I found this awesome idea on All Our Days blog. They had done two different variations and I combined the two together to make it easier for my daughter and still have a bunch of fun colors.
Here is All Our Days blog’s many day project they did one with non watered down paint, instructions here.
Here is their version of making solid colors with watered down paint in a spray bottle, instructions here.
I combined both painting methods for a faster project. I didn’t think I could get Sophia to keep interested in a project over many days and yet I wanted a bunch of different colors in our end results. Here is the instructions I wrote of just painting the fabric. (We made these for Christmas presents so I couldn’t post about this at the time 😉 ).
What you will need:
- White cotton fabric. (TIP: You could use pre-made napkins if you wanted to)
- Elmers Glue Gel (the blue kind)
- Tin foil (for underneath the fabric while gluing)
- Acrylic paint
- Cups (for watering down paints)
- Regular paint brushes
- Foam brushes
- Packaging tape
- Wax table cloth (the paint will go through the fabric and on to the surface below it) Or something else to protect your table
- A cup with water for setting dirty paint brushes in
- Wet wipes (for easy clean up)
If you want to frame them like I did you will also need the following:
- Foam poster board
- Iron (to get wrinkles out)
- Hot glue gun and glue stick for it
- Razor knife
- And self-leveling picture hangers like the ones in the link below
- MINTCRAFT PH-121140-3L Hanger Self Leveling, Zinc
Since I already posted about how to paint the fabric here.
I’ll just go into the glue portions of the project and framing in detail.
Place a piece of tinfoil under your fabric (as the glue will eventually soak through it). You can either free hand your designs or you can opt for finding templates to trace. I did two of each kind.
TIP: Leave at least an inch blank around the edges of your design for framing purposes
The Ocean Scene and Butterflies I did free hand.
TIP: The thicker you put the glue on the clearer the lines on the finished product will be.
This is the Horse picture I used as a template to trace with glue.
TIP: While tracing an image you will want to tape down the paper image and the fabric over the top of it so they don’t move.
When you are happy with your design allow it to fully dry before moving onto painting it.
Again instructions here for painting.
Don’t worry if you can’t really see the glue like in the cat picture above.
Once the paints have fully dried put the fabric fully submerged in to a bucket of warm water and let sit for about 20 minutes. The glue will begin to melt away. You can speed it up by rubbing the fabric together or scraping it with your fingernail. This is my favorite part, you get to see the art you just created with your little one!
Just washed Ocean Scene, still wet.
After you have all the glue removed hang up your fabric to air dry.
Once dry they are ready to frame. If you chose to make napkins this is where you need to follow an extra step of heat setting your paint.
Since it took me several months to figure out how to frame the fabric pieces, I needed to first iron all the creases out of them. Follow your irons guidelines for your fabric. I used misting and low heat for mine.
TIP: don’t let the iron sit in one spot too long as it may damage the paint.
I finally settled on using poster-board for the framing. Use your razor knife and cut a piece to size. You will want to leave about an inch on all sides for wrapping.
Put a bead of hot glue down the first edge of the poster board push the fabric firmly on it. Glue a second bead on the opposite side and pull the fabric taught before pushing it down on the glue bead.
Next cut a “V” in to the fabric where the corner of the board is. That way it wont bunch up when you glue the corners down.
Fold the over hanging piece and glue down on the board.
Next glue the second corner, the side of the unglued fabric, and fold down and glue. After both corners are glued as shown above put a bead across and pull the fabric taught and push into the bead. Glue other side.
Figure out where you want to place the self leveling picture hanger. As close to the middle is best. I hot glued mine on top of the folded over fabric. Once satisfied with the location put generous globs of hot glue on both ends of the hanger.
It is then ready to hang.