Hi there! I’m Miranda, and I blog regularly over at One Little Minute, where I post about some crafty projects, creative pursuits, delicious recipes, and a family moment or two:) I am excited to share this tutorial for a fun count-down shirt here at DIY Maternity!
Sometime very early in this (my second) pregnancy, I came up with this idea to document the passing of those long 40 weeks as well my ever-expanding baby bump. I call it my Maternity Calendar Shirt. Rather than set out like a traditional calendar, it is numbered through 1-40, so as the weeks of expectation fly by, they can be crossed off, counting down to the BIG SHOW!
It’s also perfect for taking a regular belly shot, like I have during this pregnancy in Project Baby. The numbers on the shirt are painted on using a freezer paper stencil. It takes a little (okay, maybe a lot of) time, but is so awesome it’s well worth it. Not to mention you’ll be using it every week of your pregnancy! Already half-way through? Don’t worry about it…you’ll have a lot to cross off in the beginning, and believe me, you still have a lot of growing to do!! So, want to make one? Great, let’s get started!
What you’ll need:
- a long stretchy tee shirt that will fit you until the end of your pregnancy (I used this one from American Apparel)
- a computer with printer (or you could free-hand your numbers)
- Freezer paper, found at most grocery stores near the plastic wrap and tin foil
- a sharpie
- an exacto knife
- two different colors of fabric paint, found at most craft stores
- a sponge paint brush
- an iron
What to do:
1. Set up a word document with the numbers 1-40 in a simple font, like Ariel Black. You’ll want each number to be about an inch high when printed, so I found using about 110 point font worked well. Print out your numbers.
2. Lay your shirt out flat and get an idea of where you want the numbers to be. I started about the bust line, and ended a few inches
from the hem.
3. Cut the freezer paper to size. This will be your stencil!
4. To ensure evenly spaced numbers, you need to fold the freezer paper into 40 even squares. 5 across and 8 down. So, fold the paper in half width-wise.
5. Fold it in half again, width wise.
6. Now one more time in half, to create 8 even columns down.
7. Now, folding into even 5′s is a little tricky…so I measured. The width of my stencil is 12 inches so divided by 5 is about 2.4 inches.
8. So, after measuring, I sort of eyeballed it around 2.5-ish inches once, then folded it 3 more times to match that length.
9. It should be now folded into 8ths one direction and 5ths the other.
10. Now, flatten it all out and mark the corners with a sharpie on the papery side of the freezer paper.
11. When you lay it down on the shirt, you can now see where each number will lie. Perfect. Now, let’s make the numbers!
12. Lay the number 1 of your computer print out under the top corner box, and trace around it. Make sure you are on the papery side of the paper, because the waxy side will be what is ironed onto the shirt.
13. Continue the same process for each of the numbers, making sure they are evenly spaced in the box.
14. It takes a little time, but so does growing a baby:) Keep it up all the way through 40.
15. Now comes time to cut out each number with your exacts knife. Again, takes some time, but you will love the end result!
16. Once all of your numbers are cut out, position the stencil on the shirt and iron it down.
17. Make sure all of the corners of the numbers are well sealed down, so when you add your paint, it will stay within the cut-out area.
18. Good job! You’ve come so far! Now, squirt a little fabric paint into each number. I went about two rows at a time, to make sure I spread it out before it dried too much.
19. Use your sponge brush to spread the paint evenly within the stenciled numbers. Continue the process all the way through number 40.
20. Wait a couple minutes for the paint to be mostly dry (to where you can run your finger gently across it), then carefully peel back the freezer paper to reveal your calendar!
21. VERY IMPORTANT STEP!! To set the paint so it doesn’t wash out in the laundry, you have to iron over it again! The instructions say to wait 24 hours. I waited about 1 before ironing mine, and haven’t had a problem.
22. Now the really fun part, crossing off the weeks!
23. Just barely dip the edge of your sponge brush into your second paint color. In fact, I just dip mine into the cap, and get that nice thin line.
24. Paint across your number with a single slash. I like mine slightly messy, and like I was crossing off a day on a real calendar. This could also be cool with a check-mark stencil, or with an X across the date. Be creative and make it your own!
You will love seeing the way you change and grow as those weeks go by.
I hope you love the chance to keep track of all of your progress like I have. Being pregnant is an extraordinary experience.
Thank you sooooo much to Miranda for showing us how to make this super adorable maternity shirt. Gosh I want one so bad it’s so cute!!! Please don’t forget to head over to Miranda’s blog One Little Minute, you will LOVE it!
** This tutorial is free for personal use only, and is not to be republished without written consent or used for any commercial resale of the shirts. For a limited use license of the design, please contact Miranda. If you would like to purchase a Project Baby shirt, you can find them HERE in Miranda’s shop. **