Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ink blot t-shirt designs

Remember when I thought Sharpie t-shirt designs were the next best thing to sliced bread? Well, at the moment (sorry Sharpies, I'm so finicky that way) I'm head-over-heels for something else. Ink Blot T-shirt Designs. You have no idea.

At first I thought I had come up with the idea myself. haha. ha. Yah, no.

Of course when I searched the all-knowing internet, someone had come up with it first.

But lucky for me, I found a couple of great ink blot t-shirt tutorials: DIY Projects and Instructables. They were fantastic. Simple and concise. So I followed their lead.

Ink Blot T-shirt take I:

Start with a shirt

Use a piece of cardboard that is the same width of your shirt, to put in-between your shirt layers

Fold the cardboard in half and make a strong crease

Put the creased cardboard inside your shirt

Make sure the creased cardboard is in the center of the shirt and secure it. Some use tacks or tape, I used binder clips.

Pull out your fabric paint. Some use acrylic, but I like the softer feel of fabric paint.

Apply your paint. Don't try to make a design, just drip, drop randomly.

Carefully fold your shirt in half along the cardboard crease. (*In my 2nd attempt I found that pressing gently, especially along the crease, helped to disperse the paint.)

Tada! My first "ink blot" t-shirt. Kind of a fun design.

Add caption
This is when it got tricky. There were a couple of spots with thick excess paint (if you look closely you'll see). I should have left it alone. 

But I don't often leave things alone when I should, so I pulled out my little sponge to try and soak up some of the paint. Wah, wah. Don't do that. The more I dabbed, the worse it got and I ended up running to the sink to try and rinse out the paint entirely. Do do that either. It didn't come out, it just bled. 

See, I'm teaching you how NOT to do things so you can avoid these mistakes! :)

In the end, as my shirt hung to dry in its sad, blotchy state, my husband said it looked cool that way. Like it was supposed to be like that. I guess I'll believe him even though I know he may just be saying that to be nice. It does sort of have that I-wore-this-in-the-garage-and-got-grease-on-it sort of appeal.

***And by the way, the last real step (instead of running to the sink to un-do your design) is letting the paint dry with the cardboard still in tact. After it's dry, remove the cardboard and use a dry hot iron (with a cloth on top of your design) to set the paint for about 3 minutes. Don't wash your shirt for at least 72 hours.

::Ink Blot T-shirt Take II - {Much, much better!}::(#II)

Now that I had that mistake under my belt, I thought I'd give it another try. It worked SO much better.

This time I decided to try two different colors together

Drip, drop, splat

Fold and tada!

Make sure to heat-set your design with a dry iron for at least 3 minutes, after your design is dry. You can either turn your shirt inside-out and iron on the wrong side of the design, or use a cloth between your iron and paint. I just used a scrap of muslin.

Wow. Pretty cool. Looks like an angry bull. Couldn't have planned it if I tried.

That's the crazy/intriguing/exciting part of ink blot design. You never really know what you're going to get. It's a roll of the dice, baby. And that's what makes it so addictive. Trust me and warn my husband to hide all of his shirts.

Related PostsInk blot t-shirts II and Ink blot t-shirts III

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  1. Thank you for representing DIY Projects!! I thought this project was amazing! Not only is it easy, but it always turns out great! Thanks again!

  2. this looks like a fun craft! i want to make a bunch - maybe on paper, cuz i can see myself getting carried away.

  3. I see a pair of ballet slippers on this cute shirt!! I remember many years ago that you squirted a design on a shirt and they put it on a spinner...

  4. Hi,

    You have created a very good site. Ink blot design comfortable, casual and loose fitting, our heavyweight t-shirt will quickly become one of your favorites. It is double-needle stitched the bottom and sleeve hems for extra durability. This design which looked exactly the same on one side as it did on the other half of the paper. Thanks for sharing it....

    Personalised T Shirt

  5. Thanks for linking up to last week's Tuesday Confessional! You've been featured, so stop by and grab a button. :)

  6. This is so cool and looks amazing! I've featured them over at this week's Craftastic Monday - stop by & grab a Featured On button. Thanks for linking up!

  7. Love this will my daughter! I'm a new follower too. Stop by and visit and enter to win my Heirloom ornament...only 1 day left to enter. Warm wishes


I'd love to hear what you have to say! Thanks so much for your comments! ♥


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