materials for making your own shirt-stencil

-xacto knife


-fabric paint (if not, spray paint)

-brushes or sponges

-cup of hot water

-hard surface


-scrap paper or folder*


* = optional

how to do it

Start by cutting out your stencil, if you do not know how to do this, check my stenciling tutorial (photo: below, left)

Put a shirt, color of your choice (that matches nicely with the colours you'll be using with your stencil) on top of a hard surface, most likely a table. Slide scrap pieces of paper (or, my personal favorite a folder) between the shirt where you'll be putting your stencil. The paper or folder is so that the paint that goes through the shirt won't go onto the other side. DO NOT place papers between that shirt that are important or that you would want to keep, they will be full of paint. Place your stencil on top. (photo: above, right)

Dab your paintbrush into the paint, and then onto the shirt, do not go out of your stencil, the paint will not come off the shirt (hopefully.) (photo: below, left)

Remove the stencil (photo: above, right)

Take a smaller paint brush and use the left over paint and fill in where the bridges on your stencil were. (photo: below)

You have now done your first stencil! Congratulations! Hopefully you will continue doing this, and you will expand your knowledge into other types of arts! Good luck!

Finished product. (photo: above)


-if you have trouble keeping the stencil in place, tape it down

-when dabbing the paint on, use a brush with hard bristles and hold the brush up right. Soft bristles will get the paint under the stencil and you'll have a mess

-try experimenting on cardboard before the shirt

-when finished, go over your stencil two more times (if it's a light colour) by hand with a small paint brush, to make the colour dark

-if you have no patience, dry your stencil with a hair dryer set on high and warm. hold it close to the shirt

-sell the shirt to friends and family when you get good for about 15$ a piece =)