World Book Day: Mermaid t-shirt and headband tutorial

This month, we have been inspired by World Book Day to design a t-shirt around one of our favourite children’s books. We have chosen The Singing Mermaid by Julia Donaldson, and been influenced by Lydia Monk’s bright and glittery illustrations to create a t-shirt and matching headband using our Mermaid and Under the Sea stencils and Glitter Fabric Pens.

We mixed red and yellow paint directly onto the fabric for an orange hair colour, added gold glitter pen highlights and extended her hair using the seaweed stencil. For the tail, we created a mottled effect by layering the blue and yellow paint, filling in between the stencil lines with the blue glitter pen and drawing scales over the top with the silver glitter pen. We added a face with the black fabric pen and hand drawn leaves using the green glitter pen.

We mixed the blue and yellow paint directly onto the t-shirt to create shades of green for the waves, while the starfish was given a simple spot texture by dabbing around the edge of the stencil. We used the seaweed stencil upside down to create jellyfish tentacles and drew the body with the red glitter pen. The bubbles stencil was used around the collar to create a necklace effect, using the shell as a pendant. We blended colours along the front and back of the sleeves using the blue, green and yellow paint dabbers and then cut strips all the way along for a tasselled finish (let the paint dry and iron the sleeves before cutting).

Finally, we also made a matching headband by painting the shell, starfish and seaweed shapes onto a piece of white card (you could also use felt pens or colouring pencils). Cut them out, then attach them to a long ribbon using double-sided tape or a glue gun in whichever pattern you like. You could also make a headband from a long piece of paper and stick them down with pva glue.

Mermaid stencil

Under the Sea stencil

Mermaid stencil kit

Glitter fabric pens