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Friday, September 14, 2012

Try Something New!

Try Something New!  I Tried Fabric Ink!!!

If you have not been to the newly remodeled Scrappin' Happily Ever After, you have not seen the fantastic new "Silhouette" wall and display area.  With all the re-arranging, all the Silhouette supplies, tools, and materials are wonderfully displayed in their own area!  You will see it as soon as you walk in the door.  With everything all in one place, it is easy to shop for your Silhouette supplies.

This got me thinking about all the accessories and mediums we can use in our crafting.  Every month at the crop, the number of Silhouette Cameos seems to grow.  With Cameos and Cricuts, we have machines humming and cutting along all day.  Mostly I see people cutting paper items for scrapbook, craft, and card projects.  We all know the machine does more.  I thought it would be good to step outside of my "paper" comfort zone, and make some different kinds of projects.

The Cameo can cut other materials such as vinyl, fabric, magnet paper, tattoo paper, and more.  It can use markers, pens, and pencils to write, sketch, and draw on paper.  With an additional attachment, it can also emboss.  There is heat transfer and fabric paint to embellish fabric and clothes.  Ivy also has some great canvas items such as totes and pillow cases you can embellish in the store as well.  Check out Scrappin' Happily Ever After's wide variety of products that will help you do more with your digital cutter. 
At a recent S.H.E.A. crop, I won a fantastic prize - the Silhouette Fabric Ink Starter Kit.  It was just what I needed to jump start my desire to do something other than cut paper with my Cameo!  I thought I would share my first project with you.  

I decided to start with an old tee shirt just in case.  It was a hand me down from the big brother to the little brother, so I thought I would do something to make it a bit "different" for its new owner.

Materials Needed for Fabric Ink Tee Shirt Project:
  • Stencil Vinyl and Transfer Paper
  • Hook Tool for weeding out image
  • Fabric Ink and something to put it in
  • Sponge or Foam Brush to apply paint
  • Iron
  • Paper towels and wet wipes recommended (I am messy!)
  • Cereal box or cardboard if you are doing a project that has a front and back (see below)

Here are some tips before you get the Fabric Ink out:

  • Iron the material before getting started.  This allows the stencil and fabric ink to be applied on a smooth surface, without getting wrinkles, gaps, or bunches.  
  • Measure the surface you will be putting the image on.  Make sure you consider how much "white" space you want around the image on the project.  This will allow you to customize your design exactly how you want it to appear on the project.
  •  If you are doing something that has a front and a back like a tee shirt, make sure you put something in between the two layers so your ink does not bleed through.  I used a cereal box out of the recycling bin.  It worked great.
 Here we go! Step by Step...

1. Create the image/words/design you want in Silhouette Studio.

2. Then cut the image out on the Stencil Vinyl.

3. Weed out the image with your hook tool so that you have the mask for the image you want.  You will be taking out all of the "positive" parts of the image.  For example, I wanted the monster on the tee, so I took the monster part of the stencil vinyl out.  This left the "negative" space of the monster which would allow me to ink in the image on the shirt.

  • Tip: Take your time with the weeding.  Make sure you are careful about which items you need to keep, and which items you do not, as well as any interior parts of letters.
  • (Lesson Learned #1 - Don't poke yourself with the weeding tool.  You will then need a band-aid.)

4. Use the Transfer Paper to carefully pull vinyl off the backing paper.  I used the smoothing tool to make sure I got it all.

5. Press Stencil Vinyl onto the fabric.  Again, I used the smoothing tool to make sure the stencil was adhered tightly to the fabric. I did not want any ink to bleed under the edges of the image or words.

6. Use a foam brush or sponge to apply the paint to the fabric.  You can go as light or as solid as you like with the paint.  It is completely up to you and how you want the project to look.

  • (Lesson Learned #2 - Be careful that you do not go over the outside edge of your stencil, or you will have to improvise and put a border around the entire project. Luckily this was a little boy shirt, and the border just helps grunge it up a little.)
  • Leave the stencil in place until the ink has dried completely (Yes, patience is key here, though putting it under a fan helped it dry quite quickly).

7. Once the ink is dry, remove the stencil and use an iron to heat set the ink into the fabric. Once the ink has been set with an iron, it is safe to wash the item. 

So, now that I have done this one project, I have bought several more tee shirts.  I am excited to get some additional colors of fabric ink at S.H.E.A, and get going on another fabric ink project!  I want to try layering two or three colors, or layering fabric ink with heat transfer in my next project.  I encourage you all to give it a try.  If you were going to design a fabric ink project or tee, what would you make and what type of design would you put on it?

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