I’ve been wanting to do some fabric stenciling for a while now, but hadn’t gotten around to getting the supplies. While we were in Florida, however, we were staying right near a Micheal’s, so I dragged my boyfriend over there with me to look for some suitable paint. I figured I’d either buy fabric paint or regular acrylic paint that I could mix with fabric medium. While I was looking around, however, I came across Simply Spray Fabric Paint. I had never heard of spray paint for fabric but it sounded like exactly what I was looking for so I bought a couple of cans. (The company also makes “Spray Blood” which they say “can transform your everyday apparel into a realistically blood-spattered costume in just minutes! Leaving you with more free time to find your victims and eat their brains.” Hahah). According to the packaging and the website, unlike a lot of fabric paints, it doesn’t require heat-setting and it stays soft after drying. Since I wanted to paint on tights or leggings, which cannot be ironed without killing the elastic, this sounded perfect. Plus, it doesn’t smell bad (it’s non-toxic, according to the website), and stays soft after drying. So far I really like this stuff, but the cons are that it tends to pool up and run on the paper stencil, the silver was a lot more glittery than I was expecting, and I’m withholding judgment on how well it’ll hold up after washing. After the success of this project, however, I’m already dreaming up new ways to use it (not involving fake blood).
Fabric spray paint. (In addition to the Simply Spray, Tulip also makes some that I saw at Micheal’s.)
Leggings or tights
1. Print out your design on thick paper or cardstock. Maybe not the best choice, but I used photo paper because it is thick and I already had it on hand.
2. Carefully cut out your design with the X-acto knife.
3. If you’re printing on something stretchy like tights or leggings, this step is important if you don’t want your image to be warped when you’re wearing it. Put them on, place your design where you want it, and mark the edges with chalk. This way you’ll be able to stretch your leggings to the proper length for painting.
4. Cut a piece of cardboard to place between the front and back of your fabric, otherwise you might have bleed-through. Place your stencil on top and stretch your fabric so that your stencil edges line up with the marks you made previously. Clip the fabric to the cardboard with the bulldog clips.
5. Spray your paper with spray adhesive. Mine said that for non-permanent bonds you should spray your surface and wait 3-5 minutes before attaching, so I did. Do whatever your directions say.
6. Place your stencil on your fabric, lining up the markings with the stencil edges. Press down gently to make sure your paper adheres, especially any detail bits. Cover anything you don’t want sprayed with newspaper.
7. Go to town with the fabric spray paint. Mine says on the directions to make sure to start and end your spray off and fabric, and I found this to be true–it tends to be goopy at first.
8. Let dry 1 hour, carefully peel off your stencil, and repeat, if necessary.
The one on the left is still clamped to the cardboard, so it’s stretched out more.
Ta-da! I’m really happy with how they turned out and I’m already eying a couple of plain pairs of tights that could use some decoration.
Looking for more tutorials and DIY projects? Check out my What I Made page!
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