I’ve been experimenting with different ways of stencil painting lately and thought I’d share my favourite method so far. I’ve tried Krylon spray paint, Simply Spray Stencil Paint and Tulip Fabric Spray Paint. The Tulip spray is my favourite right now. I found it easier to control where the spray goes, it doesn’t smell and I like the finish it leaves. Here is a step-by-step of a Pontiac GTO Judge t-shirt that I made for my boyfriend.

1. Choose your image to be stencilled.

I found a picture of a GTO Judge and created my stencil image in Photoshop. You can use pretty much any picture, photo or clip art.

2. Cut out your stencil.

I used Sure Cuts A Lot 2 and my Cricut to cut out my stencil. If you don’t have a Cricut, you can print, trace or draw your image on to your stencil and cut it out using an exacto knife. For my stencil, I used shelf liner that I bought at the Dollar Store. You can use card stock, freezer paper, vellum paper, mylar, etc. If you are going to be reusing your stencil, make sure you use a material that will last.

3. Place your stencil on your t-shirt (or whatever you’re painting).

Your shirt should be washed and dried NOT using fabric softener. If using shelf liner or vinyl, just peel off the backing and adhere to the shirt. If you’re using card stock or something similar, you can use spray adhesive to adhere your stencil. If using freezer paper, iron on to your shirt shiny side down. Place a piece of cardboard inside your shirt to keep any paint from leaking through onto the back.

Note: if your stencil has a lot of cut out pieces or fine line work, you may want to use transfer paper to place on your shirt. I usually do, but didn’t this time and ended up ripping my stencil. Luckily, it was a clean tear and you can’t notice it.

4. Protect your shirt from overspray.

When spraying your stencil, it’s easy to get random spray all over the rest of your shirt. Use some old paper, flyers, cardstock or whatever you have laying around to cover exposed areas around your stencil.

5. Spray your shirt.

If using Tulip Fabric Spray, make sure you depress the pump smoothly and all the way down. Otherwise, it comes out in a splatter. (Unless that’s the effect you want of course!) Cover evenly, but not too heavily. It shouldn’t be dripping wet.

6. Remove the stencil.

I’m really impatient and remove my stencil right away to see how it turned out. You may want to let your paint dry for a bit before removing, but I find if you’re careful you can peel it off right away. Tulip Fabric Spray Paint does not require heat setting, but you have to let it dry for 72 hours before washing.

You can use the Tulip paint on any type of fabric.

That’s it! Enjoy your completed shirt.

Stencilled Pikachu bag made with the same method: