Watch kids get in the spooky Halloween spirit with a monster t-shirt they paint themselves! Let their personality shine and watch their pride grow when adding to their own personal wardrobe when creating this fun DIY! See how to paint your own monster t-shirt using a freezer paper stencil and fabric paint!
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Long time followers know that this isn’t a new project concept but a well loved one in our house! My girls LOVE painting their own t-shirts made using a freezer paper stencil and fabric paints. We’ve already made summer t-shirts, patriotic stars, a 100 days of school and now they have a Halloween monster t-shirt in their closet!
This Halloween, I let the girls paint their own Monster T-shirt and even asked them to design some monsters I could use as inspiration! I loved the one on the bottom left of her drawing and used him for the top left monster in our design!
Here’s what we used to make our DIY Monster T-shirt:
- T-shirt (Most of my DIY kids t-shirts use these Cat and Jack ones from Target)
- Freezer Paper
- Cricut Maker
- Cricut EasyPress (or iron)
- Monster T-shirt design (I created one as a stencil template and one that can be done in different colors of vinyl)
- Fabric Paint (we used Deco Art’s SoSoft brand)
- Sponge brush
- Scrap cardboard
First, cut your design. This DIY t-shirt is different from the others I’ve shared, as I created an area for the kids to paint, which are cut on a freezer paper stencil, but also added black and white eyes using iron on vinyl.
Upload your file to your Cricut Design Space. Make sure you mirror the vinyl black and white shapes as you’ll be cutting them on heat transfer vinyl, but the freezer paper stencil (which I put in orange to make it stand out) must be moved to the center of your screen while in Design Space. This will give you some wiggle room around the edge of the design to prevent any painting mistakes!
To create the freezer paper stencil, set your Cricut to the lowest material setting if it’s an Explore Air 2 or select “Freezer Paper” if it’s a Cricut Maker.
Place your freezer paper on the mat with the shiny side down and send the file to cut. TIP: a fresh blade might be needed since the freezer paper is so thin!
Cut your iron on vinyl during this same cutting step. Don’t forget to mirror!
Weed your vinyl and freezer paper designs. I highly recommend all Cricut crafters have Cricut’s 5 piece basic tool set which includes the weeding hook!
To adhere, lay the shiny side of the freezer paper stencil centered on the front of the shirt. Use your EasyPress or iron to attach this freezer paper stencil in place.
When it comes to painting, first cover your table surface. Insert a piece of cardboard inside the shirt to prevent the paint from bleeding to the back.
When painting with kids (or hey, even us adults) I find it easiest to use a different plate and foam brush for each paint color to keep it all separate.
Smocks are also recommended since it’s fabric paint!
Apply paint to your t-shirt in an up and down motion, not a back and forth painting motion. This will help keep the stencil down and prevent bleeding under it.
With the fabric paint, you can give a full coverage with a heavy application or only put it on lightly to make a more vintage look. Either way, it looks great and it’s hand painted by you!
For this DIY Monster T-shirt, we used tangerine, dioxazine purple, bright yellow and bright avocado green.
They chose their own placement of colors to paint whichever monster and monster parts in whatever colors they wanted! We also discovered part way through that they mistakenly sat in the wrong seats and were actually painting each other’s shirts!
After painting, carefully peel the stencil off, which honestly is my favorite part! DecoArt recommends letting the designs fully dry for 72 hours before wearing or washing.
After thoroughly drying I added the iron on vinyl eyes in place on each of the monsters. (Note: that this step did seem to alter my white vinyl in some places to turn a little yellow, but that added to our monster affect so no one cared!)
These girls will be rocking their DIY Monster t-shirts this Halloween season and probably long after)!
Check out other projects we’ve made using this brand of fabric paint: