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Friday, 13 December 2013

Get crafting! . . . a beautiful Christmas snowflake t-shirt!

This is our inaugural post for our blog, so we have a special Christmas craft for you. It celebrates the uniqueness of snowflakes, as well as making a great gift for someone else! 

Christmas is such a wonderful time of the year, and here in Australia, it is the end of the school year as well, so long holidays just add to the festive season! It means we have time to do craft and think of how we can be a blessing to others, in a special, Christmas-sy way! This is a fun craft to do with mum. Try upcycling an old t-shirt (which is what we did!) for a special friend as a Christmas gift, or wear it to get into the Christmas feel!

We've seem a number of similar t-shirts on the internet, but here's how we did ours!

It's so much easier to do a craft when you have everything with you, so take the time to collect all the bits and pieces you will need first. You'll need:
  • a plain t-shirt
  • paper doilies
  • scissors
  • paint (and textile medium)
  • paintbrush
  • pieces of material, ribbon, lace, crocheted doilies, buttons

The first thing you will need to make is snowflakes out of paper doilies.
  • Snowflakes look best when they have six points, so fold the doily in half, then in half again (just to mark the centre of the first fold). Then fold it into three, using the centre point to keep the folds even. Shape the points of the snowflake by cutting out a piece or two. 
  • Paper doilies are a bit plain in the middle of them, so cut out some half circles, diamonds or squares along both folds, to make the middle more 'lacey'. 
  • Use different sized and patterned paper doilies for variety.

Mix your paint on the one plate, so you can have a few shades to work with easily. We used regular acrylic paint, and mixed it with a textile medium (according to the manufacturer's directions) so that it will be permanent on the t-shirt. Mix the textile medium in before you start mixing colours.

Place some newspaper inside the t-shirt to protect the back of the t-shirt and the table. Lay out the doilies in the pattern you want. Overlap some of them to keep the pattern more dense. If there is a part of the t-shirt you don't want to accidentally print, cover it with paper (we didn't want to print on the neckband, so we covered that up).

You can make your prints using a roller, but we found it just as easy to use a thick, round brush to 'dab' over the holes of the paper snowflakes. 
  • Vary the shades of paint you use, by picking slightly different shades for each snowflake, and adding highlights on each snowflake, using your lightest shade. 
  • You might find you need to lift a snowflake to print one that is partly underneath - just be careful that you lift it carefully so it doesn't smudge paint. 
  • You could even add a little bit of glitter paint in some spots for a bit of extra sparkle!

Allow the paint to dry for 24 hours then give it an iron or set according to instructions on your paint. 

To add some more dimension and texture to your design, make a selection from your bits and pieces you gathered. Think of balancing your design, incorporating the same colours and shades. Play around with what you would like it to look like. You could even take a photo of this, so you can refer back to it as you sew it on.

We used simple stitches - mostly running stitch - to sew each piece on. 
  • The crocheted doily has running stitch around its edges, while the ribbons were both attached on the inside of the t-shirt, and one was stitched right down the centre of it with running stitch.

You could even make a fancy little addition, like this little frilled button.
  • Take a piece of lace and, starting with a knot at the end of your thread, stitch a small running stitch along the edge. 
  • Pull it tight to gather it up, overlap the edges and anchor it to the t-shirt as you stitch a button in the middle.

 Add some buttons and ribbons . . .

And look at what you've made! Take a moment to appreciate your work, and give yourself a pat on the back! If you're making it as a gift, have a little thought about how the person you are giving it to, may feel when they open up their present (it's exciting, isn't it!). Maybe even take a minute to say a little prayer for them - that's a special gift, too!

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