13 November 2013

Army Party Prep (Stencil Tutorial & Free Printables)

Dash turns ELEVEN in just over a week. I won't wax lyrical on "how did this happen so fast?" and "oh woe is me, puberty is breathing down my neck!"
I will simply share with you the first stage of my army party preparations, along with some free printables and ideas you might find useful, should you find yourself in possession of a boy who is most impressed with the S.A.S. and thinks a military life would perhaps suit him one day if being a Premier League footballer doesn't pan out. The boy will be taking a bunch of his pals (henceforth known as "recruits") to Laser Combat; then we will return home for some food and a bit of drilling.

So here comes some free-n-easy army stencilling....

First up, the Army T-shirts. I found grey t-shirts in clearance online at ASColour for $2 (small mens size) and also grabbed these khaki big man-sized ones for Sergeant Dad and Colonel Grandad instead ($6 each from KMart).

Here's the word, in Stencil Font, which you can either right-click, save to your computer and print out on an A4 page OR enlarge on the screen, place a piece of paper over it and trace the outline of the letters with a pencil....

Here's the instructions for stenciling the word onto your t-shirts
  1. Cut out the letters carefully with a scalpel or craft knife. 
  2. Position your stencil where you want it on the t-shirt
  3. Place a piece of cardboard on the inside of the t-shirt so no paint soaks through to the back
  4. Use a sponge or cloth to dab black paint onto the t-shirt through the stencil (I used regular black poster paint on the khaki tshirts (which all-but washes out), but the white house paint I used on the boys' tshirts is permanent and won't wash out out anytime soon!)
  5. Hang up to dry. THAT'S IT.
Mine turned out a little messy on this first attempt, but that's OK. It's all part of it. I tried using a fancy sponge applicator, but had much better success on subsequent stencil projects  with a humble dishrag. Truly.
So don't rhow away your "ARMY" stencil. You'll need it for the next project...

This is where I turned a humble old fruit crate found discarded on the side of the road into a rustic gorgeous work of art. (haha!)

I had really wanted to get a bunch of old ammo tins to display all the food in, on the day, but it turns out those items are rather jolly expensive. Then I remembered the fruit crate I'd nabbed from the inorganic collection and painted blue for Scrag's Carnival party. It would make a fantastic army crate.

So I rustled around under the house and found some old paint cans in two shades of grey (you could use test pots), and Miss Fab and I set to work rustifying the crate.

  • I gave the crate a little rough-up with sandpaper, especially on the edges
  • We applied the first layer of dark grey paint, all over (except the bottom, cos who looks there?)
  • I applied the artistic layer of muddy brownish grey paint with a dry brush, leaving paint strokes visible, to give a slightly rusty old tin effect
  • Then I used my stencil to apply the word "ARMY" on both sides, in white paint.
  • When it was all dry I got out the sandpaper again and roughed off the edges, to make it look even more rustic...

I'm in love with my army crate. Cost = ZIP. Time take = 30 minutes tops. (Photographer was Scrag).

Once I discovered the delights of stencilling, nothing could hold me back. I made some more words and set about creating some pallet signage...

The pallets were free from the Waitakere recycling (reclaim) centre, as in fact was the paint. Anyone can go there and ask to pick up paint or pallets; it's all there for the taking.
(The Concourse, off Lincoln Rd by the Motorway exit)

The signs will create the entrance to our Army H.Q. and Mess Hall

If you want to make stencils for these words, either right-click, save to your computer and
print out on an A4 page OR enlarge on the screen, place a piece of paper over it and trace the
outline of the letters with a pencil....

And now onto the Freebies...

First up, the soda bottle printable labels. Right click to save to your computer, print out on an A4 page. Trim then stick on 1 litre soda bottles with the labels removed (we are using homebrand ginger beer).

And the same instructions for the Water Bottles (these are a 6-pack of signature range 500ml water bottles; they'll be coming along with us to Laser Combat to keep our recruits hydrated while they do battle).

I think that's almost enough for one post, don't you?
Next week I'll be bringing you a tutorial for Camouflage Cupcakes and a Battle-Scene Birthday Cake. Perhaps some dog-tag metal stamping and some army no-sew bunting? And finally, eventually you'll get to see how it all comes together on the day.

[Camo Party supplies from KiwiCakes; Dog tag sets & camo net from AliExpress; stamping set from Etsy]

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