I wrote this a few of days ago but had to wait until today to upload the images so now I can publish it.
Okay so this is the second day that I’m home from the exhausting but wonderful Disney vacation. I wrote a lot yesterday to get those creative writing ya-ya’s out of my brain. My creative juices in other areas are flowing and tonight I gave myself time to do something creative other than writing.
I have a few things that I want to try to do. I’ll tell you what they are first then I’ll share what I did tonight.
I want to decorate some t-shirts and/or hoodie sweatshirts with custom words and images for my boys to wear.
The first and easiest thing is I wanted to try to use acrylic paint (which I already have on hand) and textile medium (which I bought last year but never used). Using the textile medium with the paint you can turn any acrylic paint into a fabric paint. I want to use stencils or large rubber stamps to write words on t-shirts.
I am thinking also of hand carving some rubber stamps with one alphabet of letters of my design that I could use for this purpose (and for other things). I am thinking about letters sized at about two inches high. I already have one big slab of rubber here waiting to be hand carved.
I want to combine a graphic with the words on the shirt. I have a few ideas. One is to custom design a stencil. My wood burning tool has a stencil burner on it that allows me to burn plastic stencils (outdoors so the fumes don’t kill me). I have never carved my own stencils before so that would be yet another new thing to teach myself. My understanding is that you can buy Mylar sheets at the craft store for a low price to use as the stencil blanks. I need to investigate this.
I was thinking of using a graphic based on a photograph that I took. I would digitally alter the photo first by removing the color, then by using the brightness and contrast and adjusting them until it was an image similar to that of a rubber stamp. I could then use that as the pattern for my stencil. I did that tonight with one image but it was too detailed to use.
I could also hand draw a stencil. That would have to be pretty basic and not detailed.
Inspired by the Hollister shirts that are in style right now, I was thinking of doing an appliqué for the image, and having the image be blocky and basic such as their current seagull design. Copying after Hollister I could also be rough with the stitching which meshes well with my sewing talent level! I could use felt. I could use cotton and leave threads hanging like Hollister does. I could also use denim which I have a surplus of here from a former project. I have boxes of old jeans sitting in my basement waiting to be used.
The biggest thing of all that I am pondering is that I was considering using screen printing for this project. I got a basic beginner screen printing kit for Christmas and I have yet to take the wrapper off of it. I am scared to be honest.
Tonight I began by watching some DIY videos on YouTube that show the screen printing process. I have a feeling the basic components in the kit I own are not all that the guy in the video is using. At that moment I felt intimidated. (There are a lot of those videos on YouTube just do a search on the keyword “screen printing” or “screenprinting”.)
Tonight I decided to try for something easier. Grabbing an old cotton knit nightgown from my rag bag, I decided to experiment with the textile medium, acrylic paints and foam stamps.
I had fun experimenting. This was very easy. I first did solid lettering then I experimented with more dabbing on of the paint so that the letter came out with a distressed or aged look to it. This was so simple. The hardest part is trying to figure out how to line up the letters in a way that makes them spaced evenly and going in a straight line. I tried working with tape but that was not working very well. Maybe I’ll just go for a rough look.
It was ridiculously simple to use the foam stamps and acrylic paint and textile medium in this way. Now it has to air dry for 24 hours then must be heat set then always washed inside out.
Tonight I also altered a photo digitally but came to realize that the photos that I have are too complex and detailed. My kids want a certain image on the shirt, a log cabin that the children and their instructors built at their wilderness school homeschoolers class. This will be quite complex. I also realized I don’t have a good enough photo of 100% of the cabin as they want. If I really want to try that I’ll have to drive to the school and take a mile hike to get to the cabin to take a photo and start from there.
Now I am contemplating a graphic that is not photo-based, something simpler. Perhaps the image could be the crow that watches over the children as they are in class (it follows them on their hikes if you can believe it). The image could also be of an evergreen tree or even a pine cone. Maybe I could find a copyright-free silhouette in one of my Dover books. (Although I need to say that after I bought a few of the Dover “copyright free” design books I read the copyright page which limits the buyer of the book to use only a limited number of the designs. Talk about false advertising.)
Up and coming is I need to work on ATCs for a swap I’m hosting on Swap-bot.com for another technique in the Bernie Berlin book “Artist Trading Card Workshop”. This time we’re doing water transfers which is another new-to-me technique.
I will have free time on Friday to make some art and I hope I’ll have time on Sunday after church as well. Update: the weather changed my plans and I had no free time on Friday. Now I also have plans with extended family to celebrate a birthday on Sunday. Other than what I did the other night I will have no free time until possibly Wednesday night, Feb 6th. It is crazy how the calendar fills up.
Books I'm Using To Make ATCs This Month