Friday, October 30

Last Minute Halloween T-Shirt

I love flexing my art skills (or lack off should I say) especially at this time of year. 
Plus if I can do it on a very limited budget even better!
With Halloween just a day away I bet there is still many of you sitting there panicking not sure what to wear. Have no fear this hallow's eve and follow this tutorial for making a very simple DIY Halloween top. If your feeling brave why not spook out a pair of black legging/jeans too? 
But don't just use this for Halloween but keep it for all year around and modify your life and make bright and personalised tops. I might just hear that little tinkle of Xmas calling my name for a Christmas print t-shirt....

For this mini project you will need:
  • An item of clothing
  • Craft Knife of scissors
  • Your Pattern on card (either printed or drawn)
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Sponge
  • Iron 
  • Masking Tape (optional) 
  • Tailors chalk/fabric marker (optional)
For the top I made I did a google search for 'outline ribcage' and came out with a pattern I liked. If you are feeling particularly arty then draw your pattern onto a bit of card, so you can skip this first bit. 
Freeware editing software Gimp
I took the pattern onto my editing software and played about with the proportions of the pattern. I knew that my picture have to be stretched in length to fit the t-shirt of my 6ft6 wearer. So tweak the proportions until you are happy with what you would like. Then time to hit print.

It might take a few tries untill you land up with the perfect size pattern for your garment. This is when marking the fabric really helps to help you gauge what size you need. For the length of the t-shirt my pattern have to cover at least one and a half bits of A4. A mark is also very useful for making sure when you wear your clothing that the pattern will land up in the right place.

Tip - One thing to bare in mind is that if you have a symmetrical pattern that will take quite a bit of cutting out, only do a half pattern then flip the template over for the other side. 

Now for the more boring of bits - cutting out. This is where you will be glad for a larger pattern you have only printed half of it. I used a craft knife to make sure I got into the more fiddly bits. Not much I can say here other than the sharper the knife the better, less cutting and 'going over' if you have thick card. For reference I printed on 200gsm - it was a bit weak when wet with paint but it did hold up well. I wouldn't go for anything much thinner. 

Time to get the acrylic paints out that's stored in a cupboard somewhere and a sponge from the kitchen; sorry dishes. Stick that pattern down on your garment with a bit of masking tape to hold it in place if its a big pattern. If its something really small and simple just hold with your fingers and delicately sponge the design, this worked well on my previous paint art ankh leggings.
Now take a bit of paint on your sponge and dab away.

Make sure the paint is dry on your pattern before you flip it over like in the image above. Keep going all the way aligning or moving your pattern until you are happy with how its turned out. I chose to make it look a bit more 'grungy' because it is Halloween after all. If I had thought in advance I would 
 have bought some glow in the dark fabric paint; but there's always next time.
Once you are sure its completely dry, time to go over the image with a hot iron. Put a tea towel or something in between the paint and the iron just to make sure it doesn't burn. The heating of the iron will help the paint set into the fabric and help ensure the pattern will be there for a good few washes.

Now you can bask in the glory of your newly made specially designed t-shirt.

There is so much things that can be done from lots of colour layering, glitter, glow in the dark, spray bottles etc the only limit is you. Are you going to give this idea a go? Id love to see how you get on if you do.

Its also a great little idea for doing with any little ones, and if my toddler was a bit older I would defiantly be doing the painting bit with her.  Did I mention its also a very, very cheap project with most of the things used in this already found around the house. 

What are you doing for Halloween? Tag me on Instagram (@umber_phoenix) or leave a comment down below.

Much Love,
Umber x


  1. This looks like a really good idea. I've been to two halloween events so far in America, they were both amazing x

    1. Yay im glad you enjoyed your halloween Hannah :)

      Much Love, Umber x

  2. omg! this looks awesome!!!! i need to make something like this! lol its so cool! xo

    1. Make sure to show me how you get on :) You can tag me at @umber_phoenix on both twitter and instagram. Cant wait

      Much Love, Umber x

  3. ALL of my Halloween looks are last minute, and this is such a fab idea! Love it <3 xx

    1. Im glad you liked the idea :)

      Much Love,
      Umber x

  4. What a great idea! I'd love to do this to a tank top.

  5. Wow, great idea. I love the t-shirt.


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