Monday, October 31, 2011

Dye Design T-shirts with Sharpies: part 1

Maybe this is old news to some of you, but I ran across something very cool and wanted to share it:
Dyeing t-shirts with Sharpies! 
Who knew?
Okay, some of you probably already knew, but thanks for letting me have my moment.

Flash back with me, if you will, to this past July when I may or may not have gone a little overboard with a t-shirt sale at JoAnn Fabric. Okay, so I did. They were on sale for only $2.00 each. Plus I had a coupon. Why not a few in each color?

Ideas for refashioning these tshirts included:
  • Bleach designs
  • Tie Dye designs
  • Fabric designs
I started with bleach designs. Not sure if I didn't let the bleach sit long enough or if the fabric blend isn't conducive to bleach designs. The color pretty much hung out with the bleach like they were old pals. Not a bit of fading. Wham! That idea is out [for now].

On to Tie Dye. 

As I did my research, I found that dyeing t-shirts not only included a few chemicals I didn't have (in order to set the color), but also seemed a bit messy for our little apartment (visions of a dark blue bath tub came to mind). And that's when I stumbled upon a youtube video of a woman making faux tie dye silk scarves using sharpies and rubbing alcohol. Say, what? She had me at Sharpies. Easy. Clean. Totally doable.

Today is my first attempt at dying-t-shirt-knit with sharpies and rubbing alcohol. Here are my test pieces.

Kind of cool, huh? I only had a black sharpie at home, but tonight I'll try to get some colored sharpies and do some test strips with color. I think I may like that even better.

Here's what you need (use in a well-ventilated area)
  • White or light colored t-shirt [*100% cotton or color will fade!]
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Dropper or spray bottle
  • Cardboard
  • Sharpie (try colors!)

here's my dropper, rubbing alcohol, t-shirt test strip, cardboard

I drew my test designs (can use an embroidery hoop to keep fabric taught)

And used the dropper to drip rubbing alcohol willy-nilly on my design  (see video below to watch the design transform).  *You can calso use a spray bottle for a different effect (which I'll try later)

Now we're getting hi-tech people! Watch the magic of sharpie dyeing in action!
[sorry the vids are pretty much snoozers. I'll work on that]

I've read that you set the colors by putting the shirt in a hot dryer for 15 minutes or rinsing it in a solution of  vinegar and water. I'll let you know my experience with that when I make my final shirt design.

Check out this much better post starring sharpie designs in color
Oh yes, it just keeps getting better.

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