Monday, 26 September 2011

How to Make a Scott Pilgrim "Plumtree" T-Shirt

Hi all, here's a little tutorial for a shirt I customised for my boyfriend, Alex, to cosplay Scott Pilgrim for a party. Below is a step-by-step of how to make a "Plumtree" T-shirt like the one Scott Pilgrim wears in the movie, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World!

You'll need:
  • 1x blank Yellow T-Shirt
  • 1x sheet of sturdy A4 card that can be printed on
  • A craft knife or scalpel
  • A mat or thick card to protect surfaces from the knife
  • Spray mount/spray adhesive
  • Red spray paint (for fabric)
  • Scrap newspaper to cover surfaces
I had most of the necessary equipment already, but the T-Shirt and red spray paint only cost £6 all together! Look in pound shops and cheap clothing places like Primark! Firstly, print off the Plumtree logo onto an A4 sheet of sturdy card. You can grab the image I used here courtesy of

Once it's printed, use a craft knife and a mat or thick card to protect whatever surface you're using to carefully cut out each letter, removing the coloured letters and leaving the white card to create the stencil. This can also be done as a sticky stencil if you have the right materials, but this was all I had at the time!

Remember when cutting out to connect the inner sections of letters like "P" and "R" to the main stencil to make it easier. Or keep the bits you cut out to stick on the shirt later. When you're finished it should look like this:

Next, stick the stencil to your T-Shirt using adhesive spray on the back of it. Make sure it is securely stuck to the fabric, so that none of the spray paint will bleed through the lettering. Put some card or newspaper inside the shirt (beneath the stencil) so that the spray won't seep through to the back of the shirt.

Before you get spraying the paint around, cover nearby surfaces with some old newspaper to avoid ruining the carpet! Cover the rest of the T-Shirt too as the spray has a large radius!

Now you're ready to get started! Make sure you have a little practice spraying the paint on some scrap newspaper first to make sure it's not blotchy or dripping and to get a feel for spraying evenly. When you're confident enough, spray the shirt from several inches around and move quickly and evenly left and right to avoid blotchy coverage. Don't spray too thickly or the design might bleed through!

Slowly peel off the stencil and place to one side on some extra newspaper.

Ta-Dah! Not bad, though there is some bleed on the letter "P", which goes to show how careful you need to be to avoid messy mistakes like this! I didn't want to risk spraying the sleeves and collar red too, but you can give it a go yourself if you're up to it! Leave to dry and enjoy your new Scott Pilgrim shirt!

As a final note, depending on the spray paint you used, your design may come off in the wash, so definitely wash on low temperature between 15-30 degrees and don't mix with whites!

Enjoy! :3
Gemma xox

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Abstract African Art

New art up on DeviantArt tonight!

An 18x24 Acrylic painting I did as a 'thank you' present for my Nan and Grandad, for all of their support during my Uni years. <3

They love South Africa and their culture and fab animals and art, so I painted this inspired by African colours, designs and creatures (and the land mass itself) for their living room.

It was great to go back to real paints again, though it looked pretty awful to begin with and took many layers of paint to get the colour and shapes right! Just goes to show that I should have planned it more! XD There's a load of gold paint on it too, which looks a lot better in person, but hopefully you get the gist!

Abstract Africa by *AmberDust on deviantART

Enjoy! :3
Gem xox

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol

A couple of my Uni animation friends recommended this fantastic graphic novel to me by storyboard artist, Vera Brosgol. I enjoyed it so much I had to write a quick 'nutshell' review and spread the word! :)

Vera Brosgol captures an engaging story with realistic characters (even despite one of them being a ghost from 70 years ago!) in her brilliant graphic novel debut. It tells a modern story of a Russian girl trying to fit in with American culture in high school, get noticed by her crush, lose weight, get popular and of course avoid daily embarrassments to retain the remaining shreds of her dignity, but all that changes when she literally stumbles upon a ghost whose been waiting for a rescuer for 70 years. The ghost, Emily, has the ability to change Anya's life as well as be the friend she always wanted! However, when Anya gets what she wants, she starts to realise that appearances can be deceiving...

Anya's Ghost is a mature story that doesn't patronise or talk down to the reader, (like some teen books do!) and is entertaining for any age, but particularly teen girls, like Anya, who may identify by their current or past experiences. The artwork is carefully rendered in a simple, but very expressive way which relates you to Vera's lovely characters even more.

It's an utter page turner from beginning to end, and I remember savoring the last pages, taking everything in slowly in my attempt to make the book last longer! I didn't want it to end and sincerely hope Brosgol has a sequel in the works!

I highly recommend this to graphic novel lovers and teenage girls/young women everywhere!! If you need further convincing, the book is available on for £7.61 (and for $13.59 on in America) and you can check out Vera's amazing art and style on her blog here:

And of course it comes highly praised by critically acclaimed writers, Neil Gaiman and Scott McCloud... need I say more??

Enjoy! :)
Gem xox