Monday, March 4, 2013

Bleach Pen Decorated Scarf

Hi everyone!

Happy Monday.

I'm semi-stressed about the upcoming craft show (ahhh! It's this Saturday!), so I won't be able to post lots of crafts this week.  However, I'll try my best to upload something every day ... (even if it's just a photo of the stamps that I'm working on) so that you'll get a glimpse into my harried card-making world.

Anyway, here's a fun craft that I made last week.  I finally took the plunge and tried my hand at using bleach to decorate a recycled t-shirt scarf.
Ooh.  Looks nice, right?  (And btw- can you see that pimple?  Well, it ain't the only one.  Curses, acne!)

Materials:
- Scissors (I used fabric shears)
- Old t-shirt (<--crap!)
- Cereal box (<--crap!)
- Bleach Pen
- Rubber gloves
- Pen

Directions:


Step 1:  Cut an old t-shirt horizontally under the armpits.  (This medium black shirt shrunk in the wash, so it was perfect.)  Now you should have a fabric loop.  Stretch your loop so that it's longer.  Save your unused material.

Step 2:  Doodle some possible designs.  (I debated between two designs, but ultimately chose to doodle flowers because it seemed easier and more fun to draw.)

Step 3:  Place a piece of cardboard between the top and bottom layers of your fabric loop.

Step 4:  Shake your bleach pen very well.  Then, draw on the topside of your t-shirt loop.

Note:
- You must shake the bleach pen.  Otherwise blobs of oozy bleach water will leak out of the pen.
- Even after shaking, I still found the bleach "ink" to be pretty runny.  It had the consistency of watery Elmer's glue.
- Bleach fumes are strong.  Don't work in a tiny, stuffy room.
- Be careful and don't touch the bleach.  (Yeah- I learned that one the hard way.)



Step 5:  Once you've completed one side, let your bleached fabric sit there for as long as you want.  When you get the fading that you like, put on your rubber gloves and rinse the bleach out.

Note:
- I was impatient.  Once I noticed the bleach changing the black cloth, I ran to the sink to rinse it out.  So, my flowers probably don't look as vibrant as they could.
- Rinse your cloth well.  If you don't, the scarf will slightly burn your neck when you wear it.  (Again, another lesson that I learned the hard way.)

Step 6:  Let your cloth dry.  Then, repeat Steps 3-5 with the non-decorated side.

Step 7:  Once both sides of your fabric loop have been decorated, rinsed out, and dried, cut your loop into two thinner loops.*

Step 8:  Now you're going to attach the two loops together to create the illusion of a very long infinity scarf wrapped around your neck.  (Sorry I don't have a photo of this process.)  First, you'll have to make one loop shorter than the other.  To do this, I cut apart one of my loops (making it a long strand.)  Then, I placed this strand on top of the other fabric loop, curving it to make it a shorter loop.  (Does this even make sense?  Is anyone still reading at this point?)  I tied a long thin strip of t-shirt material (taken from the discarded scraps) around the strand and the loop to attach them together.  Finally, I trimmed off any excess fabric bits so that I had a nice clean knot.

And that's how I made this scarf.




(*Psst- Want a thicker, fuller-looking scarf than mine?  Hubby and I think this scarf would have been cuter if I used two shirts.  Then I could have decorated two very thick loops and tied them together.  That was initially my plan, but my bleach pen died after drawing one loop.  So if you want to try that out, you'll need 2 bleach pens.)

Let me know if you try this craft out!   I'd love to see your results.

4 comments:

  1. I wonder if a few of the issues you experienced with your bleach pen could have been rectified if you'd used straight bleach with xanthan gum added as a thickener and then used an acrylic paint brush to paint on your designs. Something to try next time?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm. That xanthan gum sure is thick. (We tried adding it to a sauce in place of flour and our sauce literally became gunk.) I'll think about it for next time. :) Using plain bleach would also probably be more thrifty than using the bleach pen. Maybe I can try it on a cute thrifted dress?

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    2. With xanthan gum, you really don't need much. My cake recipe calls for 1 Tablespoon and that's for a batch of 3 dozen regular sized cupcakes. If you do this again, you might try regular bleach, 1/4 cup maybe, with 1/8 tsp of xanthan gum. I would just sprinkle a little on (do not dump) and stir it in. You could always add a little more if you want it thicker.

      Now I've told you all this, I should probably also warn that I do not know if xanthan gum can be used safely with bleach, but I would think any gelling agent would work. There are bound to be some that are bleach safe and they would certainly be more pocket book friendly.

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  2. I like it! Can't wait to hear about the craft show.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for your comment!

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