Monday, September 5, 2011

Nerd Crafts: How to Make a Creeper Shirt

As you may have guessed, I'm not the "girliest" girl out there. I don't typically do arts and crafts projects. However, I needed something appropriately nerdy to wear to PAX. Rather than purchase an expensive shirt from Jinx or some other nerd-ware site, I decided to follow this simple video I found to create my very own creeper shirt!

Note: this video was NOT made by me, it is the property of Evange. Check out more of her awesome crafts and recipes!
The method is really quite easy. I'll lay out the steps in text form, since I think it's nice to have that to accompany the video.

STEP 1: Gather your materials.

You will need:
  • A green shirt with room for the creeper's face on the front.
  • Black paint. Fabric paint is best, but even black acrylic paint would work.
  • Pencil. Make sure it's not very sharp - softer pencils are best.
  • Ruler.
  • Masking tape.

STEP 2: Draw the grid.

Spread out the shirt on a flat surface. Using the dull pencil, draw a 6x6 grid of boxes. My boxes were about 1.5 inches to a side, and that worked well for my shirt, but use your best judgment.

The diagram shows suggested placement on a shirt, but you might want to try the shirt on and think about placement of the design on your body.

STEP 3: Tape off the eyes and part of the mouth.

Tape off the area around the creeper's eyes and part of it's mouth, as shown in the diagram.

STEP 4: Paint the eyes and part of the mouth.
Paint in the creeper's eyes and part of it's mouth, as shown in the diagram. Use a stippling motion rather than brush strokes, being careful to cover everything evenly, but not push paint under the tape.

STEP 5: Wait for paint to dry, then remove tape.

Wait until the paint is dry to the touch. This depends on the type of paint used. Carefully remove the tape.

STEP 6: Tape off the rest of the mouth.

Tape off the area around the rest of the mouth, as shown in the diagram. If you are sure your paint is fully dry, you can place tape directly on the previously painted sections. If you are unsure, cut your tape carefully and only tape right up to the edge of your previous section.

STEP 7: Paint the rest of the mouth.

Use a stippling motion, as before. Where the new mouth sections meet the old, you may want to paint over the edge a bit to make the transition look smooth. This really depends on the type of pain you have, so just do what seems to look good - you can always touch it up afterward, too!

STEP 8: Wait for paint to dry, then remove tape, and wash.

Again, wait until the paint is dry to the touch, then remove the tape. If you have fabric paint, it should tell you on the bottle how long to wait until washing. If you aren't sure, wait three days. After washing, the pencil marks should come off and you'll be left with an awesome creeper shirt!

While you can certainly make one of these on your own, I decided to throw a small party with some of my other nerdy friends, and we made them together. It was a great excuse to get together and do something creative, and away from a computer screen for a while!

I got lots of compliments on this shirt at PAX, and people even asked where I bought it - when I told them I made it, they were disappointed that they couldn't get their own at the con, but I directed them to Evange's video so they could make their own! So you can really make something that looks professionally-made for a very cheap price, and have lots of fun in the process. Enjoy!