This is probably my quickest ever post but its about a craft that I’m into big time at the moment- Stencilling & Fabric Painting. Its actually two different crafts but I’m quite interested in using them together.
I’d acquired some gorgeous Calico from Ebay last year and I was hoping to run off a couple of handmade totes with perhaps some simple lettering on them. For example a Tote bag with the word ‘Books’ or a simple book icon would be the sort of thing I was after.
Calico: Cotton Fabric
The fabric paints I went for are the Memory Professional Artists paints I obtained from Amazon not so long ago. So, I have practically no previous experience of buying fabric paints and knew little other than I wanted them to be permanent (of course) and easy to work with (requiring no fancy extra accessories or tools). Following the Amazon reviews, which I find are always incredibly helpful before making a decision to buy, I opted for the MPA paints and found them pretty good value for money.
So, then come your application tools. I opted for the Royal and Langnickel Stencil Value Pack. Again, nothing too fancy here but they seem to be sufficient for the job I needed to do.
The Practice Run: Theory…….
I had a 20min window between finishing some house chores and picking up my daughter from nursery so just threw myself in. My kit had been sitting there for a while and I was actually quite excited to see what it could all do….. and also how easy/hard the printing was going to be. A practice run so to speak.
I knew 20mins was never really going to be enough time to do justice to the end result but I was prepared for that to be the case. SO I began with the idea of a little zippered bag for toy building blocks that always seem to be lying about. Anyone with wee ones will no there is never shortage of those stray crayons/blocks/cars etc that seem to escape from their larger packs!
The idea was to stencil block the letters L.E.G.O on the front of the bag before sewing the actual bag and adding a zipper.
Begin by ironing the fabric you will be printing on.
You would then place a thick sheet of card or similar under the fabric you will paint on, in case of paint leaking through to whatever is underneath! Beware of using cardboard that will stick to your fabric underneath once its been painted on. The ‘glossier’ the protective sheet is, the better!
The paints would then be applied using the stencil brushes (or sponges) and you would allow 24hrs of air drying before ironing the BACK of the print with a fairly hot iron (being careful not to burn the fabric of course) and then voila you have your printed fabric.
A prewash of the fabric is suggested but I didn’t do this due to time limitations. Finally a hand wash of the fabric is also suggested, which I may try depending on how the printing and drying goes.
And there you have it…. in theory
Post Practice Run: Hind-sights
I would probably assign more time to this because 20mins will just fly by and there’s no point rushing these things. For the accuracy and sake of tidiness I probably should’ve given this about an hour.
Preparation of stencil letters would help immensely. Free-styling letters is a no-no and will give you a sloppy untidy finish, which you probably don’t want. My lettering was smudged, which was to be expected without stencils.
Block lettering gives an effective look so its worth cutting out block stencils in fairly good quality card and watching some YouTube videos on the topic before diving in.
This is a helpful tutorial by Craft Cuts which serves a good demonstration of the stencilling and printing process:
Having a palette for your paints, somewhere to rinse your brushes and some paper towels/ tissue will help keep you work-efficient.
Finally, this is an impressive and thoroughly enjoyable craft, I can see immense possibilities opening up with it. Tote bags are pretty easy to make and of course better for the environment because they’re reusable. Fabric painting is not limited to bags, you can create prints on T-shirts, Tea Towels, Table-Cloths, Bed-sheets etc but I would probably look at the sort of paints available on the market and which have been tried and tested for the purpose you need to use them. There’s certainly no lack of options on the market.
For now, I just need to see how things dry over the next 24hrs before I can get to sewing that cute zip bag. Excited.
I want to leave you with a couple of tutorials on sewing Tote simple tote bags, if you are interested, you can view these on YouTube!
- How to sew a simple tote bag – OnlineFabricStore.net
2. How to sew a tote bag – Professor Pincushion
Happy Painting All
Disclaimer – LEGO is a registered trademark and I do not own or claim to own the trademark name in any way. The products shown are for display purpose only and not for commercial purposes.