Monday, 15 April 2013

Stencil Printed Tights DIY

I'm a dress and stockings kind of a gal, I haven't really worn pants regularly since I was about 14 and when I do, it's purely for utilitarian reasons. It is because of this that when Autumn rolls around I get to wear colourful, printed, wooly or textured tights under my dresses. This can be a source of frustration for me sometimes as tights are the only thing that can't be whipped up on a sewing machine inexpensively (or seamlessly).

Today I bought a pair of red opaque tights and while I picked them out, I was actually wishing for the floral printed ones on a rack next door. The printed ones looked very sheer and rippable, not to mention they were expensive. So I bought the slightly less extravagant red stockings.

Then when I got home I said to meself, I said "Wait a minute, there is no reason why you can't have both the thick, slightly less extravagant stockings and the floral legs. You can print them on the kitchen table!"

So I stuffed cardboard down the legs of the tights and made a stencil of a flower with cardboard and a rotary blade. I used a water based brown fabric paint and a sponge to apply the print in an orderly pattern. I think I will make a smaller stencil next time, and be a bit more higgelty piggelty with my printing.

I flipped the cardboard over, printed on the other side and dried the paint with my hairdryer because I am impatient like that. Then I heat-set the paint according to the manufacturer's instructions and they were ready to wear! Just like that. 

I feel like I have had an epiphany. I will never need to spend ridiculous amounts of money on printed stockings ever again, and neither will you!


  1. An epiphany indeed! They look great. Personally I always wear trousers, partly for the look and partly because I am constantly crawling around on my hands and knees, or climbing/reaching up for things, in dirty theatres for my job.

  2. Love these! I've decided that this winter I need to get out of jeans and into dresses and tights etc. xo

  3. Love these! I too am more of a skirt/dress girl, I often look at my black opaques and wish there were a little more. Now I think I will be off in search of colour.

  4. I have a whole drawer full of tights. More than half of them I haven't worn in ages. Definitely going to try this. Thanks for sharing, Ruby!

  5. That's so clever... I wouldn't have thought to do that. I have an idea to bookmark for next autumn now! It's ages away so maybe I can find a good deal on some sale rack tights somewhere now and get started.

    Jo Farmer

  6. What a fantastic Idea !!!
    Will give this a go :)

  7. I love this! Totally going to try it later next week! I'm also a dress and stockings kind of gal. I hate pants! haha. I started wearing pants towards the end of my pregnancy and I was so miserable every day, so my man bought be some pretty maxi dresses to wear until the little man was born. <3 Love these leggings! x

  8. AHH! What a great idea! We're heading into spring now, so I have no need for more stockings. But this coming fall I definitely want to do this. Also, I had an epiphany when I found Hanna Andersson's tights. I bought three pairs of them over two years ago now, and they've lasted me ever since with no holes at all. I buy all of my clothes (except underwear) at thrift shops, so it was quite the splurge for me. But it was money well spent, in my opinion. Plus, they're made of cotton, ribbed, and thicker and warmer than normal tights in the winter. I even wore them into a few cold spring days last week. Here, at the risk of sounding like I work for them, I'll find the link. ;)