I got this stencil from http://www.stencilrevolution.com
and totally fell in love with it. I've done a few other stenciled shirts before, but nothing this intricate.
First I taped the stencil down on top of some freezer paper, and taped both of those pieces onto my little cutting mat thing. Then I went to town cutting out the black pieces. I had to be really careful around the strings and stuff, as you can imagine. http://photos2.flickr.com/3425869_38bf43f2f5_m.jpg
Next I mixed up the paint that I wanted... I was using this black top I had found at Goodwill a few hours before ($4.99!!), and I thought the picture would look really rad in gold.. but, the only acrylic gold paint I had was actually supposed to be used on metal... but I used it anyway, mixing 2 parts paint with 1 part textile medium ($5.50 @ Garden Ridge).
I ironed the freezer paper onto my shirt, sticky side down. Be sure to put a piece of cardboard underneath your shirt so the paint won't run through! I actually had a few little white pieces that had either came apart from the big stencil or were "floaters," not connected to the stencil at all. So I had to be sure to place those pretty carefully. I'm always paranoid about bleeding, so I iron that sucker down really well, even if it means taking extra time to peel it off in the end. This, I think, is the secret to stenciling.
After ironing it down, I started the painting process. First, one coat:http://photos2.flickr.com/3426378_1314aa699d_m.jpg
Using the tricks I learned from fellow Craftsters, I know you can't drag the foam brush over the fabric/stencil... instead, you have to "smoosh" it gently, using the angled bit of the foam. Also, less is definitely more. Don't load up the brush with too much paint. You can always do more coats after the previous one dries... take time with these shirts if you really want them to look good. Then, the second/third coat:http://photos2.flickr.com/3426594_92803cc2d5_m.jpg
I went and ran around during the day, so I left my shirt sitting on the ironing board to dry while I was busy. When I returned that afternoon to start getting ready for a artist's gallery opening, I peeled back the freezer paper to reveal my creation. Make sure the paint is completely dry when peeling, and use toothpicks or the exacto knife to pick off the little bits. Behold!http://photos2.flickr.com/3425707_06f93230f3_m.jpg
Damn, I looked sexy last night. Any Questions?