Tuesday, April 6, 2021

"Break the Rules" T-shirt by Sue Plumb

Hello Stencil Lover! It's Sue Plumb here today to share my Creative Team project for our "Wearables" theme. I love these sort of themes that push me to create something different to what I would usually do. I am sure we all have lots of amazing stencils in our stash that can be used for purposes beyond our normal use, and creating an item that can be worn is definitely one for me. 

Having thought about this theme, my decision was to create something for my (almost) teenage daughter. When she isn't in her school uniform she tends to live in shorts or jeans and t-shirts. (A bit like me, really.) When I considered what item she would get the most use out of (because I am all about practicality) I decided to do a t-shirt. I knew I could also easily match my design to her personality.

So I began with a plain white t-shirt, placed a sheet of cardboard inside it, and then clipped the t-shirt around it. I then used my 2" wide paint brush and the dry brush method to apply two different colours of acrylic paint to the focal area of the shirt.

Once I had some background colour down, it was time to whip out my stencils. I chose the Not Calling You Back stencil designed by Andrea Matus deMeng. This stencil was inspired by Hollywood legend Lauren Bacall, and it was the sassy look she has that drew me to it immediately (and made it perfect for my daughter!) I used black StazOn ink and a sponge dauber to stencil the image onto the shirt.

I also wanted the shirt to feature some text, so I paired the image with the If You Break All the Rules You Miss All the Fun stencil by Carolyn Dube, which was from the StencilClub release back in August 2018. (The entire set was called The Playtime Collection and was an exclusive for StencilGirl Club members.) I used the same ink and technique as I did for the focal image.

Next it was time to liven up my design, with some additional background detail. I drew on the theme of Hollywood star, and chose the Military Style Star stencil by June Pfaff Daley to add some stars to my background. I used the same ink technique, but this time switched to a teal ink, so that they would coordinate with the paint colour I had used. 

For my next step, I pulled out a white Posca paint pen and used it to add a few highlights to the face and hair. Although they don't really show up in my photos here, it allowed me to colour over some of the paint on the background to help the image pop more from the background.

At this point I thought my design was slightly lacking something, and decided to add some extra background detail in a different colour (purple). I knew my daughter would like the addition of the purple, but I didn't want to add it in such a way as that it would overwhelm the focal point of the design, so I chose one of my all-time favourite stencils - Organized Chaos by Cat Kerr to add the random style dots in amongst the structured shapes of the stars. 

Now I was finally happy with my design and I knew my daughter would be too! It turned out to be the  perfect custom t-shirt for my girl. 

I hope I have inspired you to look at the stencils in your stash a bit differently to see what else you could create to make the best use of them. Sometimes it is fun to get out of our comfort zones, isn't it?

Thanks so much for stopping by today so I could share this with you.
Happy stencilling!


  1. What a fun t-shirt! I bet your daughter will love it. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Looks fantastic,is there something we can put on it to make it washable?

  3. Darling t-shirt! How does it wash? What can be done to make it washable?

  4. I would like to know the same thing? do you heat set it so it can be washed??


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