Wednesday, June 13, 2012

How to Make Video Game Onesies for Baby Geeks

I'm not a huge fan of bridal and baby showers, mainly because of the cheesy games you're forced to play. However, 7 years ago when I attended my first baby shower, I was exposed to a really neat party activity: decorating baby onesies! The host just bought a pack of white onesies and puffy paints and let us have at it. How clever! Not only do the guests get to show off their creativity, but the mom-to-be also receives a batch of free baby outfits personalized by her good friends. :)

Fast-forward to my own baby shower, and onesie painting was the one thing I wanted to make sure to include. Luckily, my BFF Sophia had her shower a couple weeks beforehand and sent me a blog article that suggested creating stencils for people who may not be as artistic. Brilliant! Here's how I did it...

Materials for painting stencils on baby onesies

  • Fabric paint - I bought Tulip "Soft" paint bottles from Michael's (fabric markers and puffy paints don't fill in solid shapes very well)
  • Paint brushes (at least one for each color)
  • Freezer paper (parchment and wax paper won't work; it needs to be paper on one side and waxy on the other)
  • Print-outs of the stencils you want to use (make sure they're not wider than the onesies)
  • Cardboard rectangles - I just cut up a cardboard box into sections big enough to fit inside a onesie and entirely under a stencil
  • Sharpie
  • X-Acto knife or scissors for cutting out intricate stencils
  • White (or solid colored) onesies - choose several sizes and buy enough for each guest to make 2 to 3 each
  • Disposable tablecloth and disposable plates/bowls
  1. Wash and dry the onesies.
  2. Look online for stencils you want to use to decorate the onesies and print them out. Make sure they're not too complicated or else your guests may not have enough time to let the paint dry if there are multiple colors involved.
  3. Cut out a piece of freezer paper that matches the size of the stencil. Place the stencil print-out under the freezer paper, and make sure the waxy side of the freezer paper is facing down and touching the paper. Use a Sharpie to trace the stencil on the freezer paper.
  4. Cut out the stencil outline on the freezer paper. Iron the freezer paper stencil onto a onesie (again, with the waxy side face down), using the appropriate heat setting for the onesie's fabric.
  5. Cut out cardboard rectangles and insert them into the onesies under the stencils. The cardboard acts as both a solid surface and a barrier in case the paint leaks through.
  6. Cover your table with the disposable table covering and squeeze out the different colored paints into disposable plates/bowls. (Don't dilute the paint with water or else it may bleed under the stencil.) I had one paintbrush per color so people didn't have to rinse them out when switching colors. Also, if you don't have that many colors, people can mix paints to create new combinations.
  7. If your design requires layering of colors, wait ~15 minutes and carefully try painting on the second color, making sure it doesn't mix with first color.
  8. After an hour or so, it should be safe to peel off the freezer paper. The paint bottles will have instructions on how long to wait before you can wash the onesies. Soak the brushes in water to clean them.
I'm surprised at how well they turned out! The lines are so clean and sharp... if you can believe it, a 3-year-old painted the Triforce and power button.

Video game onesies for baby geeks

My favorite designs are the Mario mushroom and Domo-kun. For Domo-kun, I had two stencils ironed on, one on the outside of the black outline and one covering the brown fur (but with a hole for the mouth). I painted the black outline and red mouth first, and then after they dried, I freehand painted the teeth on. After the teeth dried, I peeled off both stencils, carefully painted on the brown fur without bleeding over the existing paint, waited for the brown to dry, and lastly added the eyes. As you can probably tell, I only had time to decorate one onesie, but I think it was totally worth it. ^_^;;

Domo-kun onesie, painted with a freezer paper stencil

Not everyone decided to use the premade stencils, so I have several personalized paintings as well. K has promised to make me a certain design that was too complex for stenciling, so hopefully I'll be able to show it to you someday.

What's a favorite game you've played at a baby or bridal shower?


Unknown said...

It's not really a game, but when I hosted a baby shower I provided index cards to the guests to write well-wishes and helpful parenting tips on that I compiled into a scrap book for the mother (I think some people call this a "blessingway") It is a lovely keepsake for the mom, and no one has to identify chocolate bars in diapers (gross!)

A Gamer's Wife said...

Oh how cool! Haha, plus that gives a outlet for people to dole out friendly advice and the parents-to-be are free to ignore them if they want. ^_~ Gah, I hate the chocolate bar in the diaper game, as well as the "taste the baby food" guessing game. O_o Somehow food-related activities never seem to go well...

Lilly said...

omg how cool is that!!!! That is SO cute! I'll definitely have to try that, be a great baby geek gift!

A Gamer's Wife said...

@Lily - You're right; I totally hadn't thought of making them as gifts! There's so many other applications too, like pet clothing or adult-sized shirts. Mmm, the possibilities...