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How to transfer an image to fabric with gel medium

How to transfer an image to fabric with gel medium
I experimented with transferring an image onto fabric the other day. For my test, I used this completely adorable dachshund drawing by Kayanna Nelson of June Craft. The little fellow is downloadable for personal use at Bloesem Kids. To try an image transfer, you'll need: Acrylic gel medium, available at art storesFabricA laser printed image (not inkjet!) With your finger—or a brush, but I prefer to feel what I'm doing—spread gel medium onto your fabric in the area where you want your image. Not too thin, not too thick; just a nice even layer. Place your image printed side down onto the sticky fabric and press firmly. Dampen the paper with water, then gently rub the paper away from the image with your finger. The resulting fabric will be a bit stiffer where the gel medium was applied, and you'll be able to see it faintly. For a good drawstring bag tutorial, check out this one at Skip To My Lou. Related:  Do It Yourself Ten

How to make gift bags from newspaper When I bought something at a store recently, the clerk handed me my purchase in a bag made from a newspaper. I liked it very much and had to make some more—thus today's DIY recycled newspaper project: gift bags made from the Wall Street Journal. You can vary the dimensions, of course, but here's what I used to create a bag that's 5" tall, 4.5" wide, and 3" deep. Stack two sheets of newspaper on top of each other. Cut out a rectangle that's 15.5" wide and 8.25" tall. Fold a flap 1.25" down from the top. Cut two pieces of cardstock or chipboard to 4.25" x 1", then glue them on the widest two panels just under the top fold. Put glue on the outside of the 0.5" tab and bring the left-most panel over to form the body of the bag, aligning the cut edge of the panel with the folded edge of the flap. Upend the bag so the 2" flap is now up. Put glue on both flaps and fold them inward to form the bottom of the bag.

Bow tie paper clips from fabric scraps I had a couple little scraps left over from stiffened fabric projects, and after fiddling with them, I noticed they'd easily make tiny bows. Which I attached to paper clips because... I don't know why. I used fabric scraps, stiffener, large paper clips, a scissors, an iron, twist ties (or wire), and a hot glue gun. Apply stiffener to your scraps (learn more here) and iron them flat. Form the longest strip into a loop, overlapping the ends generously. Pinch the "tail" strip in the center the same way. Then attach the bow to the tails using a piece of wire. Use the tiny remaining strip of fabric to attach the bow to the paper clip. Trim the tails to the length you like.

How to stencil with freezer paper One of the projects at this Friday's Chicago Craft Social will be freezer paper stenciling. I'm helping lead this table, so I needed to give it a test drive and make up some samples. You know how a project usually has four tedious steps you tolerate and one step that's super fun? I think this is one of the few where all of the steps are fun. To stencil your own stuff:Buy a roll of freezer paper (approx. $3.99) or beg a piece from the guy in the meat department at your grocery store. With a foam brush, stenciling brush, kitchen sponge, or other paint brush, apply fabric paint to the cut-away areas. Let the paint dry (use a hairdryer if you're the impatient type, like me.)

How About Orange Make your own fabric prints using the sun The folks who make Inkodye sent over a sample the other day. Inkodye is light-sensitive dye for textiles or any natural fibers, including wood and raw leather. It acts like the Sunprint paper you might have used as a kid, only you can brush this dye on anything you want and it comes in lots of colors. Like orange, of course. For my first test of this magical stuff, I planned to make a safety pin print on fabric. I wrapped cardboard with a piece of old plastic tablecloth to make a waterproof surface. Then I poured a little Inkodye onto a paper plate, and with a foam brush, I painted it onto the fabric. As soon as I was done brushing on the dye, I scrambled to arrange some safety pins on top of the fabric. Outside the back door, I placed the board in direct sunlight. To keep the dye under the pins from developing, I immediately rinsed the fabric under the faucet and then washed it out with laundry detergent. Here's what the fabric looks like when it's dry.

Picture frame project with Inkodye Inkodye testing continues in the Jones lab, this time on wood. I bought an unfinished frame at Michaels for one whole dollar and doctored it up with the dye. This is the result. Who are those youngsters in the frame? At one time Alex and I owned a double umbrella. But back to the project. I cut raindrops out of black paper, arranged them on the frame, and carried the ensemble out to our back stairs. Since the frame was damp from the dye, you'll notice the paper curled just a bit, and some of the black ink from the paper was transferred to the frame. I quickly washed the frame with soap, water and a sponge, rinsing and scrubbing to get all the excess dye off, particularly from the raindrop areas. Other Inkodye projects are here and here.

A DIY fabric project using light-sensitive dye Another project in the Inkodye series. This time I tried to get fancy with the light-sensitive dye and see if a drawing could be transferred onto fabric. (Click the image above to view a little larger.) Mixed results this time. To make this fabric, I stretched out a piece of Saran wrap and taped down the corners to keep it taut. Then I drew on it with a black DecoColor paint pen. I thought the fine lines would be a good test to see how crisp the final print would turn out. Then I removed the drawing and taped a piece of white cotton to my waterproof surface (i.e. cardboard wrapped with plastic). I stretched the Saran wrap drawing over the treated fabric and taped it down, then placed the fabric in direct sunlight for 5 minutes. When the color looked fully developed, I immediately brought the fabric inside, untaped it, and rinsed it under a faucet. Someone wondered in the comments on a previous post what the back side of the dyed fabric looks like.

Print your own fabric with Inkodye I played with Inkodye again—a photo-sensitive dye that uses the sun to develop prints on natural materials like wood and fabric. One nice thing about using this dye instead of fabric paint is that fabric stays soft and flexible, instead of stiffening like it does with paint. Plus watching prints develop is always fun! I made a simple cloud design this time, since I knew that achieving perfectly crisp edges is tricky due to shadows that might occur. To make your own cloud print, you'll need Inkodye, fabric, a foam brush, a large piece of cardboard wrapped in plastic for your work surface, masking tape, cardboard for cutting out shapes, a pencil and scissors. Sketch clouds onto cardboard. Cut out the clouds. Tape the edges of the fabric to your work surface to keep it in place while you brush on dye. Mix up your Inkodye solution. In a dim room away from direct sunlight, quickly brush the dye evenly over the surface of the fabric. Arrange the cloud cut-outs over the fabric.

Little origami elephant You know how sometimes you need to take a break from work and fold an elephant? Here's my attempt, following this YouTube video in which Jo Nakashima shows how to make an origami elephant designed by Li Jun. This guy's pudgy derriere is even cuter than his face. Free sewing tutorial: Geek Chic iPad Case Hello, everybody! I'm back from my travels. I hope last week's orange round-up didn't scald the retinas of those who prefer other hues. I've got a freebie for you today, and you can make it in any color you like (though I do recommend orange). The Geek Chic iPad Case is a sewing project from Lisa Lam's book A Bag for All Reasons. Download the Geek Chic iPad Case tutorial here. If you dig it, you can purchase the whole book here. (Photos from A Bag for All Reasons.)

Make pie chart paper pendants If charts, graphs and metrics are your thing, you might enjoy crafting some pie chart pendants. They're made entirely of paper. Oh, and a little glue, thread and a jump ring if you want to get technical. Which you probably do, if you're the kind of person who likes pie charts. With a punch (I used a 1" circle), cut out about 12 circles of cardstock. You can add as many circles to the pendant as needed to get the thickness you want, of course. Glue the circles into a stack one at a time. Double a small length of thread and tie it to a jump ring. Cut some wedges of colored paper for the top layer and glue them on. To seal it, you can brush it with polycrylic or Triple Thick. The little DIY color-blocked necklaces are cute and light-weight.

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