troll shirt tutorial

Hella Rad Homestuck Troll Shirt Tutorial!!

Hey nooksuckers,

So after reading some of the other tutorials out there, I realised something; who the fuck actually has the time and money to go and buy all those goddamn materials and fancy shit?

So, here’s how I make my troll shirts; professional quality (seriously everyone thinks I get this shit off WhatPumpkin), quick, easy, and with actual stuff you are likely to have in your house. 

Without futher ado, heres the scope:


(Some of the materials not displayed because I’m a weenie)

-Flat board of some kind: lid, cardboard, chopping board, you could use a live animal I don’t give a fuck whatever bro

-Cling wrap: This shit is important if you don’t want to look like a dweeb at the con

-A sheet of a4 paper with your chosen symbol printed on: To get it the right size, look at reference pictures and hold a piece of paper up to your body and draw in a mirror what you think is right. Then, print the symbol at the preferred size. Doesn’t take a genius.

-Sponge: You can use a dabby art sponge as shown, or a shitty-ass dishwashing sponge. ((IMPORTANT: DO NOT USE THE ONE YOU ACTUALLY USE THE CLEAN YOUR DISHES!! SOME OF THE PAINTS MAY BE TOXIC AND ALSO IT WILL LOOK LIKE YOU’RE WASHING THE DISHES IN TROLL BLOOD. It also waters down the paint and makes it smell like a wet dog. Don’t do it bro. )) Make sure it is fairly dense, however, with no big holes or anything.

-Small knife: Not sharp! Any thin-bladed knife will do, this ain’t murder

-Masking tape (although weak sticky tape should be fine)

-Glue stick (like that really weak-ass primary school shit is fine)

-Paint: Some art stores will display lil bottles of ‘fabric paint’. This is bullshit.

This is the stuff I used, it comes in all the right colours and is dirt cheap, like you can get a whole tube for $4 easily. As long as it says that it works on fabric, it’s fabric paint son and everyone else can go home.

-Shirt: Make sure it is the right style for your character! However, be aware the thinner fabrics are inadvisable; originally, this Meenah shirt was going to be a midriff top, but the material was too thin. Use some cotton, like those cheap $5 shirts at Target/Big W or whatever y'all have in America or whereever. Also, if you are a person with breasts, take the placement of the symbol into consideration, as it may appear different once you wear it. 

-Black permanent marker: If you do this well, you won’t need this.

-A good attitude and a variety of healthy snacks.

First things first, iron that shirt. You don’t have to do the whole thing, just make sure the place where the symbol is going is flat. Idiot.

Next, wrap cling wrap around that board. You go son.

Now put that board inside that crispy-ass shirt you just ironed, under where the symbol is going to be. Place the symbol on top of where you want it to go and scope the scene; is it in the right place?

Obviously. Now, you gotta make a stencil for your sweet arts to happen in!As above, use scissors to cut out that shape. If you’re a lucky mofo, you’ll have a sharp knife and a cutting board, but I don’t, so get off your high horse son and sit at the kiddie table with the rest of us.

Now, tape that stencil to the shirt with the masking tape. Make sure that the fabric is flat and so is the paper, and the area is completely over the board you put inside the shirt. Otherwise, you are stupid.

Now, because you were a good lil girl or boy or whatever, you sat at the kiddie table and used scissors. However, sometimes scissors overcut when doing fine corners, so here is your opportunity to fix your errors with tape.

If you are doing a symbol with holes in it i.e. Karkat, this is where the glue stick comes in. Use that sweet goop to stick down the circles or whatever so they stay in place when you paint. You can also use this stuff to glue down any annoying corners before you start painting. However, do not spread it on too thick! Pulling it off may crack or warp the design. 

Now then, spread some of the paint onto a plate or something, and collect a fairly thin layer on your sponge. At this stage, do not put too much on!!

Cover the whole design, not pushing too hard (otherwise it will bleed under the stencil). By the end, it’ll look something like this:

Looks real thin doesn’t it? Well sit the fuck down, it’s only thin because this is the first coat.

While you wait for this coat to dry, eat a healthy snack.

Hell yes. A funky orange. Or whatever that is. I don’t know. Could be a mandarin.

Anyway, now that coat’s done, do a second coat! You can go a little thicker, but still be careful with how much paint you put on. And, yes the smily face is compulsory.

Now, you need to wait for this coat to dry.


Now then. 

Two coats is the minimum amount for a troll shirt, and 8 is the maximum. Remember that the more coat your use, the better the colour and texture, but the more brittle the design i.e. that shits gonna crack like crazy and maybe even peel. 

I normally recommend four coats, however depending on the cosplay and the fabric type, you will have to decide for yourself. The thinner the fabric, the less coats you’ll need.

Once you are satisfied with your layering, use the thin knife to cut through any paint or glue sticking the shirt to the stencil, and slowly prise the stencil away.

Trying not to pull the fabric too much, remove the stencil altogether.

If there are parts of your result that are not thick enough, simply re-tape them and paint them again. If there are any places where the paint has bled under the stencil, use a black permanent marker to neaten it up; trust me, you can’t see it, so don’t fret.

From here, simply keep adding more paint as above, refining the edges with your marker, and using your knife to remove excess paper.

Now, wait for the paint to fully dry. Then, carefully remove the board from the shirt and dispose of the cling wrap.

For the best results, do not wash before use! The pattern is likely to crack in the wash, however after a quick iron the cracks are barely noticeable. When ironing, always place a sheet of paper over the design to prevent it from burning.

Congratulations! You have successfully made a troll shirt! Now go and explore your respiteblock in style. Bitch.

Please message me with any concerns! I actually worked this tutorial out of my own when I was bored, so if this get’s enough notes I’ll show y'all how to do horns!

Troll shirt tutorial

Now first off..if theres a better tutorial..go with that…this is more for..people who dont have a lot of cash to spend or…just easily screw up…anywho lets begin. I’m making a Nepeta shirt…so yeah

First off get a stencil of your sign…I just use notebook paper and put on my computer screen and trace.

Then put the stencil on a peice of cardstock…I would go with one that is smooth and glossy..not construction paper feeling…Cut ut the circle..dont punture it…you need the center circle. Then carefully cut out the inner parts of the stencil.

It should look something like this when you done.

Also…leave a lot of outer stuff around the stencil…easier to have mess ups and not worry about parts of the shirts you dont want paint on getting ruined.

Now then its time to gather said things.

Black t-shirt..or white..depending on troll or kid

Paint in the shade you need ((Im using crafter acrylic mixed with crafter acrylic fabric medium))

Cardboard to put inside the shirt so the paint wont bleed threw to the other side

lots and lots of pins

Something to put paint on

Paint brush ((big one and small *used a bamboo brush instead of a small one*))

paper towels, and q-tips in case of mess up

and last water for paint

Now pin the stencil down to your shirt…you want this stencil flat as possible

Now get your paint ready and paint. Your gonna want to do a ton of layers of paint..and at time just let it set *watch like a you tube video for a few minutes then cover it in another layer.

Now since were painting on a black shirt..the paint is gonna take a bit for it to show…I suggest doing a white layer at sompoint to bring out the color. Then coat it again with your color. This method worked great when I made a Karkat shirt, since his is such a light color. Just remeber to let it sit for a few minutes and add layers..dont just do one and call it down. The color will fade. So lots and lots of layers. Also another good suggestion use one direction type of stroke to keep everything smooth and flowly…no scribble painting or multidirectional..

Okay now I repeart DO NOT LEAVE THE STENCIL AND PINS ON ALL NIGHT…THIS STUFF IS LIKE GLUE AND YOULL HAVE TO PULL PEICES OF PAPER AND CARDBOARD OFF BOTH SIDES OF THE SHIRT. So just when you think youve had enough layers. Take off the pins and remove the stencil and lift the shirt off the cardboard *DO NOT REMOVE CARDBOARD, JUST LIFT THE SHIRT OFF SO ITS NOT STUCK*

Now if you have a screw up like me as shown.

Just go over the parts with black paint with a q-tip. Yes a q-tip..its removes excess paint and adds the black at the same time…at least from my experiance. Add enough layer of color on the shape with the small brush or bamboo brush. Just to clean up any black paint that got on the color and make it pop more.

If you took my advice…your shirt should look somehting like this. Also if you didnt have to use the clean up method because you didnt mess up like me. Then kuddos, I didnt have to do the clean up method with my karkat shirt…just this one >.>

Anyway happy cosplaying..and again…this tutorial isnt the best…but if you found some use from it. Thats all that matters.