Friday, 15 October 2010

Print Your Own: Nautical Tee

So...thought the nautical theme was over and done with? You obviously haven't seen the many spring/summer collections promoting the navy stripes once again! Get ready for spring, or even this winter (layers!) and create your own t-shirt.

(This technique can also be used in a variety of ways, so the 'how to' is more to show the general technique i used)

What you will need:
  • sharp scissors
  • masking tape or contact paper
  • fabric paints
  • paint brush and/or sponge
  • A plain t-shirt (pale colours work best)

Start by laying out your t-shirt, using the masking tape (in varying widths) lay out the design you desire. 
I have placed the strips with differing spacing between them, and have cut both thin and thick pieces of masking tape. This can be quite tricky as the tape wants to stick to the scissors and not be cut!
Using contact paper can be easier to cut up but I find the masking tape gives better results....

Make sure you place a bin bag or plastic shopping bags underneath your item (not newspaper) so the paint cannot stick to the surface. Also, when printing on one side - push a plastic bag in between the t-shirt to prevent transfer to the back.

Here you can see how I mixed by fabric paint, blue and black to create the navy. You can buy millions of different colours but mixing saves money! Swirl together with a stiff paint brush and apply onto the t-shirt using either a bit of sponge or the brush itself.

You will use quite a bit of fabric paint, don't be sparing - slap it on there! Making sure you have an even covering...

When the paint is dry (1-2 hours) peel away the masking tape to reveal your masterpiece!
The lines may be rough and not pin sharp, but that's all part of the look!

Using the contact paper, you can cut out shapes to make a stencil, and use the stencil on your shirt. Stick it down, and paint! I did this simple heart design, but you can get much more fancy

Leave your tee for 24 hours minimum before ironing (this seals in the dye) use an old piece of thin material, or a teal towel - don't iron straight on to the shirt. You can then wash and dry your tee as normal without the colours fading or transferring onto any other clothing.

Good Luck and let me know if you try it out!



  1. haha it looks great!
    hope to see u in my blog :)
    DaisyLine from


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