And do things you never thought you would ever do again.

Like use puff paint and bleach on your clothes.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve had not one, but two occasions to get a little fashion victim on some clothes. It took me right back to my 9th birthday, only this time I was better equipped. Things have come a long way in the fabric paint department, although I have to admit to feeling a little silly heading towards that aisle at Jo-Ann’s.

Silly might be an understatement.

I was creeping around like a total weirdo, doing the head nod at passersby like, “Yes, this is my life. Move right along there’s nothing to see here.” But I suppose most projects I share here start like that- if it’s not getting weird or approaching epic fail status, you’re likely doing it wrong. It’s always darkest before the dawn, people!

So anyway, I’m trying hard to focus on looking at the actual products and not at how many people are witnessing my plight. You’ve got all your classics: puff paint in every color of the rainbow, glow-in-the-dark paint, paint markers, iron-ons, and patches. I was planning on writing words, but really had no idea how to execute that. I briefly toyed with the idea of using some of the markers, but decided it was too boring. Then something glittery caught my eye- the ridiculously large selection of rhinestones and their bedazzling counterparts. I could not believe how advanced this stuff was, like legit Project Runway.

Oh, and then I remembered I was making a gym t-shirt. Did I forget to tell you that?

It’s kind of an inside joke, and I won’t bore you with the details of why I was making the shirt or what it says, but it suffices to say I was really not trying to get my Swarovski on. Not only would that have been ridiculously time consuming and expensive, it was just way over the top for something that gets covered in sweat and washed a lot.  But now I was sold on the rhinestone look, so I started looking for metallic paint.

Cue the angels singing.

Internal dialogue went something like this:

“Hmmm…paint that looks like beads…could be terrible….could be awesome, if it works…it’s like $9…oh! I have a coupon…the surface tension on stuff this must be bananas…”

Curiosity got the better of me, and I HAD to try it.

tulip beads in a bottle

I recommend practicing with it a bit on scrap fabric, I also tried all the colors to see which I liked best. You really do need to just dab straight down and up…trust the beading action (it’s totally cray-cray).

And it looks super sweet!! I would totally use it again to embellish something. I can’t really show you the whole shirt because it wouldn’t make sense, but here’s the front. Pardon the dog hair. Also, the effect is way better in person like how you’d actually look at a t-shirt, from a safe distance. Not in macro mode on your camera.

using tulip beads in a bottle

I let the shirt dry overnight then washed it inside out. It’s been washed twice now (always inside out), and is holding up fine so far!

Not two weeks later, some friends of mine (name dropping to give off the appearance of coolness: It was at The20Somethings) hosted a “Summer Cut-Off’s” party where I brought a pair of old shorts and did this:

dip dyed bleached shorts

I’m so happy with how they turned out, but they are HUGE on me now. I bought them at Goodwill for $3 a couple of summers ago, and now they’ve been cut off and bleached. It’s totally worth it to have them altered, yes?

DIY Bleach Ombre Shorts

What do you think, would Tim Gunn be proud? I probably need to hone my skills a bit more.  Have you guys done any fashionista projects lately or {GASP} been down the t-shirt painting aisle?




3 Responses

  1. Julie

    Fun!!! I love that your engineering mind was interested in the surface tension of the paint.

  2. Kathy

    I was down that aisle recently. Tie Dyed some shirts for my daughters last week. While I was doing that they asked me to make tie dyed underwear too…


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.