+ Nautical week: Stenciling sailboats

pants: 7s    top: self-made (tut to come)    shoes: thrifted    necklacke: grandma’s
I stenciled this late late, and I mean late, monday night, then woke up early to sew it together before a BIG family event in Washington State. Then I flew back to Provo that night, did some filming this morning in American Fork, then rushed home to finish everything up! PHEW!!! Me oh my!
I thought stenciling was an old school, 80s craft that was totally out of fashion. But little did I know, it is the BEST way to add pattern to a shirt. Adding pattern with freezer paper takes forever with the cutting and the ironing and you throw the paper away after using it (I tried it on this top). Stamps aren’t always consistently even and clear, and more prone to error. I literally had NO errors with this top and it took me and hour and a half to stencil. SOOOOO awesome. I’m stenciling everything now, just like my mom used to. She is who got me hooked! Watch out 80s craftin’…here I come. 

stencils (martha stewart)
fabric paint
foam/sponge brush
1. Put paper between layers of shirt
2. Place stencil to the shirt and hold as flat as possible. Lightly press the sponge over and over, to create the most perfect stencil. If you want you can mark where you want every single stencil. I eyeballed it.
3. Pull the stencil off and keep on stenciling some more, no need to wait for drying.
 LAST and very importantly:
Stick this in the dryer or iron it to heat set it the fabric paint and make it permanent. 


  1. This turned out really cute! Nice choice of fabric, stencil, and pattern. Love the open back!

  2. That is brilliant. I definitely want to try this!

  3. Very sweet. You look fab in the nautical look! :o)

  4. Cute, can’t wait to see the tute for the top itself too :)

  5. love this colorrrrr

  6. Genius and absolutely cute!

  7. Love this top! Can’t wait for the tutorial!

  8. Very very cute… might just have to try this soon..

  9. This looks great! So your paint didn’t streak at all when you were making the pattern?

    • Nope! The few times it ran just a little outside the boundaries was when the fabric wasn’t completely flat and the stencil wasn’t completely flat. But 99% it was perfect.

  10. Love it! And can’t wait for the tutorial for that top!

  11. love the top!

  12. OMG OMG OMG I have some blue fabric and gold paint that I want to do this to RIGHT NOW! I’ll have to find a suitable stencil first though. Great idea!

  13. Nice! Especially love the mint green fabric!

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  15. This is so sweet! I love the colour top you chose for it, the final look is really perfect for Springtime =)

  16. Gosh, that top is so great! Lovely, lovely, lovely outfit! so cute and summery :)

  17. Cute! Were the painted sections stiff, because I always wonder about that with fabric paint vs. fabric ink–?

    • It was stiff, but I think that a good wash and dry would probably soften it up. Though it wasn’t stiff enough to bother me. Just a little.

  18. The color and pattern go great together! I’m definitively going to try this! By the way, has anyone ever said you look like Julia Roberts?! Major compliment!

  19. It’s great!!!!

  20. wwooowww!! it’s genius!! I love it!!

  21. Super, super cute! Stenciling is the best. I used to do it a few years ago but it’s been a while. I think I need some new stencils! Good to know that that one is Martha’s.

  22. I cannot wait for the tutorial on that top!!!!! YAY!!!!

  23. I love it! It’s so hard to find cute prints like this in fabric stores… for anyone concerned about stiffness, when I used to freezer paper stencil I used Jacquard textile colors and they always softened up really nicely. I don’t know if the consistency would be right for a plastic stencil, but it’s worth a shot.

  24. Liz- this top is so cute!! You almost make me wish that I was prego still. But since I still haven’t lost the baby weight, maybe I just might make it when you post a tutorial. So cute!!!

  25. I almost cannot believe those are stenciled on! Fabulous job!

  26. SO CUTE!! are you selling any of these?! :)

  27. I can’t wait to see the tutorial for this top!

  28. I look forward to the route on the top!!!! Lol

  29. LOOOOVVVEEE! I’ve been checking in everyday just to see if the tutorial for this top is already available. ^_^v

  30. I love this top! Please post the tutorial for the top soon!

  31. gerçekten harika olmuş . böyle kalıpları Türkiyeden nasıl bulabileceğim bilmiyorum ama kesinlikle araştıracağım :) bu arada çocuklarınız çok sevimli :)