Hand-decorated Fabric

My sample pieces of fabric to test decorating techniques on

One of my favorite magazines, Cloth Paper Scissors, currently has a reader challenge where readers can decorate a piece of fabric in any way they choose. After the fabric is decorated they cut their fabric into 9″x 9″ squares to send to the magazine. Then the staff at Cloth Paper Scissors will divide out and distribute a sample swatch book with 6 random samples from the fabric exchange challenge. I can’t wait to see what fabric samples are sent to me.

Work in progress

Yesterday I finished preparing my fabric swatches to send out. On each swatch, I stapled my business card and a description about how I decorated the fabric. It was an exciting moment to see all of my swatches stapled with my info. I felt like a designer sending out my samples to companies. I named my fabric piece, “Starry Inspiration.”

My fabric swatches ready to be shipped

This was my first attempt at decorating fabric, so I was venturing into unknown territory while creating it. First, I dyed the fabric using the Fashion Graffiti Paint Cannon from Tulip. It is a very fun tool to use and since you hand-pump the air into it, it is non-aerosol. The only downside with the Graffiti Cannon is I could not find the correct blue color to dye my fabric. The Cannon kit came with a blue paint to use in it but I already used that up, and Tulip does not offer refill bottles of this particular color. You can use certain Tulip brand dyes with the Cannon, but the dye color is darker than the same color of paint for the Cannon. Since I had to water down the dye to make it lighter, the dye was no longer “permanent.” If a drop of water hit the fabric, the dye color would get a watermark. Because of this happening, I wanted to make sure that my entire dyed fabric surface was coated with some type of medium to protect the surface and to prevent the dye from running.

Close-ups of Love & Believe and photos of my hand-carved stamps

After coloring the fabric, I hand cut about 5o stars out of aluminum foil. I scattered the foil stars all over the surface of my fabric and adhered the stars with acrylic gel medium. Next I hand-carved inspirational word stamps from plain white erasers from the dollar store. Then I used black stamp ink to imprint the words onto the fabric. The fabric absorbed a lot of the ink so the words look a little washed out. By coincidence I found out that the acrylic gel medium brushed over the stamped words helped intensify the black stamped color on the fabric. Unfortunately, on some of the stamped words, the gel medium made the ink bleed/blur. To help accentuate the letters on the blurred words, I carefully highlighted the edges using assorted colors of fabric paint. I also added accents to the edges of the foil stars using black fabric paint.

My "Starry Inspiration" fabric piece

I also used the acrylic gel medium mixed with some silver glitter to fill in the spaces between the foil stars and hand-stamped words. As one final embellishment, I added silver and gold confetti stars using the gel medium as the adhesive for the stars. After all of my embellishing was completed, I coated the entire surface of the fabric with a coat of glossy Mod Podge. And that’s the creative journey of my first hand-decorated fabric piece.

Some close-ups of my hand decorated fabric

About christine

A watercolor and sculpture artist and avid crafter/designer. Working creatively with my hands is what gives me joy and contentment and makes me want to get up in the morning.
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2 Responses to Hand-decorated Fabric

  1. Glitter Gal says:

    I am blessed to be the proud owner of a few swatches of this fabulous hand made fabric. I’m thinking I need to make a superhero doll using this fabric as her cape!!! Wonderful! Thanks for thinking of me and sending it!! You are a gem Christine!!!

  2. christine says:

    You’re welcome, Glitter Gal! I knew my fabric swatches were being sent to a good home and creative, artistic and sparklicious hands.

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