Wednesday, January 30, 2013



Frida Kahlo is one of my favorite artists. She was surreal before the surrealists knew what was going on. She painted her feelings. She wore authentic Tijuana costumes. She had a uni-brow. She and her husband Diego Rivera might’ve eaten human flesh. How can you not pay homage to someone as interesting as her? Here’s a way to do that and fix up a stained shirt you’ve worn too frequently to your art classes.

Cotton Tee Shirt
Black Fabric Paint
Cheap Paintbrush
My Frida Kahlo Stencil
An old piece of cardboard



1.)    Download and print my Frida Kahlo stencil. For this project, I suggest that you transfer it on to a thicker type of paper. For this project, I used a piece of Bristol Board with a Vellum finish. Once transferred cut out the stencil.

2.)    Lay your shirt down on a work surface and slide an old piece of cardboard inside. This is going to keep the bleach and paints from seeping through to the back of your shirt. Place your stencil in the desired spot on the front of your shirt and tape it down.

3.)    Dip your brush into the bleach and start applying it to the stencil, working from the outer edges in. Take your time, and let the bleach develop on the shirt.

4.)    Lift your stencil. Your shirt should look like the image above (left) you can leave it like this if you want, but you really can’t tell who that’s supposed to be, so taking your bleach fill in the face and neck of Frida and touch up any spots that haven’t quite developed (right)

5.)    At this point you will go ahead and rinse your shirt in cold water. This will stop the bleaching process. If you skip this step, the bleach will continue to process and eat away not only the fabric paint in our next step, but your shirt as well, leaving a huge hole.

6.)    Once your shirt is dry, lay the stencil over top of your bleached area, sliding it a bit off to one side. This will give the halo effect you see in my shirt. You can, if you would like, line everything up perfectly. The choice is up to you.

7.)    Squeeze out some black fabric paint and, taking your brush, work your stencil from the outside edges in, in the same way that you did the bleach (left). Once you have filled in the stencil, lift your paper and touch up any areas of black that aren’t fully covered.

8.)    Once dry, follow the instructions on your fabric paint’s tube to set your paint.

9.)    Wear your fancy shirt with pride.

10.)  Tell everyone where you learned how to do this.


No comments:

Post a Comment