Hen Party Shirt crafts

As some of you know, my friend J. is getting married soon. We recently held a little hen party here for her in Dublin – nothing very big, but dinner and a bit of dancing. Then, we had the proper “big” party in York (more about that later).

In preparation for the batchelorette party weekend, I thought it would be fun to have t-shirts. After pricing several places on line for “standardized” hen party t shirts, I was shocked to see that they were all either black & pink or white & pink – and quite expensive at about 10 – 12 Euros each (about 150 euro). Thus, I decided to make my own for the 15 girls with some plain t-shirts (5 euros each) and some spray fabric paints in the 3 colors that Jacqui loves best – lime green, violet, and silver.

I got the fabric spray paints from a site called as a set of 6 colors for 34.00. I also got a couple of stencils. Add in my time over the course of two evenings – and I had a mini sweatshop going in my living room.

First, I read the instructions, and tried a few tie dye style shirts – with no stencils. This involved scrunching up a few of the shirts in various ways – and spraying colors across them. The results turned out quite cute:

t shirts for Jacqui's hen night

Then, I decided to try the tie dye look with a few sample stencils – like “princess”, “hearts”, and “angel”. This worked ok for some, but I found that if I was impatient removing the stencils, the paint ran. If I waited too long, the stencils stuck. The key was being spot on with removing them at just the right time – when the paint was tacky, but before it was too dry.

t shirts for Jacqui's hen night

t shirts for Jacqui's hen night

As time went on, I got the timing better – and figured out how to get the stencils to work even better – realizing that you had to put on the light colors and gradually add the dark ones so that they worked best.

t shirts for Jacqui's hen night

Finally, I felt comfortable enough that I could actually use some airbrush/spray paint techniques – and actually did a “brick” style layout using some old cardboard to make “stripes” and short lines. Then, waited for it to get to mostly dry. Next, I laid out a stencil for the lettering – and popped on a few flower shapes to spray around. This resulted in a couple interesting looks:

t shirts for Jacqui's hen night

t shirts for Jacqui's hen night

In the end, we didn’t use the shirts while site seeing before the main evening party as I had thought (we didn’t all arrive at the same time, and not all of us site-saw together) but I did give them to the girls as a momento of the weekend. They went over well – as the girls could choose which ones they wanted according to size. The best part was that they were all in similar colors, but they were all slightly different – which meant each person’s personality was reflected a little bit in each shirt.

A few notes – the total ended up being 120 for the shirts had I purchased them pre-made. For these, I spent 110 and my time. I do however have the stencils and spray paints left – only 2 cans having run out after having made a total of 18 shirts. I’m planning on using the fabric spray and stencils on some pillowcases, a couple pairs of jeans, and have some other ideas as well. I think for the cost the project was quite worth it – especially because of the leftover paints.

I actually think this could / would be quite a fun thing for an older child’s birthday party. They can make their own “spray paint” tie dye t shirts quickly and easily out in the back garden – and let them dry for 30 minutes while you sit down to have cake and gifts / play some party games. It’d be a fun addition to the goodie bags and a really neat keepsake if you have kids who love crafts.


3 thoughts on “Hen Party Shirt crafts

  1. ok, I love that flower “Sweetie” shirt! This is a really great idea, especially since you handmade them all with the Bride’s colors in mind & each was a little different. I think I would not have as much patience as you, though – all that smudging stencil action would have frustrated the hell out of me! KUDOS to you!

  2. Oh Hen Party is a Brit / Irish term for a batchelorette party. I think they go all out for it. Otherwise, yes, I have to say that there are some that didn’t turn out as nice as others, but once I figured out the technique and the timing, they did get better and better.

    I’m waiting on some other stencils to get here – with a mosiac pattern and some owls – to do the other things I want to do. Hopefully they’ll get here soon.

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