly, my children have noticed that mummy is not her usual self - I can't say that I'm feeling a surge of domestic energy at the moment! I did think that it would be nice this weekend to do something with them though, before life gets hectic, so we got out the fabric paints kindly sent to me by dylon a while ago to decorate some t-shirts (my April destashing make).


The t-shirts are some plain organic cotton ones from H&M (thanks, Florence for the tip-off), cheap enough to justify painting on, but nice enough quality to stand up to a bit of washing. I then got the children to come up with a design for their t-shirts, which we finalised after a bit of negotiation out of the more complicated elements! The girl went for a series of freehand hearts, whereas the boy wanted to design a teddyland flag. The designs were drawn onto the reverse, non-shiny side, of some Reynolds freezer paper (from Cottonpatch) then cut out on my cutting mat with a craft knife.

The place where I wished I hadn't scrimped was with the 45p craft knife I bought, which wasn't keen on cutting curves into the freezer paper without leaving a jagged edge, but even so the stencils came out nice and crisply once the shiny side of the freezer paper was fused to the t-shirts with a hot dry iron.


Next on to the fun bit, cracking open the brightly coloured paints. A little bit really does go a long way and the paints really do seem to be superior quality to others I've tried, so worth the money even at £2.99 a pot in my local craft shop, they'll last for ages. The go on smoothly and evenly, then you just have to fix them in place with a hot iron once dry.


I definitely think stencils are the way to go for small people, as I can only imagine the mess we would have got ourselves in with a free-for-all approach! The most satisfying bit is peeling away the freezer paper for the final reveal.

before the final reveal
can you tell what it is yet?

Ta da!

boy t-shirt - teddyland flag
girl t-shirt - hearts

They can't wait to wear their creations. The girl is thinking of adding a necklace of buttons stitched around the neckline of the t-shirt, and maybe some sequins for a bit of razzle dazzle. The boy is planning his next t-shirt, teddy-themed once more, this time with a teddy on bicycle shooting a bow and arrow in space. Might be needing a better craft knife for that one!


  1. Wow - they look amazing. Love "the reveal".

  2. That looks so exciting I want one for myself.

    I thought perhaps your silence was due to delivery but no such luck. Apparently hoovering is a good thing to do, but I think that's a step too far...

  3. Helen these are fab! your kiddlings are lucky little tots, you put me to shame I was just satug last night how we don't do enough messy stuff with dude, I reckon another 6 months he'd easily be up for this. you're a star, and good luck for the arrival x

  4. You have every right to do nothing, I am very impressed by the tea shirts. Keep well

  5. Cool! Hope you did a couple of baby vests while you were at it!

  6. Well done for being creative... I know how hard it is to get motivated at the moment... I don't go in the kitchen much either right now! x

  7. They're so adorable!!! I love the heart ones--totally something I would have made as a wee one. Or tried to (not the best artist)...

  8. They turned out great. I've finally bought some freezer paper, so maybe I will finally get around to trying stencils out.

  9. The t-shirts look great, lots of fun.

  10. They're pretty impressive - I haven't tried stencilling yet on T-shirts, so some useful tips there. Everything I've done has been freehand.

  11. Gorgeous!!
    I love them x


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