Your kids can make gorgeous personalized hankies with this easy tutorial, perfect for birthdays or Christmas gifts!So my dad’s birthday was coming up and I was having a hard time figuring out what to get him. He loves to read so I picked out at least one book, but after recently buying him The Martian which he couldn’t put down, I’m not optimistic I’ll be able to choose quite that successfully again. But then I had a good idea, and I knew he’d love it simply because it involved O in the creation process. I decided that we’d make him monogrammed handkerchiefs completely painted by O. I went with freezer paper stenciling because it’s super easy and fun to do with kids, and gives great results with crisp clean edges.
Does anyone else’s dad carry hankies? My dad always always has, his whole life. He doesn’t even use them very much but he always has them in his pocket which is pretty nice in an emergency. But I wonder, are handkerchiefs an endangered species? I hardly know anyone who carries one anymore. Maybe hipsters will pick it up? Anyway, my dad still does and as far as I know has never had monogrammed ones, so hopefully he’ll like them! Oh, and by the way, it’s a long story, but J & L are not his real initials, it’s a long story but related to what O calls him instead of Grandpa. So that makes them extra sweet. Here’s how we made them!
Freezer Paper Stenciled Monogrammed Handkerchiefs
1. Ok, technically, you should probably wash, dry and iron your hankies before you start. I like to live on the edge so I skipped that. To make my stencils, I used my Silhouette Cameo, but these are so simple you could cut the shapes out with a knife. To do that, just print the letters, trace them onto the freezer paper and cut them out.
To cut them with your cutting machine, I picked a font and laid out the monogram, I also had the machine cut out rectangles around the letters to make individual stencils for each hanky. I made sure to measure the borders so the I could line the stencil up with the edges of the fabric and have the monogram be right where I wanted it. 2. Then I cut a 12 x 12 piece of freezer paper and laid it shiny side down on my silhouette cutting mat. I’ve read that people cut freezer paper both shiny side up and shiny side down, if it works better for you to do shiny side up, be sure to mirror your monogram! 3. I cut my stencil with the vellum settings, although I lowered the speed.
4. When it was done, I peeled of the negative space so I had individual stencils. 5. Take a stencil and line it up on your handkerchief, use an iron to adhere it to the fabric. I used the cotton setting with no steam, be sure to keep your iron moving. It should only take a few seconds. Repeat with the other 5 hankies.
6. Now it’s time to let your kids loose! When I let O use any kind of paint that’s not washable, I strip him down. He doesn’t usually get any on himself but I’m sure that if I left his shirt on, he totally would. Know what I mean? Anyway, at 5 years old, he’s pretty good, at staying within the lines and keeping the paint where it needs to be. If you’re working with a younger child, you might want to make the border of your stencils much wider so they don’t get paint on the rest of the handkerchief.
Make sure your handkerchief is completely unfolded for this step so you’re only painting on one layer, you don’t want the paint to bleed through to another area.
7. As your little one finishes each monogram, carefully peel off the freezer paper while the paint is still wet. How cute is that?! 8. Follow any directions on your fabric paint to set the design. Some require a certain amount of drying time and/or heat setting with an iron.
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