Friday, July 1, 2011

Fabric! Do I need a new hobby?

Once upon a time, not so long ago, I spent some time playing with stencils.
My blog post about using
stencils and stamps to make this fish
I loved the effects and sharpness of the images I got, but I didn't love working on paper that much. I didn't really have any finished product that I wanted to make out of paper. Somewhere along the line, Gwen suggested I use fabric instead. I didn't know much about fabric paint (which remains true), and I ignored her.

Recently, though, I came across a blog post (or 20) about using Setacolor transparent fabric dye to sun print. The paints were not too expensive, so I ordered a few (from ) to give it a try. I ordered the transparent paints for sun dying, and a set of metalic paints with hopes of using them in the stencils that I make like I did with the stamping ink.

This morning, I gave it a shot. Some of my experiments worked not at all, and some of them were OK. This fish came out well enough to prompt me to share. I had already drawn the image from the paper projects you see above. I cut the stencil from self adhesive vinyl. Then I painted on wet fabric with the paints. The vinyl did not stick to the wet fabric, but stuck itself down once the fabric dried. Even without the adhesive working, it sat pretty well on the wet fabric. I painted on the fabric through the stencil to add shadows in the right places, which I could not effectively do on the paper stencils.

The vinyl worked fabulously to screen the sun. Too well, really, as none of the background color took at all, except that drip that might have happened before I even started working on that piece. After the fabric was dry, I brought it in and used my stamps and some make-up cotton swabs to apply the gold and metallic purple paint through the still stuck stencil. I was able to get some of the shading effects that I got with the inks on paper, and I think with a little practice, I could do much with it. I might be able to do some shading on dry fabric with the transparent paint as well.

Here he is! Fabric Fish, take 1.


  1. Good start. You know you can dye the fabric with mesh or something to give water texture or whatever for a background and then redye, stamp, paint etc. on top. Luann and friends did something like that and passed the fabric around so each one did a layer of each piece. All were interesting and some were very very nice.

  2. Yeah fabric painting! You're off to a great start. I like all of the texture in the colors you're using.