Masking Tape and Color Magnet Bear Tee

mad mim_color magnet masking tape bear_102

mad mim_color magnet masking tape bear_103
Nothing like a 15 minute project to get your heart pumping. This little bear tee is so simple that you can have it done while you wait for your oatmeal to cook. Okay okay, on the stovetop. But seriously, this is an easy technique using a cool cool product that I’m super excited to show you (my new fave for sure).

mad mim_color magnet bear tee_01

Grab some:

The skinny:

Draw or print (with a printer) a large design on some freezer paper. I used this big bear, which you’re welcome to as well, don’t mention it. A shortcut I always use is to cut a piece of freezer paper exactly 8.5 X 11, and then throw into the paper tray of your printer and print straight on it. Cut out the design with a utility knife, being careful to always pull your blade down. Iron that bad boy (shiny side down) onto your tee or what have you. You’re effectively masking off this design so you can now print or stencil over it.

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Cut a long length of masking tape and stick to a cutting mat. With a rotary blade, cut down the center of it. You could also use a utility knife if you find yourself  rotary-bladeless. The goal is to have very thin cuts of tape.  Tape in a stripey pattern all over the the bear, cutting more tape as needed.

mad mim_color magnet bear tee_06 mad mim_color magnet bear tee_05

Now for the cool juice. Here’s the 411 on Color Magnet. It’s a color attractant that when applied, dried, and then dyed, will magically attract more dye creating a completely permanent (won’t fade and creates no stiffness whatsoever) two-tone effect, which I really just can’t get enough of. I LOVE THIS STUFF! It comes in a pen with a foam pad tip as well, which is perfect for stenciling. Apply this stuff on your masked out bear, and allow to completely dry.

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Once dry, remove all tape and freezer paper, and then dye according to manufacturer instructions.  I used this Hanes Youth Beefy Tee, and fiber reactive dye in Chartreuse.  You’ll end up with something like this.

mad mim_color magnet bear tee_02
mad mim_color magnet masking tape bear_101

mad mim_color magnet bear tee_01

Fun, right? This masking technique also works really awesome with small scale pattern stencils (like this insane tribal stencil I recently made). I used this technique for my very own bear tee (pictures forthcoming), as well as a top using color magnet and this masking tape design, which is rad and I can’t wait to share.  

My little man Tito LOVED this shirt, but I’m sad to say, I lost it! Somehow or other, it didn’t make it home from Sewing Summit with me, (!!) which he and I are really bummed about. I also never got a picture of him in it, which is doubly unfortunate. Luckily it’s easy, and I can quickly do it again if it never surfaces.

PS. Sewing Summit was fantastic, and I’ll put together a recap post soon. My hand printing class was a blast!

Since I got home though a little over a week ago, I think I’ve spent more time in my bed than out of it, Ain’t No Lie, Baby Bye Bye Bye. Jeez Oh Man, I got so sick of lying down, and I was too sick to even hold up a book for half of it. I was just a-trembling and sweating and I’ll spare you the rest. I got REAAAL sick, the most severe case of strep I’ve even had. But I’m pretty much better now, and I think it’s done plowing through (and over) our family. My very first act as a semi-healthy adult (AFTER I cleaned up my house in a hazmat suit) was some late season canning, which like always, is rewarding but a crapload of work. I did Peach Pineapple Mint Jam, Raspberry Preserves, and Charred Tomato and Chile Salsa, all three recipes come from the Uh-MAZING book Canning for a New Generation.  My garden is just about done spewing forth good things to eat, and I think we’re about to lose the rest to frost anyway. Now all I have left are the grapes.  I’ve got literally bajillions of grapes that want juicing. I haven’t ever done them before, but I’ve heard it ain’t no thang. That’s one rumor I hope is true, because I am bushed!





juicing grapes is sooo easy! good thing too, cuz usually i’m so tired of canning by the time they are ready. my neighbor said her juice was even hot enough that the lids sealed w/o processing them?! wow, that’s super easy and fast!


i LOVE this shirt! it looks so great, and what a neat process! and besides that, so glad to hear that your strep got under control and you’re feeling better. 🙂

Seamstress Erin

The shirt is cute, but what I really had to comment about is Canning for a New Generation. I’m obsessed with that book! I canned a bunch of the recipes this summer, so if you want opinions, lemme know!


Isn’t it amazing?! I have LOOOOVED it, everything I’ve made has been awesome. I need to actually buy it now! (I had just borrowed it from a friend).



That bear is sooooooooooooo Tito, and oh do you still have the stamp to make it for him again, what a BUMMER it got lost.

I would LOVE to have that mean sounding salsa recipe. Also let me know what you are doing with your green tomatoes, if your recipe sounds ‘rico’ tell me what it is so I can catch in on the goods. Love ya, GLAD you are feeling better.

You gotta catch what I am making Rawl for birthday….


Oh no! I hope it wasn’t stolen. So heartbreaking! Thanks for sharing all your crazy skills. I’m so excited to get busy trying some of these things. I’ve got my cart all loaded up with dyes and chemicals from Dharma.

Jessica @ Running Wi

Hey Miriam:
Sorry to bug you, I was in your sewing summit class and have a question about the color magnet you used for your bear t-shirt. I remember you described it as snot texture, would you think it could be used in a stamping method? My in-laws own a fossil business and I’m trying to bust into the clothing side to help their shop and so I’d be stamping a trilobite fossil which is kind of detailed (prehistoric cockroach)…I just wondered if you could recommend it for that, or if it’s better used in a stencil/ paint on application rather than a transfer stamp method.


Jessica! I’m so sorry it’s taken me so long to respond, I didn’t get my comment updates for some reason! I do think that it’s a little better suited for stenciling, but I think it would work fine for stamping, although I haven’t tried it yet! (I just love it with stencils!), It has a similar texture to the discharge paste though, and that works just fine for printing, actually surprisingly well. So I say go for it! It sounds like a really cool project!


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