noelle o designs

creativity + sewing + upcycling inspiration

cake, craft, family

spray painting tees

flower birthday cakeMy oldest turned 12 on Friday- can she really be that old? Because that means… lots of things, including- but not limited to- me being really old too. Her party was super fun. We barbecued, spray painted tees, played night games and ate too much cake.
spray painting tees, stencils

As a host and a parent of the guest I get so tired of the useless party take home gift that gets tossed aside or thrown away as soon as the partygoer gets home. I like t-shirts as a take home gift, it’s nice to send friends home with something that can actually be put to good use and not thrown away after the party is over.
I have been working on this idea of jazzing up plain t-shirts. The cheapest shirt I could find were at Walmart, white or in various of other colors. I was thinking: a little paint, some iron-on applique, then machine stitching over the top, maybe even a few jewels to top it all off. Well, when it came right down to it-I couldn’t find my roll of two-sided interfacing (I think I ran out last winter and forgot to pick up a new roll- or it’s just lost in my messy sewing room) and then the though of lots of little girls using my sewing machine made me a little nervous, so we simplified the project down to just spray painting the shirts, using handmade stencils.

We used cardstock for the personalized stencils and picked up a book of basic stencils to have on hand as well, a rotary cutting mat (generally used for cutting fabric)  and X-Acto knives for cutting personalized stencils.

spray painting tees
The shirts turned out great. Steve O was getting all kinds of crazy making stencils and lots of guests got personalized stencils, special request pictures or their names made up.

Tips and tricks:

  1. We washed the shirts in with some crappy towels first just to make sure the spray paint didn’t bleed onto other clothes in the same load- but the paint stayed put and washed up just fine.
  2. We mostly just used whatever spray paint we had laying around the garage, some just household, others enamel- all kinds worked just fine.
  3. The metallic spray paints looked really good adding a subtle sparkle to the design.
  4.  You could also use masking tape for basic shapes, designs and perhaps initials.
  5. Use a piece of plywood, masonite, heavy duty cardboard or the like to put inside the shirt while spraying so the sprayed paint doesn’t bleed through onto the backside.

flower power cake

Ohh the flower power cake… this is what happens when you don’t really have a plan going into the decorating- you throw all caution to the wind and just go for it. I think it’s a flower that looks a little like a sun. In any case it was a bugger to frost with all the pointy bits, but tasted delicious with the thick layer of buttercream frosting trying so hard to cover the whole cake with all it’s nooks and cranies. Take a look at more cakes I’ve crafted for the kids over the years.


  1. Heather

    July 17, 2008 at 1:27 am

    Looks like such a fun party! We are going to steal some of your ideas! Thanks for sharing! It was fun biking with you on Saturday! Hope to see you out on the road again soon!

    Keep on keepin’ on!

  2. Donelle, Jammer and Tre Anderson

    July 21, 2008 at 1:51 am

    I love the cake! So impressive looking! 🙂

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