Anchor Sweater DIY

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A few days ago, I showed you this Joie anchor sweater…

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Adorbs, right?

Yea, I thought so, too. But, with a near $300 price tag (Why, people? Why?) I wasn’t going near that “add to bag” button. Instead, I hit up my closets — craft and clothing — and come up with a great little DIY.

  • Prep sweater. If you’ve bought your sweater new (i.e. not repurposing an old one) you must, must wash and dry it first. 
  • Create stencil. Lay your sweater out flat (floor, table, whatever) on top of a long sheet of Freezer Paper (find it with the Saran Wrap and Aluminum foil in your Grocery Store). Trace the outline of the neck, shoulder, sleeve, and side seams. This anchor is just a few basic shapes so I was able to free hand…two circles, a giant “T”, scoop the bottom, and add triangles to the ends. If you’re not that comfortable with drawing, google “anchor clip art,” set the size to “large,” print the entire thing and trace it onto your paper. Cut out the anchor from the middle out so there are no openings from the edge of the paper (where the paint will seep through).
  • Get ready for paint. Lay your shirt flat again and stuff the inside with cardboard (so paint won’t see through to the backside). Notice the inspiration is slightly off-kilter and top off the anchor is “missing.” Lay your stencil in a similar pattern and iron the shiny side of the freezer paper onto your shirt. 
  • Paint. I used Tulip puffy paint because it’s all I had, but use any fabric safe paint in the color of your choice. Inspiration is red, mine is hot pink (natch!). There’s no exact science here other than being mindful of the edges. So, I drew a line of paint around the outline working in small sections and gently pulled the paint inside the painted area. Fill in the entire anchor. 
  • Keep painting. To get the exact saturation of color you want, wait a few minutes for the first layer to set up a bit, then do the same process again painting over the first layer. Keep doing this with about 10-15 minutes between each layer so your shirt doesn’t become too wet. When you have a color you like, wait five minutes and pull up your stencil carefully. 
  • Touch-up. Use the tip of your tulip tube (or a small paint brush) to touch up any edges where the paint seeped through a bit. Don’t become too obsessed with this…it can go bad really easily since at this point you’re freehand painting…permanently. Most people won’t notice the same errors you see. 
  • Let dry. Wait a full 12 hours before you wear your new sweater. Tulip suggests you wait 72 hours before washing it inside out. 
  • Wear. Look fab as you hit the streets in your fab new sweater. I’ll be wearing mine with skinnies and knee highs for a casual day or over a collared button-down and tucked into a high-waist, gathered skirt (not minding if the bottom of the anchor is hidden) for work.

I’ve got a toooooon of great ideas using this same technique. One of them will.include.glitter! What?! I strongly suggest you stay tuned!

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