Freckles in April: DIY Moon Phase Tees

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

DIY Moon Phase Tees

My boys are incredibly interested in the world around them. They spend their days reading a bug encyclopedia from grandma, looking up YouTube videos about sharks and asking me every question you could possibly imagine about volcanoes.

When I told them the anniversary of the lunar landing was coming up on July 20th they were SO excited. We watched a documentary about the Apollo 11 mission, looked up pictures of the phases of the moon and talked about what the surface is like.

And we made moon shirts to wear on July 20th. Because obviously.

To make your own moon phase tees, you'll need:
  • T-shirts
  • Freezer paper
  • Iron
  • Scissors and/or X-acto knife
  • Fabric paint (I used white and a smidgen of black)
  • Sponge

First, I used Google image search to find a silhouette of the moon. I sized it to fit my project and made it an outline only to save on ink and printed it out.

You can even just pull up a picture of the moon on your computer, hold up a piece of freezer paper with the paper side facing you and then trace. I put my printed moon under the freezer paper and did a rough trace job since I didn't want to cut out a bunch of tiny details.

REALLY rough.

Carefully cut out the stencil. As I cut I let my scissors and X-acto knife add in some rougher edges so it wouldn't be QUITE so blobby.

Try on your tee and put a pin where you want the top of your design to go. Flip your tee inside out and iron a square of freezer paper (wax side down) to the BACK of where your design will go. Then flip your tee right side out. The paper in the back will keep your paint from bleeding through and your fabric from moving!

Carefully iron the stencil in place on the front of your tee, making sure that the top of the moon is oriented upward! Your fabric should be securely sandwiched between two layers of freezer paper.

It's time to paint! I mixed a drop of black into my white because I felt like the white was too bright. Take a sponge and start gently sponging paint into the open spaces of the stencil. I tried to keep it uneven looking.

When you're done, carefully peel off the stencil. Then, bounce your sponge on a tissue or paper towel to remove most of the paint and then sponge lighter paint onto the darker areas of the moon (I wish I had done a bit more. I may go back and do some filling in).

And here's the awesome part- if you're making more than one shirt you can use your stencil again! Make sure the paint is dry so it doesn't transfer to your iron. Take your second tee, turn it inside out, add a square of freezer paper to the back side, turn it right side out, then iron on your stencil! 

When we did my boys' tees they decided they wanted to do a waning moon on theirs. I held a piece of paper over a portion of the stencil while they sponged in paint then I helped them blend the edge.

Let dry, remove the freezer paper from the inside and wear away!

To wash, turn inside out, wash on cold, lay flat to dry.


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  1. These are adorable!

  2. Well these are just the most darling photos ever!


  3. i wanna make this! I love the waning moon, it looks cool!


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