Thursday, February 23, 2012

Radioactive Tie

Hubby wears ties to school a lot.  It's not requried for teachers at his school, but he thinks it's more professional.  Since he's always been a math and science kind of guy he's accumulated some fun, nerdy ties over the years.  His main focus in collage was chemistry, so he's got 3 or 4 periodic table ties.  Now that he's a high school teacher, he's also teaching physics and physical science, so I thought it was time he had some ties with a broader range of science topics.

So for Christmas, I made him a radioactive tie.

Well, with a radioactive symbol on it...the tie itself is not radioactive. :)

I'd seen this post from Megan at Generation T used freezer paper stenciling on a tie and thought I would give it a try.  (An honestly...I think her tutorial is better, so if you're going to actually try this, be sure to click over and read her version too.)

Now I have to say, this was a bit trickier than regular freezer paper stenciling.

Here's what you'll need...

Your freezer paper stencil, acrylic paint (or fabric paint), a stiff paint brush, and your tie.  I bought my tie from bought the cheapest plain ties they had for $7.50.  (I didn't want to risk ruining a more expensive one, since I didn't know for sure how it would work...and Hubby doesn't need super classy expensive ties for teaching high school anyway.)

I actually made Hubby another tie that didn't turn out very well because that particular brand of paint didn't agree well with the tie, so I would DEFINITELY recommend testing your paint somewhere on the back of the tie.  You want a paint that will not soak in and bleed into the fabric.  

You start by ironing your freezer paper stencil to your tie. Make sure your iron is on a good setting for your tie fabric.  You want to make sure it fits on your tie without being too close to the edges.  The closer it is to the edge, the harder it is to get a good seal between your stencil and your tie.  You also want to choose a fairly simple design.  (The design I chose for the one that didn't work had a lot of little letters and the freezer paper just didn't seal well enough.)

Apply your paint by dabbing rather than brushing.  If you brush side to side, you're more likely to get paint under the freezer paper.  Dabbing straight down will give you the coverage you need and a crisper finished design.

Once you've got your whole design filled in, wait for it to dry...

Remove and you're done.  Isn't my Hubby handsome?  Almost radioactive maybe...

I didn't worry about heat setting this because I don't plan to try washing it.  I also have no idea how well acrylic paint on a polyester tie will hold up to dry cleaning...because we probably won't dry clean it either.  If someone out there knows...let me know in the comments and I'll add it to the post.

And sorry, there's no stencil for this one...but if you do an image search for radioactive symbol, you'll come up with lots of the same image.

And if you stay turned in the next week or so, you just might see some more science-y freezer paper stenciling...Let's just say this baby we're expecting is going to be our nerdiest yet.

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  1. I like the combination of fun, science and professional! Yup, he is handsome, especially with that tie!

  2. This might be the only tie I could ever get my husband to wear, if he had to wear ties. My oldest son would totally wear it though. Easy enough to make it a clip on. Thanks for sharing!

    Jess @


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