Friday, March 14, 2014

DIY Graffiti Tank

I was going out to California to visit my friend Billy around our birthdays this year and I couldn't show up empty-handed, obviously. He's a big runner (understatement), so I thought a fun tank that said something funny on it would be the perfect gift. Because, you know, cotton is rotten unless it says something awesome on it, and then you will wear it and you will like it, ok Billy? And either everyone else thought the same thing and bought them all up in the stores, or no one is as funny as us and therefore didn't create quite the perfect tank. I vote option two.

In lamenting this, my roommate gave me the second best idea she's ever had (second only to "let's walk to Dunkin Donuts and split six donuts on snow day"): "Why don't you paint it on an American Apparel shirt for him?" Genius.

So to American Apparel I went and grabbed a neon pink tank for The B and started brainstorming clever things for his custom tank. Listen, this is the guy who won the "Most Intelligent" senior superlative and wore a Cash Money shirt for the photos. So what I'm saying is it had to be special.

It wasn't too hard to think of something because he is always saying it: "don't grind don't shine," borrowed from a Mike Jones song (unbeknownst to me until I started this project). I wanted the tank to have a graffiti feel so I decided to spray paint it and be ok with any stray paint that got outside my stencil.

To create my stencil, I printed the quote in a large type on regular paper and cut out each letter and taped the slits where I cut so that paint wouldn't get through (does that make sense?). I've been burned too many times by spray paint, so I tested my cutout on a piece of paper before spraying the shirt. I did each word one by one (I only cut out one "don't" anyway) and made sure to cover the rest of the shirt while spraying to avoid getting paint everywhere. I used the same black lacquer spray paint I used on my hutch hardware because I didn't want to buy more and I figured it wouldn't wash off.

I'm happy with the result and hope Billy is, too! Happy birthday, Billy!

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