Every now and then I get it into my head that I am capable of doing crafts. While I do possess some of the qualities of a skilled artisan, such as attention to detail and a certain obsessive nature, I inconveniently lack the “art” aspect of the word. But because Pinterest and the various lifestyle blogs I read make it seem as if I, too, can construct my own chic fashion or home accessories from nothing more than sequins, Mod Podge and an upcycled flour sack, I occasionally indulge this delusion a little further than my level of craft artistry can really justify. (This also happens with food, which is why I rarely photograph our delectably-plated repasts of ragout a la leftovers avec priced-to-clear boeuf et fridge-withered cilantro, and when I do attempt to, it …doesn’t end well.)
But I had some time on my hands a while back and freezer paper stencil tees (there are plenty of tutorials online so I won’t do a step-by-step one – here’s a simple guide for anyone else who wants to give it a try) didn’t look like they could be too hard, so I decided it was about time to try dancing with delusion again. I had a plain black Uniqlo tee, white fabric paint, a craft knife, a Daiso cutting mat, a rather underused iron, and some spongy things I bought from Art Friend, so clearly I had everything it took to construct haute couture.
A little background on the slogan, for those rarely about to rock:
After my friend Matt introduced me to the joys of doing this song in karaoke, it’s become one of the staples of my karaoke repertoire. But since people always seem to find it hard to believe that a female might attempt Metallica at karaoke, I thought it would increase my metal cred to make my status clear on a T-shirt. You know, like those fat ugly guys you see wearing “Sex Instructor: First Lesson Free” T-shirts.
The right font is obviously key to the finished look, so praise the Lord for one of the best-named fonts ever, Pastor of Muppets. I did the layout in Photoshop Elements, then taped the printout onto my freezer paper to do the cutting. You can also print the design directly onto the freezer paper, but speaking as an idiot, it’s probably more idiot-proof to do it my way. Just take your appropriately-sized sheet of freezer paper waxy side down, and tape your printout on top of it.
Then start cutting. Don’t do this if you’re in the mood to cut a bitch, this has to be a careful, finicky process. Use a sharp knife and take your time, especially in making sure that your cut has gone cleanly through both the printout and freezer paper below.
Once that’s done, you’re ready to paint! Be aware that if you’re doing light-coloured paint on a dark fabric, you should get fabric paint which is recommended for such use (the jar will usually indicate if the paint is for use on light or dark fabrics), or else it will be difficult to put down a sufficiently opaque layer of paint.
I wore the finished garment to a recent karaoke session, so before I do the big reveal, let me share some random karaoke screencaps. Although photos taken while attempting to screech out Dirty Diana in bad lighting are invariably shitty, I like to think this almost lends them a built-in nostalgic quality. #nofilter indeed.
And here’s the moment I had been waiting for: