Frightfully Easy DIY Halloween T-Shirts

October 25, 2016 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF

Easy DIY Halloween t-shirt

Want to get your craft on this Halloween, but worried you’ll slice off an appendage trying to carve a Pinterest-perfect jack-o’-lantern? Then try these frighteningly fun, eerily easy DIY Halloween t-shirts!


Easy DIY Halloween t-shirt

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

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• Solid colored t-shirts or hoodies
• Masking tape
Tulip Fabric Spray Paint
• Newspaper or plastic tablecloth
• Scrap fabric (for testing)
• Cardboard box/pieces of cardboard


HOW TO MAKE IT:

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Step 1: Prep

Pre-wash your shirts; don’t use fabric softener.

Cover your work area. You can use a plastic tablecloth if you’re inside, or lay down newspaper if — like me — you’re crafting alfresco. Crisp fall afternoons never fail to motivate my creativity!

Slide a piece of cardboard inside the shirts to keep the paint from bleeding through.

Hint: If you’re going to have a little ghoul helping you, task them with laying out newspaper or ripping tape. Also, this paint is meant to stick to clothes, so a smock or apron might be in order for both you and your assistant.

Easy DIY Halloween t-shirt

Step 2: Tape

Sketch out your designs with pencil and paper, or just grab your tape and go for it! I had fun keeping things loose and messy, ripping pieces of masking tape and applying it to my shirts to create stencils — and it’s easy enough to pull up and re-position the tape as you go.

My goal was to create skull t-shirts for the whole family to wear to a Halloween party. I created negative space stencils on Jon’s white tee and Papa’s orange tee, masking out the  “solid” part of the skull. The eyes, nose and teeth became the paint color (black), and the skull was the shirt color (in this case, white or orange).

I had an extra shirt for Jon, so I made an orange jack-o’-lantern design for him as well.

Easy DIY Halloween t-shirt

For my black tee, I taped the outline of the skull, as well as the eyes, nose and teeth, so they would be black when I was finished painting.

Easy DIY Halloween t-shirt

Step 3: Spray

Use scrap fabric to test each color before applying it to your shirts, to ensure the paint sprays smoothly.

When you’re ready for the real deal, hold the bottle about 6-8 inches away, spraying with full, even pumps to get a nice, wide “airbrush”-type coverage.

For a messier, splatter effect, hold the bottle closer to the shirt and use quick pumps, pressing the nozzle only halfway down.

Easy DIY Halloween t-shirt

Since I wanted a white skull on my shirt, I first sprayed a heavy layer of white, let that dry a bit, and then added a layer of “Glittering Diamond” (white glitter) for an extra snazzy effect.

Tip: Due to my shirt being black and having a positive space design, it required a lot more paint than the others. The final result was a bit stiff and not very breathable. My advice is to do a positive space design with dark paint on lighter shirts, so it doesn’t require as much paint to make it show up.

Easy DIY Halloween t-shirt

Step 4: Dry

If you don’t want the paint to smear into your taped area, let the shirts dry for a couple of hours before removing the tape. If you don’t mind an extra bit of messiness (I didn’t), you can remove the tape right away.

The product instructions say to let the shirts dry for 72 hours before washing them again (this time inside out). However, if you only did a light coverage of paint, a day or 2 of drying should be fine. But maybe don’t wash it with your whites, just in case. 😉

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While I have you… check out some DIY Halloween costumes on Designer Daddy.

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