It’s July! You know what happens in July? Harry Potter’s birthday! I love Harry Potter and my boys are HUGE fans. So Rae Gun Rambling’s series Happy Harry Potter is one of my favorites. For this year’s festivities I have a tutorial for making your own silk screen stencils so you can make Hogwarts House Crest Tees.
Show your house pride on anything and everything! The stencils are completely reusable and can be used with all kinds of mediums on all kinds of surfaces. But my favorites I’ve done are watermark tees with bleach.
These tees have been in my boys’ regular, weekly rotations for a long, long time. We’ve made them for friends as gifts, too. I figured today was as good a day as any to finally share them and how they are made.
By using a homemade screen print technique, you get a reusable template so you can show your house pride anywhere and everywhere! Using bleach instead of paint or dyes gives a simple but graphic effect that looks cool and professional. But the templates we’re going to make can be used with paints, as well.
For the screen print, you need:
-sheer fabric (cheap-O curtain fabric from Jo-Ann Stores). I buy a yard at a time, and get about a half dozen or so screen print stencils out of it.
-NON-water soluble craft decoupage. I use Collage Pauge (affiliate link)
-A large embroidery hoop. The bigger, the better
-A bold image. I googled “hogwarts house crests coloring pages” to find the images I used. Coloring pages are easier to use because they use bold lines and less details.
Trace your image onto the sheer fabric. I leave out all the fine details because they are hard for me to paint later.
Place the traced image into an embroidery hoop, as tightly as you can get it. Use a fine point paint brush to completely paint in the negative space with the craft decoupage. Again, I don’t do all the tiny little details because I’m not so great at painting. But if you rock the brush, detail that baby up! Make sure to fully get all the negative space. Hold it up to the light every once in a while so you can see where you may have missed a spot. Another tip, place the hoop opposite as what this picture shows. Paint with the hoop ring so that the fabric is slightly lifted off the surface. This way, you don’t risk moving the hoop on accident and smearing ‘pauge where you don’t want it! Also, I like to keep paper or something underneath while I paint to protect my table I’m working on.
Let dry and you have an awesome, completely reusable screen print stencil!
Because you used a non-water soluble decupauge, you can wash your stencil after using. These stencils can be used over and over and over again. I store my stencils flat (without hoops), with wax paper in between them. True confession: I actually made the stencils with the crests three years ago and just pulled them back out for this! So much better than freezer paper!
So, now you’re ready to transfer that image onto anything and everything! I’ve used fabric paints, acrylic paints, screen printing paints and bleach with my stencils over the years. All work fantastic! Let’s start with the bleached “watermark”. The pictures for this tutorial are actually from when I made some watermark Cubs shirts for my husband and sons a few years ago, but the process is exactly the same for the Hogwarts crests, or for anything else.
I wanted a subtle, worn, kind of retro-look to my shirts. To get a watermark effect, look for shirts that are “heathered”. I usually buy mine at Old Navy. You can do the bleached print on regular colors, though, too. It will just make a bolder image.
I always use a bleach pen. You can find them in the laundry section at the store. The bleach in the pens is suspended in gel, so unlike straight bleach from the jug, it stays in place and doesn’t run as much, or evaporate as quickly. Place your template in the desired location and use the “scrubbing” side of the pen to really press the bleach through the screen.
I always have my sink full and ready with warm water
So after you’ve bleached the image, remove the screen and let the bleach sit for a couple of minutes. It really doesn’t need long at all. Three minutes seems to be the magic number for me. Then just submerge your project in the water and watch your graphic appear.
Now just wash and wear as normal. Because the design is bleached, it doesn’t fade with washing. In fact, both of these tees are three years old, and have each gone through two kids and who knows how many washings!
But don’t limit yourself to tee shirts and bleach! Your stencil can work on anything you can get it flat on. Customize bags, pillows, walls. I like to use mine for custom gift wrap. I’ve made a few watermark tees over the years as gifts, and then I use the cleaned stencil to give a sneak peek of what’s inside on the packaging.
Don’t forget to check out all the amazing, inspiring and magical ideas and posts and fun that are Happy Harry Potter