Cyanotype Blueprints

How to sun print on fabric (cyanotype) via lilblueboo.com

When Boo and I were making our pinhole camera I wanted to teach her how 35mm film worked.  I gave her this pack of cyanotype fabric and let her decide what to use from around the house to make her prints. Cyanotype is what they used to reproduce blueprints and diagrams a hundred years ago or more……those pretty architectural type drawings you wish you’d find in a thrift store one day (or at least I’m always looking for them!)? Cyanotype is basically a photographic printing process that results in a blue or “cyan” print.

Blueprints on Fabric via lilblueboo.com

 

I gave Boo a clipboard to lay the fabric on as she took each piece one at a time out of the “light proof” bag (it took a few reminders that she had to make sure to close it back up carefully):

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Printing and Painting Fabric (A Tutorial)


Can’t find the perfect fabric for a project? You can make your own! Here’s Boo wearing the jumpsuit I made for Week 3 of Project Run and Play….it’s a basic style, I just needed to make the perfect print for it!

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The basic jumpsuit consisted of 4 pieces of gray knit:


First, I silk screened several different layers of a butterfly print……


….in dark gray, turquoise and bright yellow (see basic silk screening tutorial here):


Using Setacolor transparent fabric paints….


…..I mixed a diluted hot pink color:


I used a large paint brush to paint areas of the fabric to add dimension:


After the fabric was dry I heat set the entire outfit using an iron to make it permanent:


The inspiration for this outfit was Alexander McQueen.:


But the print and style had to be something more childish and less botanical….whimsical and fun….comfortable and easily washed (Lil Blue Boo criteria!):

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You can use either of these techniques to create something for the Lil Blue Boo / Dharma Trading 2011 Design Challenge!

 

Screenprinting Techniques: Using Contact Paper (Tutorial)

Screenprinting Techniques: Using Contact Paper (Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

 

This technique is super easy and great for designs that are not too detailed. You can cut a simple design into contact paper (you know, the adhesive vinyl used for lining shelves and covering text books!) and start screening in a matter of minutes. For more detailed designs and small lettering I recommend the Photo Emulsion Method. Below I’ve put together 3 tutorials for the following three designs using contact paper and screen printing techniques:

Screenprinting Techniques: Using Contact Paper (Tutorial) 2 via lilblueboo.com

Using Contact Paper to Create a Simple Design:

Step 1: Start with a blank screen printing screen:

Screenprinting Techniques: Using Contact Paper (Tutorial) step 1 via lilblueboo.com
Step 2: Cut a piece of contact paper slightly larger than your screen…..

Screenprinting Techniques: Using Contact Paper (Tutorial) step 2 via lilblueboo.com
….and draw out your design on contact paper. Note: either draw your design on the front of the contact paper or make sure you reverse the design if you are drawing it on the paper backside. I made this heart design for Valentines day dresses:

Screenprinting Techniques: Using Contact Paper (Tutorial) step 2a via lilblueboo.com
Step 3: Cut out your design using a razor or Exacto knife.

Screenprinting Techniques: Using Contact Paper (Tutorial) step 3 via lilblueboo.com
Step 4: Adhere the contact paper to the bottom of the screen (on the non-recessed side).

Screenprinting Techniques: Using Contact Paper (Tutorial) step 4 via lilblueboo.com
Step 5: Lay the screen down on the fabric you want to screen the design onto (recessed side up):

Screenprinting Techniques: Using Contact Paper (Tutorial) step 5 via lilblueboo.com
Step 6: Place a small glob of screen printing ink on your screen and using a squeegee pull the ink across the design. (I used Versatex ink for these prints because there are more colors available).

Screenprinting Techniques: Using Contact Paper (Tutorial) step 6 via lilblueboo.com
So easy a 2-year-old can do it!

Screenprinting Techniques: Using Contact Paper (Tutorial) step 6a via lilblueboo.com
Step 7: Carefully lift your screen off and you have your finished design!

Screenprinting Techniques: Using Contact Paper (Tutorial) step 7 via lilblueboo.com
Let your design dry and then use an iron to heat set the ink.

Techniques: Using Contact Paper (Tutorial) step 7a via lilblueboo.com
Cleaning: I use a sink sprayer to make sure all the ink is removed from the screen….and as long as the contact paper remains on the screen you can reuse it!

Techniques: Using Contact Paper (Tutorial) cleaning via lilblueboo.com

Using Contact Paper to Create Stripes:

Step 1: Cut strips of contact paper and adhere to the bottom of the screen. Note: I actually used electrical tape for this project because it was the perfect size.

Using Contact Paper to Create Stripes step 1 via lilblueboo.com
Step 2: Place the screen down onto the fabric either diagonally or straight depending on the angle of stripes you want.

Using Contact Paper to Create Stripes step 2 via lilblueboo.com
Step 3: Place a small glob of screen printing ink on your screen…..

Using Contact Paper to Create Stripes step 3 via lilblueboo.com
……and using a squeegee pull the ink across the stripes.

Using Contact Paper to Create Stripes step 3a via lilblueboo.com

Step 4: Carefully lift up your screen and move it to the end of your stripes to start another set.

Using Contact Paper to Create Stripes step 4 via lilblueboo.com
I like the distressed look so I did my stripes a little haphazardly, but you can be as careful and tedious as you want to be in order to get them perfect.

Using Contact Paper to Create Stripes step 4a via lilblueboo.com

Using Contact Paper to Create a Distressed Plaid Design:

You can also use different sizes of stripes and screen separate colors to create a simple plaid design.

Step 1: First I started with the large stripes. I cut 3″ strips of contact paper and placed them on the bottom of the screen as shown.

Using Contact Paper to Create a Distressed Plaid Design step 1 via lilblueboo.com
Step 2: I screened my first set of stripes….

Using Contact Paper to Create a Distressed Plaid Design step 2 via lilblueboo.com
….then turned the screen 90 degrees to create new stripes perpendicular to the old ones. Then I set the fabric aside to dry.

Using Contact Paper to Create a Distressed Plaid Design step 2a via lilblueboo.com
Step 3: I cut new strips of contact paper to create smaller sets of stripes……

Using Contact Paper to Create a Distressed Plaid Design step 3 via lilblueboo.com
….and screened them in the exact same way using a different color. I used the size of a small plastic ruler as a “mini” squeegee.

Using Contact Paper to Create a Distressed Plaid Design step 3a via lilblueboo.com
A distressed plaid design! So easy…I didn’t even measure the stripes…just a rough estimate.

Using Contact Paper to Create a Distressed Plaid Design step 3b via lilblueboo.com

This one was perfect for a plaid dress!

Using Contact Paper to Create a Distressed Plaid Design step plaid dress via lilblueboo.com

This tutorial is part of a series for the Lil Blue Boo / Dharma Trading Challenge running this month. If you haven’t checked it out yet please do! All levels of design/sewing/printing encouraged to enter!

Vintage Harvest Crate Stamp/Label Patches (A Tutorial)

This was my first submission to the SYTYC contest for the theme “harvest.” Here is the tutorial in case you are interested! Thanks all of you who voted!
I love John Steinbeck….I own every book he wrote, including Grapes of Wrath. I love the wooden crates used for harvesting fruit way back before plastic was available. My friend George and his family have owned a grape farm since the 1940’s and I asked him for some of his old wooden crates with the ranch’s stamped logo. I used the wooden crates and some vintage fruit crate labels to create knit patches for girl and boy t-shirts. My two favorites: the “Brother’s Pride” crate label because of the wood grain, and the “American Beauty” fruit label because of the distressing technique I used.
Vintage Harvest Crate Stamp / Label Patches DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com
Below is a photo I took at George’s farm. I think it is amazing how much agriculture is grown out here in the desert…..it is all irrigated by canals! You’ll be driving along surrounded by only sand and tumbleweeds and then all the sudden:
Vintage Harvest Crate Stamp / Label Patches DIY Tutorial 2 via lilblueboo.com
Step 1: I took these wooden crate slats and scanned them directly into my computer. I also had a few paper labels I scanned in. You can actually buy an entire CD of copyright free images here if you have trouble tracking down physical labels.
Vintage Harvest Crate Stamp / Label Patches DIY Tutorial step 1 via lilblueboo.com
Step 2: Reverse the images on your computer, resize them and the print them onto t-shirt transfer paper.
Vintage Harvest Crate Stamp / Label Patches DIY Tutorial step 2 via lilblueboo.com
Optional: If you wish to apply a distressed look (similar to the “American Beauty” label shown at the bottom of the page), lightly scratch off portions of the printout before transferring.
Vintage Harvest Crate Stamp / Label Patches DIY Tutorial step 2 optional via lilblueboo.com
Step 3: Cut out the transfer and place face down onto the t-shirt knit. The trick is NOT to use an ironing board…..you should a hard surface like a table or the floor and place protective brown paper or an old t-shirt on your surface to protect it. Follow the directions of the specific transfer paper you are using.
Vintage Harvest Crate Stamp / Label Patches DIY Tutorial step 3 via lilblueboo.com
Step 4: Peel off the transfer backing…..
Vintage Harvest Crate Stamp / Label Patches DIY Tutorial step 4 via lilblueboo.com
……and cut out your transfer leaving about 1/8″ of plaint white knit around the edge.
Vintage Harvest Crate Stamp / Label Patches DIY Tutorial step 4 optional via lilblueboo.com
Step 5: Cut out a piece of Wonder Under or other fusible web product slightly smaller than your patch. Note: Do NOT use the fusible web that needs to be steamed in a second step (usually has backing on it)….the steam will affect the ink in your transfer.
Vintage Harvest Crate Stamp / Label Patches DIY Tutorial step 5 via lilblueboo.com
Step 6: Position your knit patch onto your t-shirt with the Wonder Under sandwiched in between.
Vintage Harvest Crate Stamp / Label Patches DIY Tutorial step 6 via lilblueboo.com


Step 7: Place a cloth over the transfer, press and apply enough heat from the iron around the edges to fuse the patch enough to keep it in place. The transfer will block much of the heat so you will have to continue fusing with the next step.
Vintage Harvest Crate Stamp / Label Patches DIY Tutorial step 7 via lilblueboo.com
Step 8: Turn the shirt inside out and place over the narrow edge of the ironing board and press the patch area with the iron to finish fusing the patch to the shirt.
Vintage Harvest Crate Stamp / Label Patches DIY Tutorial step 8 via lilblueboo.com
Step 9: Zigzag stitch or use an embroidery stitch around your patch to secure it permanently.
Vintage Harvest Crate Stamp / Label Patches DIY Tutorial step 9 via lilblueboo.com
Finished!
Vintage Harvest Crate Stamp / Label Patches DIY Tutorial finished via lilblueboo.com
There are so many designs out there you are destined to find the perfect ones for your little girl or little boy! You can also use the patches for jeans, coin purses….so many possibilities!
Vintage Harvest Crate Stamp / Label Patches DIY Tutorial finished 2 via lilblueboo.com

Transferring an Image with Gel Medium

 

Transfer Image using Gel Medium to Wood or Canvas via lilblueboo.com

You can get so creative with Golden’s mediums. For this tutorial I use Golden’s Regular Gel Medium to transfer a photocopied image onto a canvas. (This is the 2nd tutorial of the “transfer” series. You can view the first one here.)

Materials:
Golden Gel Medium – Regular (Gloss or Matte)
Canvas or wood
Photocopy (mirror image)

Transferring an Image with Gel Medium via lilblueboo.com
Apply a generous coat of gel medium to the canvas (I painted the canvas a lime green).

Transferring an Image with Gel Medium step 1 via lilblueboo.com
Place your photocopy face down on the gel and smooth gently to adhere well and remove all air bubble. (I like to use a brayer as shown below)

Transferring an Image with Gel Medium step 2 via lilblueboo.com
Allow the gel to dry completely for about an hour. Then dampen the back of the photocopy with water……

Transferring an Image with Gel Medium step 3 via lilblueboo.com
……and use your fingers to rub all the paper off.

Transferring an Image with Gel Medium step 4 via lilblueboo.com
The image will be left behind! Now you can seal it, paint over it….endless possibilities!

Transferring an Image with Gel Medium step 5 via lilblueboo.com
I photocopy lots of these images like the one above from this old book my father brought as a present from England when I was younger. When I was little I was like “great, a dusty old book” but now it is one of my most favorite possessions.

Transferring an Image with Gel Medium step 6 via lilblueboo.com
When closed, the side of the book pages look like below. But OPEN it JUST right…..
Transferring an Image with Gel Medium step 7 via lilblueboo.com……and the pages reveal a hand-painted fox-hunting scene. It must have taken the artist forever to paint such a small detailed painting on the angled pages!

Transferring an Image with Gel Medium step 8 via lilblueboo.com

Block Printed Toddler Skirt

This is my first time trying out block printing on fabric. It was way too easy. I can’t believe I haven’t done it until now. I bought the supplies about 3 years ago!

Block Printed Toddler Skirt tutorial via lilblueboo.com
I came across this page in one of my old journals and was trying to figure out a way to incorporate this paper doll shape into something for Sienna to wear. I decided on a block print.

Block Printed Toddler Skirt tutorial picture via lilblueboo.com
For the printing part all you need are the following tools:
Carving Tools – I use Speedball Linoleum Cutters (they came in a little kit)
Fabric Paint
First I drew out my little paper doll on the stamp block……
Block Printed Toddler Skirt tutorial step 1 via lilblueboo.com
….and carved it out using my tools.
Block Printed Toddler Skirt tutorial step 2 via lilblueboo.com
Using the brayer, I coated the stamp with fabric paint. I mixed my pink color using red and white paint.
Block Printed Toddler Skirt tutorial step 3 via lilblueboo.com
I used a thin white muslin for my fabric base and put a yardstick at the bottom to keep my stamping straight. You’ll need to refill your block with paint each time you stamp.
Block Printed Toddler Skirt tutorial step 4 via lilblueboo.com
To set the fabric paint, I ironed it on medium heat from the reverse side. Here is the finished fabric.
Block Printed Toddler Skirt tutorial step 5 via lilblueboo.com
To make the skirt I just cut 4 rectangles out of the fabric (the fabric was thin so I made a lining), sewed them together and added the elastic waistband. It is the most basic skirt I could sew.

I stamped a few “paper dolls” on the front of a $3 Target tank to match. It is a little big but I was impatient. Below is Sienna modeling her new outfit. Check out her frizzy “pool hair” :) we are in the middle of swimming lessons!
Block Printed Toddler Skirt tutorial finished via lilblueboo.com

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