If you're not quite ready to tackle the sewing machine, or you're just looking to spruce something up a bit, here are some projects that don't require any sewing.
[examples of no-sew projects]
No Sew Halter top
Fabric markers are pretty self explanatory. You draw, color, whatever. There are also fabric crayons and pastels on the market. You can freehand your designs or use iron transfers or stencils as guides.
They make these nifty bleach pens, but you can also
use regular liquid bleach. If you're using liquid bleach, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Dilute the bleach with water (I like to use 1 part water and 1 part bleach). You only need a few tablespoons of liquid.
- You can use an old marker or a paintbrush to apply the liquid bleach. If you use a paintbrush, make sure it's synthetic, because the bleach eats through real hair.
- Bleaching should be done in an area with little potential for damage (a bathub or garage would be ideal).
- You also need to be in a well-ventilated area, bleach fumes are nasty.
- Don't wear your favorite shirt when you're bleaching. It's a Law of Crafts that you'll spill some on yourself.
- The fabric needs to have some cotton in it in order for the bleach to have any effect. Most t-shirt material will work, as will cotton broadcloth.
- Most blacks seem to turn orange when bleached, others will turn grey or even white.
You can use fabric paint, textile ink, or acrylic paint mixed with textile medium (this will make the acrylic paint less likely to crack in the wash). You can paint freehand or you can stencil or screenprint.
You can use a paintbrush or sponge brush. Old markers work well for fine lines. You can also splatter it on with a toothbrush.
Stencilling is nice if you're not looking to invest that much time and money into printing a design. The drawbacks are that you can't get as detailed as you can with screenprinting, and stencils are, for the most part, one time use. Here are a few tutorials for stencilling, some of them are a bit different from one another.
Screenprinting or Silkscreening
Screenprinting is ideal for designs with a lot of detail and/or if you want to print many times. There are several methods for screenprinting.
The initial investment for screenprinting will probably be at least $40 if you buy a kit.
Here are a few tutorials for screenprinting with photo emulsion. If you've got a question, feel free to post it in the forum.
This is a free zine in PDF format with a very in-depth tutorial for screenprinting.
Another Tutorial- this one covers the screen filler method as well as the photo emulsion method.
If you're interested in screenprinting, but not sure it's worth your investment of time and money, try this cheap and easy technique.