Friday, 30 August 2013

Hand-Painted Magpie Tee

Hey Kids,

Satch here. 

Before we get started, the Bestie Bucket List half marathon is on the 8th of September and Salt needs sponsors! She's running for the Hannah Chamberlain Foundation, so pop on over to her donation page and do a good thing. Unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to run it this time, due to bloody health problems, so it's probably a bit cheeky to ask you to give money to the charity I was running for. However, it is a very nice charity, so if you did fancy checking it out and giving them money - just because you're lovely - you can do so here. (Anyone else notice how brilliant I am at hyperlinks now?)

Right, now that's sorted, onto crafts! A few months ago I was in a bit of a sketching mood, and ended up with this picture of a magpie: 

Ever since I decided to include a character called Magpie in a book that I'm never going to finish writing, I've been a little bit obsessed with them, and see them ALL THE TIME. I think it's God's way of telling me to stop procrastinating and just write the damn thing already, but instead I decided to turn it into a craft-pportunity. #Priorities

I love this sketch in black and white, but the original image was so colourful I couldn't help but get a bit creative with the fabric paints! 

You may get a bit of deja vu if you've read my bleach tee blog, or Salt's bold slogan tees, but let's be honest, you're reading this to procrastinate, not judge, so we'll move on.

For your hand-painted magpie tee you will need: 

A white tee (Mine was from a charity shop)
A flat board (I used the board from the back of a big picture frame.)
Chalk/Oil Pastels
Black Fabric Paint
Blue Fabric Paint
Green Fabric Paint
A Fine Black Fabric Pen (fine as in thin, not "Damn, girl, you looking fine.") 
A Clean Tea Towel
An Iron

The first thing you need to do is stretch your tee over your board and peg it in place. The tighter it is, the easier it will be to paint. 

Then, draw on your design in chalk (don't worry, it will wash off). It's quite a time-consuming design so I couldn't be bothered to redo it once the whole thing was on, but now it's done I kinda wish the design was about an inch to the right, so make sure you're happy with the layout before you start painting. A clever person would have tried it on before painting but, alas, twas not to be. 

When you paint a new section, use a stiff paint brush to outline the edge before you fill it in. This will help you to do it more neatly. I got excited when I realised that adding a drop of water helps to spread the colour, and so ended up going somewhat over the lines, so be careful when you get to the edge. 

The head of the magie was pretty straightforward, as it's just solid black, but I really love how the colours change on the wings and tail. To make the green gradient like that, I started at the right end of the tail, and then gradually added a bit of black as I went along the tail. Again, spreading it with a watery brush helps to blend it together, just be careful! As the wings have more obvious blocks of different shades of blue, I roughly drew where the colours change in chalk before I painted. Again, start with the lighter shade, add black to get the darker colours, and then blur it together with water. 

Before you can go over any layers, or outline the wings, you need to leave the paint to dry and set the first layer with the iron. To do this, simply cover your tee with a clean tea towel, and iron on a hot setting for one to two minutes. It was at this point I tried to "paint away" the mistakes I'd made with bleach, but it just didn't work. It might be worth trying when the paint is still wet...

Once the first layer is set, go over any patchy paint jobs, and outline the design with your fabric pen. I then hand-washed my tee but threw it in the machine after that anyway because I suck at hand-washing. It came out fine, so I wouldn't bother hand-washing next time! 

I really love how it turned out (minus the mistakes). Next time I'm thinking of doing a tortoise, as they're the best animals ever. What do you guys think? Anyone know how to get rid of fabric paint mistakes? If you could comment below, it would be much-appreciated! 

Until next time, 
Satch x

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