Cut to a T

T-bone steak. T-shirt. T-Mobile cell phones. Tea time. Only one of these goes well with paint. I decided to make a tshirt for a party in Buffalo. There are a lot of great tshirt sites on the internet (Threadless is a cool one) but I really loathe paying $15-20 for a shirt, another $5 for shipping, and, well you get the picture. So I decided to make one. Didn't have to be good, just had to be cheap and funny, and maybe a little scary. Like a hooker-clown.

Get this stuff:

1) X-Acto knife. If you don't already have one, you're really losing out.
2) Fabric paint. These were about $1.50 each, maybe less.
3) Tshirt. Duh. I picked this up at Michael's for $5. Yeah, FIVE dollars. And if you get one of their 40% off coupons (in every Sunday paper here), it'd be even better.
4) Something to cut on. Also you need some papers to shove in the shirt.

Take your template...

You do have a template right? Get one, make one, whatever. I made mine in Macromedia's Freehand, the best vector program out there. I printed it out sort of diagonally on a regular 8.5x11" sheet of paper. If you try anything on tabloid size (11x17") it's probably going to look way too big and horsey.

Start cutting it out. Pretty simple. Be as precise as you want to be. Like I said, this is a pretty cheap project. I've seen some tutorials on the web that give some really truly professional results, but I wasn't necessarily looking for that. Which is good, because it's a bit trickier than I originally assumed.

If you've got any letters with internal parts, like POBDAQ, etc, those parts will give you a complete pain. The problem arises when you try to keep the template from moving. Those little tiny pieces will get pushed any time you brush on them. If I want to make another tshirt, I'm going to try some hairspray on the back of the template to see if it helps hold things down. Alternatively, try some double sided adhesive. I ended up just throwing out the middle sections and doing the letters solid. Gives it kind of a ghetto feel. Hooray.

Stick a bunch of newspaper in the shirt, flat as possible, smooth as possible.

I wanted a kind of spraypaint look, so I started everything with a toothbrush. It worked pretty well, but took a while. You get really very fine dots just scrubbing your thumb along it. If you don't mind a bit of mess, hold the toothbrush sideways and flick the bristled as if it was a freshman's ear.

Then I brushed in the letters solid, carefully removed the template, figured "hey, this looks kind of crappy," and took a brush to clean up the edges.

A little detailing and edging with a secondary color, and it's done! Not too shabby, I think. Not too professional either, but for less than $8, it gets the point across.

A certified drunkologist, master in the art of drunkology, licensed and accredited by Booze U. Fantastic.


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