I started a little tradition three years ago and started making camping t-shirts using freezer paper stencils and fabric paint for our annual camping trips with our good friends. The boys are all best buddies, and it is so awesome to see them hanging out and having fun. They actually love the t-shirts and wear them year-round. Even now that they are getting older — it makes a crafty-mama’s heart grow two sizes!
You can see my original tutorial for the freezer paper stenciled shirts from 2008, here. Once again, we went back to the exact same campsites. Awesome sites. And this year we had perfect weather as opposed to the washed out 2009 trip.
The first year were bears, last year were moose (we do live in Maine after all), and this year were bald eagles! The bald eagles turned out super-cool, if I do say so myself. I gathered inspiration online, and then freehand drew the bird on a piece of paper. Hubby cleaned it up a little bit for me – my talons weren’t talon-y enough, I guess.
I did something new this year, and decided to try printing them out on my inkjet printer, straight onto the freezer paper. With the intricate designs, I have found that it is hard to re-use a stencil. So, I had four of these babies to draw and cut out. I cut freezer paper to approximate 8.5×11″ letter-size paper, and slid it into my paper tray, making sure that it would print on the paper side of the freezer paper. It worked marvelously!! And then I cut out the designs with my little Xacto knife which was a 100% improvement from using my embroidery scissors like I did last year. I did three coats of paint this time, which on the turquoise shirts, worked really well. Two coats didn’t seem quite enough. As always, just wash them inside out. They hold up really well. The boys still wear their bear shirts from 2008.
The boys all chose the bald eagle mascot this year. They love coming up with ideas for the next year’s shirt. It’s great. I actually saw a bald eagle in our backyard yesterday! It was super-cool! Our golden retriever had a lot of fun barking at him. This was a juvenile, hence the non-white head.