Anyone who’s looked at wedding pictures on the Internet is probably familiar with the overwhelming phenomenon of bridesmaids in matching things: robes, tank tops, etc. But as soon as Najva and I saw these matching “girl gang” shirts from APW reader Sara, it was all over. Here’s Sara and her girl gang out of uniform:
I KNOW. Why didn’t you think of this? Why didn’t I think of this? We wanted to know more about the awesome crew that helped Sara get ready (and get tipsy) the morning of her wedding, and being awesome, Sara even included instructions on how to DIY your own #GirlGang situation:
Shortly after I assembled my bridal party, I sent a commemorative photo to my three bridesmaids—Kendal, Tiffany, and Jen—of two women in denim “girl gang” vests that I had found a few years earlier and filed away. When Kendal suggested that we make our own girl gang shirts to get ready in the morning of the wedding, Tiffany said she’d just mastered the art of freezer paper stencils and offered to show us the ropes. The weekend before the wedding, Kendal, Tiffany and I got together at my house to make the shirts. It was fun to get together and work with our hands in that otherwise hectic week, and it’s great to have one thing from the wedding I can wear over and over.
I know some pretty amazing, take charge, badass women—a group that goes far beyond the ladies pictured here—and the wedding process really highlighted that for me. Tiffany made the sunglasses we’re wearing in the photos, Kendal learned how to use a plasma cutter to help make marquee letters for the wedding reception, and the women in my life threw me the best shower and bachelorette I could imagine. To quote the bag I made as one of Kendal’s bridesmaid presents (and Tina Fey), “Bitches get shit done.” Making and wearing the shirts was a way to celebrate that.
Here’s how to make your own #GirlGang shirts: (Editor’s note: we recommend listen to this while you craft.)
1.Find a typeface you like (we used the website fontmeme.com), blow it up to be the font size you want, and trace it onto the non-waxy side of freezer paper (which is different from wax paper).
2. Using an X-Acto knife, cut out your letters to turn the freezer paper into a stencil. Don’t forget to leave a connecting strip for letters like “a” with a blank space inside. If you do forget, that’s okay, because you can just fill in any gaps later.
3. Iron the freezer paper onto your shirt, waxy side down. We started with a towel between the freezer paper and the iron so the freezer paper didn’t burn. Make sure it is thoroughly stuck to the shirt or the edges of your letters will be wavy. (Pro tip: If your lines come out wavy anyway, just cover them with glitter!)
4. Use a foam roller to apply fabric paint to your shirt. Go for coverage.
5. Wait for your paint to dry. (Soon-to-be brides don’t have a lot of spare time in the week before their wedding—or, at least, this one didn’t—so we used a hair dryer to speed up this process.)
6. Peel off the freezer paper.
7. Fill in the connecting strip on any letters that needed one.
8. Add any additional decorations to your shirt. We used gold glitter paint.
9. Wear and enjoy! (Pro tip: Girl gang shirts pair well with bubbly.)