Friday, June 28, 2013

Potato-Print Star T-shirts

Who's ready for the Fourth?!

Not me.  Not yet anyway.  We have to celebrate an even more important birth tomorrow. (Pssst.  I'll give you a hint: her name starts with "S" and ends in a silent "H".)

But at least we won't go shirtless on the big day, because we've got stars.  

AND stripes.

It all started when I saw this at Old Navy and some old potatoes in my pantry.  I thought, "Hey, wouldn't it be fun/insane to let the kids make their own stamped t-shirts?!" 

So, I gathered my fabric paints, plain t-shirts, star paper punch, potatoes, paint brushes, and X-acto knife and went to work. 
The fist thing I did was turn on My Little Pony for the kids.  *This step is critical if you want to have any hope of getting things ready without slicing off a thumb. 

Next, I punched my star out of some scrap paper as my template.  You could draw it yourself, but mine kept turning out all wonky.  

I cut the potatoes in half and stuck the template on the cut part. Then, I made some cuts around the template, slicing all the way to the edge of the tater.  Once that was done, I made a shallow cut around the brown skin of the potato and popped the extra pieces of potato out, leaving a perfect little star.  

Ok, the hard part is done.  Now you just have to keep your little Monets from getting fabric paint all over the house.  

We took it outside, and here's our setup:
To avoid the color-mixing pitfalls inherent in painting, I designated a potato stamp and paint brush for each color.

Before we started painting, we inserted some freezer paper between the t-shirt layers so we wouldn't have any bleed-through in the final results and to make a smoother surface to write on or use the brushes, if they got tired of stamping.

And, AWAY they went!
Will went for a smattering of stars...
While Sarah reinterpreted VanGogh's masterpiece as wearable art:
I tried to recreate the Old Navy shirt.  
BTW, you know you're cheap when you're knocking off Old Navy.
Once the colored paint dried, we went back and added 
some glow-paint stars for a cool night-time effect.

And here's the finished product:

This project exceeded my very low expectations in several ways:
no fights broke out during the painting, 
we kept the colors decidedly un-sludgelike,
and nobody got paint anywhere besides the t-shirts.

I call that a rousing success.

Happy Friday!

P.S. If you're looking for a patriotic painting project, this one from last year was super-fun.

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