Monday, November 24, 2014

DIY: Ink Wash Typography

Having had "such fun" (as Miranda would say ;) with ink washes on my DIY Wall Art project, I've been brainstorming other ways to incorporate some more into our new home. I like some of the typographic art that's out there but not necessarily the printed kind. Graphic prints are not really my thing. So I decided to have a play at creating my own with a slightly more handmade/arty feel....

A super quick project. Took me about 20 mins. You'll need cardmaking sticky letters a bit like these, (mine were from the £1 bin at Hobbycraft about a ahem...year ago!) writing ink, watercolour paper,(or paper of at least 300-400gsm. Don't skimp on the paper. You can just about make out some wrinkles in my paper where it buckled a bit from the wetting because it wasn't proper watercolour paper!) a paintbrush and water...

Create your desired quote using the alphabet stickers, then wet over and all around them using clean water. Dip your brush directly into the writing ink and paint over your letters and onto the wetted paper around allowing the ink to "bleed" and diffuse into the wetted surface around. Be sure to get the ink into the centre of letters with closed loops like "o" "a" "e" etc,,,,

Allow to dry a little. Carefully lift the alphabet stickers away from the paper. They'll be a little soggy from the water and ink so won't likely come off in one go, so is a wee bit fiddly at this stage. You'll also find that the shiny top layer will peel off but leave a little of the underpaper still adhered.(You can see this on the letter "n" in the pic below) So you may have to peel the two layers separately to fully reveal the clean white paper behind. I left the underpaper in place on a couple of the letters because I quite liked the slightly imperfect, textured look it gave....

Allow to dry...pop in a frame...simple as!

I keep thinking these would make great handmade Christmas gifts, no? When I eventually get my sewing space back...(ie when we build a new summerhouse in the spring) this may well find a home there...to serve as a reminder whenever I'm tempted to rush to get a project finished! I do that. Alot!

Monday, November 17, 2014

DIY: Bleach Shibori...

I've been wanting to have a dabble with Shibori for a while. I particularly love all the indigo Shibori projects that are popping up all over. But I'm also a fan of using everyday household materials/supplies for creative projects. I guess I just love the idea that if the creative mood strikes, I can just have a rummage in my cupboards and whip something up from what's there. Rather than having to drive 40mins to my nearest craft store or order supplies online and wait with baited breath for them to arrive. This is one such project. Bleach, string, and a cotton kaftan top I had languishing in my stash, and hey presto....bleach Shibori!

Shibori is a method of dying pattern into cloth (or in these case a kind of reverse dyeing with bleach) through a process of folding, pleating, gathering, and binding. Bleaching works best on natural cellulose fibres as opposed to synthetics, so this cotton kaftan was the perfect subject to experiment with. I started with folding my garment in half, and then pleating it concertina style up from the hem...

....folded the whole thing in half, and then bound tightly with randomly wrapped string....

Place in bleach solution and weight down with bowls or similar to ensure it's fully submerged. I used a whole 79p bottle of bleach to about half a sink of water. That's about as technical as I get! I left it in for just under an hour, checking the colour lift intermittently....

...and this is how it came out after I'd removed the string! (That hole on the left? Managed to that when I cut the fabric along with the string! Duh!)

After that I rinsed and rinsed and rinsed again in cold water, hung to dry and pressed.  (I've since discovered that it's recommended to use a solution to neutralise the bleaching process as it continues even after washing apparently. So just a heads up if you're planning on replicating this. Google neutralising bleach. It seems a product called bleach stop aka Sodium Thiosulphate is quite popular. But also a solution of hydrogen peroxide in a 1:10 ratio with water will apparently do the same job.)

I think this turned out rather cute! I like the way the sleeve edges and hem carry the bulk of the lightening, and the slight "ink blot" effect down the centre that comes from folding the garment in half before bleaching, and I love the effect the string binding has given along the hem in particular, like a forest of sapling trees in silhouette :)

I'm already hatching plans for objects to use in more Shibori!


Blogging tips