Friday, March 6, 2009

custom scotty tank top

this is a super easy craft that almost anyone can do (as long as you don't like to ingest bleach). i saw it first on kimberly michelle's site and hers turned out really fantastic. inspired, i created a reason to head to target (do you have to do that? it's target!) and picked up a bleach pen with two tips. then i searched for clearance tank tops (oops, found some other things, too...) that i could possibly ruin or possibly make cuter. husband stood in the main aisle, outside of the clothing racks, and kept asking "now what are you doing? why do you need these?". duh, i'm going to draw on them with bleach!

as a note, i'm sorry about the quality of the photos in this post. i seem to have a really hard time with red pictures! i'll keep practicing.

helpers "helping". reason #1 why you shouldn't craft with bleach on their level

i picked this little (it's tiny; it does not fit me) red ribbed tank with ruffles on the shoulders as my trial run. i drew a scotty and printed it in three sizes. to place the image on the shirt, i squeezed (literally) into the baby shirt and taped the paper onto it. i was trying to follow directly the instructions from kimberly's site, so i took off the shirt, put a tin foil wrapped piece of cardboard between the layers and got my bleach pen ready.

then my helpers came by to see if i knew what i was doing. they always sit right next to or directly on whatever it is i'm doing. the middle pictures is blurry because i was trying to shoo them. once shooed, i began to bleach. i traced my whole design and waited a few minutes. it appeared as though nothing was happening to the shirt. i lifted the paper and sure enough, the bleach was not even touching the fabric... it worked for kimberly, but not for me!

let's try this again!

so i tried something else. i put the shirt on my light board and traced the dog with a white sewing pencil. i replaced the tin foil/cardboard and used my pen directly on the fabric, ensuring contact. this worked much better, but it's not fool proof. the pen bubbles and even the thin tip dispenses an uneven, sometimes thick, line of bleach. i suggest working slowly and using a design that doesn't need to be perfect. plus, i noticed that my original bleaching had gotten some dots on my shirt, so things weren't exactly as i'd hoped.

i let the bleach soak in and came back to do a little "shading" with the pen. after it seemed lightened enough i washed it from the inside, trying to keep the stream of water from smearing the bleach across the shirt. this worked pretty well. once the bleach bits were gone i scrubbed with soap a few times to be sure everything was clean.

cute little puppy!

i finished the shirt by adding a little plaid bow (hot glued on) and a glue-backed rhinestone for the eye. it's pretty cute and i think you can tell it's a scotty dog. i have no idea what it looks like on because i'm not subjecting myself to that again. i'll find an 8 year old to test it out.

i do want to try this again with a non-ribbed shirt and a larger design. something that takes up more of the shirt, like kimberly's castle.