Quick disclaimer: I’m a jack-o-lantern freak, and I tend to go overboard each year trying to make geeky, elaborate art, especially since there are some great pumpkin stencils out there to be had.
I have been politely confronted on this obsession in past years by my husband who (for the sake of space and sanity) told me to tone down the number of glowing orange things in our home. I love my family and will try to be good….but I HAVE TO USE SOME OF THESE STENCIL PATTERNS! Ergo, here’s a great use for them…in just three steps!
Step 1: Print out, laminate and cut out that stencil. If you don’t have laminate, go with the “poor man’s ” version I like to use…clear packing tape. I do recommend this before cutting it out, so you can re-use the patterns, especially since those complicated ones that may take some time. I use an X-acto knife for the more detailed patterns, but easier ones can be done with just plain scissors. Since I talked to Ray Keim earlier this month, I used his fantastic “Haunted Mansion Wallpaper” stencil as an example (find it at haunteddimensions.raykeim.com/index250.html). Hint: for “floating” elements in stencils (eye pupils, etc.) attach a thin strip of tape from it to the rest of the pattern to keep it in place. You can fill in any flaws later, if you need.
Step 2: Place it on the shirt where you want it and lightly sponge some cloth paint over it. If you have a black or dark-colored shirt, take a spray bottle of half bleach/half water and gently spray the pattern instead…you’ll be pleased with the results. Do this outside, away from things (and pets and people) you don’t want to soil or destroy. For the bleached shirt, rinse with cool water and let dry.
Step 3: For a little extra design, take a handful of a different-colored cloth paint, stand back and flick it on the shirt for a splatter effect.
Wow, that’s pretty much all there is to it, and you got yourself some wearable art.
Want to find more patterns? my top three Pumpkin Stencil site picks (for today, at least) are:
Zombiepumpkins.com. Around 275 patterns. Some are free, but the rest are worth the site’s subscription price. There are whole sections dedicated to superhoroes and movie icons including Marvel characters, Batman, Hellboy, The Crow, Star Wars, Alan Moore’s “V” (from “V for Vendetta”), Rick Grimes from “Walking Dead,” Ash from “Army of Darkness” and plenty of zombie and Halloween classics. Mucho kid-friendly choices, too like Tim Burton images, Monster High, Paranorman, Harry Potter and video game icons. Go crazy.
Starwars.com. The “official” Star Wars blog has a pdf for 11 pumpkin stencils of varying difficulty from easy sillhouettes to some pretty challenging portraits (Tusken Raider…yikes). My favorite is the Mandalorian symbol, but the Rebel and Empire emblems are both cool and easy. Download them puppies here: starwarsblog.starwars.com/index.php/2011/10/24/star-wars-pumpkin-stencils/.
Thinkgeek.com. Each year, everyone’s favorite geeky catalog hosts a fan-made pumpkin stencil pattern contest, and the results are incredible. The best part is, they keep all the winning stencils from past years available, so there’s is more and more geeky goodness offered each season. I don’t even know where to start; video games, movies and television icons, techy art and even a nice portrait of H.P. Lovecraft for those literary geeks. I made the double-sided MST3K pattern last year and it turned out nifty. Find them at thinkgeek.com/blog/2012/10/
Try this fashion craft with any of these, or get yourself a giant vegetable orb (or twenty) and dig in.