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Stenciled sweatshirt tight crop at 72 dpi

Big initial M

 When I was a kid I used to love those photo puzzlers where you’d see a magnified closeup of a part of something — like a curved piece of something white — and have to guess what it was (the handle of a teacup).That’s sort of what’s happening with the photo at the top of this blog.

Stenciled sweatshirt-006 at 72 dpi

On Saturday night, Oct. 19, Destiny and I are hosting a painting party at the ETA-California conference in Irvine, and we’ll be teaching folks how to sponge and stencil their tops. I decided to do a sample using an old black hoodie that had a VERY stubborn oil stain on it. (Lumiere paint works wonders to hide stubborn stains! And this is the same paint we use on shoes, so you probably have some of it around the house already.)

Stenciled sweatshirt at 72 dpi

First I used masking tape to tape off some geometric shapes in the top center of the sweatshirt, where the oil stain was.

Stenciled sweatshirt-001 at 72 dpi

Then I used a cosmetic sponge to sponge on several different colors of Lumiere — Metallic Russet, Metallic Olive Green (very lightly), Metallic Bronze and Pearlescent Violet (also very lightly). I didn’t wait for each layer to dry as I was sponging them very lightly.

Stenciled sweatshirt-002 at 72 dpi

When I pulled up the tape it revealed a cluster of widely spaced geometric forms. Then, of course, it needed something more.

Stenciled sweatshirt-003 at 72 dpi

I dug out a wonderful stencil of a flock of birds and decided to have the birds flying through the design. I sprayed the back of the stencil with a stencil spray adhesive (any kind of temporary spray adhesive will work), and pressed it into place.

Then I used a cosmetic wedge to mop up a little of Lumiere’s Pearlescent White from a paper plate, and dab it straight up and down onto the stencil. Next I did the same thing (though not as heavily) with Pearlescent Magenta.

Stenciled sweatshirt-004 at 72 dpi

Here’s a peek at the just-stenciled part.

Stenciled sweatshirt-005 at 72 dpi

When the first part of the flock was dry, I repositioned the stencil and continued to work up toward the opposite shoulder. When it was dry, I sealed the paint by ironing it for 30 seconds.

Stenciled sweatshirt-006 at 72 dpi

This is not a perfect art — a closeup reveals some smudgy edges, but I like to think that’s part of the charm! The great thing is, you get really fast and really interesting results — and it’s super fun to do.

One caution — unlike painting or stenciling on shoes, it’s VERY hard to get the paint off when you make a mistake — the fabric grabs the paint and absorbs it very quickly. If that happens and you don’t like what you’ve done, just paint over it!

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