I’ve been looking for some knee pad tights for a while. I Googled DIY tights..and I stumbled upon 3191 Miles Apart. It was exactly what I was looking for! I grabbed my discontinued small-ribbed tights, paint found at Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores and the other appropriate supplies and I went to work (well, actually Bo did the first “patch’)! While the project seems simple enough, it really is a two person job, as the challenge lies in keeping the stencil completely flat. Completely flat. Otherwise, the edges might be less than you desire. Also, don’t skimp on the drying time. It just takes longer, and overnight might be best. In fact, ours are hanging up drying right now. Overall, it’s a cool project and worth giving a shot!
This project uses wax-coated freezer paper to make a stencil and is truly easy. Do make sure you use quality tights and fabric paint. For younger kids, I think it would be fun to do other shapes like stars or hearts too.
Cotton small-rib tights (I wouldn’t recommend trying this with a synthetic tight)
Fabric marker or tape
Freezer paper (find it at your grocery near the tin foil)
Fabric paint (I recommend Jacquard textile paint)
Try on your tights and mark the center of your kneecap with a fabric marker or a piece of tape. It is essential that you get the placement correct or you will end up with shin patches instead of knee patches. Prepare your knee patch stencil by cutting out two rectangles of freezer paper. You can trace the shape you want from a patch or pattern you already have and cut it out (the oval I used was slightly smaller than the small size of elbow patch pattern provided in 3191Q). Alternately, you can fold the rectangle in fourths then cut out a J-shape as seen above to create your oval. Make sure you are happy with the size and shape of your oval by holding it up to your knees before you proceed.
Insert a piece of cardboard behind the spot you have marked on your tights. The cardboard should be at least as wide as your patch. If your tights are going to stretch a lot on your legs, put in a wider piece of cardboard to simulate the stretch. Center your stencil with the shiny side down over the kneecap mark you made earlier. With a hot iron, secure the stencil to your tights.
With a foam brush, dab on fabric paint until the area in the stencil is fully saturated. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly and then gently pull away the freezer paper. Heat set the patch with a hot iron (once heat set, the tights should be fine to wash as you normally would).
Now, put on your tights and show off your cute knees!
All Photos & Words via 3191 Miles Apart