March 23, 2012

Hunger Games: Deep Thoughts and...Craft Time!

    I am conflicted, gentle readers.

See how conflicted I look?

    On the one hand, I consider myself to be an intelligent enough person and a serious enough reader to understand that the Hunger Games' post-modern dystopian world of Panem is, one might argue, a theoretical foreshadowing of the progress of America, with our obsessive, thoughtless consumption and our willingness to be entertained by  human failure and pain (hello, reality TV).  I fully realize that the surface story by which  we are all captivated--Katniss's story, and Peeta's and Haymitch's and Cinna's and Gale's--is a mere veil over an allegory of the soullessness of greed, ambition, and selfish, ignorant living. But on the other hand...I am SO GEEKING-OUT EXCITED about going to see the Hunger Games movie TONIGHT and showing you my craftalicious handmade Mockingjay T-shirt tutorial that I AM ABOUT TO PEE MY PANTS. (See actual emotion below.)

     (Q:How Capitol is that?)(A: Not as Capitol as the fact that I really want this nail polish.)
     I am officially letting myself off the guilt-hook for today. HUNGER GAMES DAY! It is, after all, just about a book series that is brilliantly written and addictive and thought-provoking, right? (Right? She repeats timidly.)
      Okay. Hunger Games T-shirts! I have seen many, many Hunger Games T-shirt tutorials online in the past few days (why do these books appeal so much to crafty types?) but I'm throwing in my own two cents anyhow. And I think my shirt turned out satisfactorily different than the rest. Once again, I am a little last minute on the event/holiday crafty bandwagon, but I have, finally jumped on board. My fellow last-minute crafters/ lit nerds with DIY skills: This one's for you.

You will need:
A plain black (or whatever color you want) T-shirt
A towel that can get paint on it
Straight pins
Mod Podge (optional)
Waxed freezer paper (optional)
An exacto knife
Metallic spray paint in the shade of your choice
A print-out of this image:

And about an hour (with dry time)

We'll start with the optional part. I wanted my stencil to be a little more durable, usable more than once, so I mod-podged my print out of the Mockingjay image to a piece of waxed freezer paper, applying the mod podge over the top to seal it as well. This is totally not necessary, but I knew I would be doing multiple t-shirts and I thought this might help the stencil hold up longer (and, as is often the case, I was right). ;-)

Then I cut all the white away from my stencil print out, using scissors for the large areas and an exacto knife for the  finer details.
I bet you can see where the rest of this is going (you smart cookies, you) but I will lay it out anyway.
Lay out the shirt someplace where you can paint (well-ventilated, people) and use the towel, folded, to create a flat pad in between the layers of the shirt. This is not only to prevent any paint from bleeding through (not likely, but just in case), but also to provide a cushion to push your pins into.

Use your straight pins to secure the more delicate parts of the Mockingjay stencil.

Spray! Lightly and from at least 10 inches away.
Give your shirt 15-20 minutes to dry before you remove the stencil, and another 40-45 minutes before you wear it. If you have time to wash it before wearing, then you won't go to the movies smelling like spray paint. Which is always nice. And, yes! These are totally washable. Just use the delicate cycle and dry on low heat or air dry. And then look fabulous! (See actual fabulousness below.)

I made this one with the dolman sleeves for me...

...and this classic long-sleeve scoop neck for my bestie (who is almost as much of a last-minute crafter geek as I am).

Now go to it!
Happy Hunger Games Day!


p.s. Thanks to my awesome SiL, Heidi for being my green-sleeved spray paint model, and to my super-duper photographer daughter who took the pics of me in the shirts. Yup. Seriously. And she's 7.


  1. Loved your blog! I never even though of making a shirt to wear to the movie--probably won't have time anyway. We are going to see tomorrow's matinee! Yea!

  2. Um. That shirt. You rock my world.