I have two projects, either of which that I wanted to use today but neither are quite there yet. One because I can’t find the tool I need to finish it off. Very annoying. So, I am going to show you a super dooper quick and easy way to personalise and upgrade items you might have around the home or buy from the shops. You probably have done something like this at some stage, but I want to run a brief primer on using paint or Shiva with a stencil to transform bland to fabulous.
All you need to do this is a stencil; some paint or Shiva Stiks; either a foam brush or a stencil brush; newspaper to protect your surface; some sticky tape and items to stencil. In this exercise, I used a hand dyed baby romper, a cotton apron and an oven mitt (finished above). I have also stenciled onto bags, shirts, jeans, scarves and of course just onto fabric in the past.
Lets start with the paint. To stencil, you don’t want a runny paint. If it is too liquid, the colour will run under the stencil and you will lose the integrity of the design. I have used Metallic Gold Lumiere paint in two of the samples below.
The stencil I used is one of the 12 inch Crafter’s Workshop stencil called Merry Doodles.
So to get started, you need to put some newspaper or plastic or junk mail down on your bench to protect it. Paint is not fussy as to what it sticks to and will colour everything. Also, with an item that has two layers like a Tshirt or a baby’s romper, you want to put a wad of paper between the two layers to prevent colour transfering right through.
Take your stencil and work out which designs or elements you want to use. In the first instance, I just wanted the Christmas Tree. So to make sure paint does not end up where you don’t want it, you need to ‘mask’ the areas around the tree. I just use sticky tape for this. Tear off small amounts and place the tape over the areas of stencil around the Tree. If you look closely at the photo below, you will see tape on the stars, ornament to the right, the gift to the left and the holly below the tree.
Wet the foam brush and wring out so that it is damp, not wet and definitely not dripping. You want to create a bit of surface tension with the water so that the paint sits on the surface rather than get sucked all the way into the foam. Dab a small amount of paint on the brush and carefully brush over the stencil, following the lines of the stencil. Too rigourous an action will lift the stencil and leave paint where you don’t want it.
I like to hold the stencil down near where I am working to help keep the paint in the spaces, not under the stencil.
Once the whole area is well covered lift the stencil off cleanly. Don’t drag it or you will smudge the paint.
Leave the paint to dry and then give it a good iron to heat set.
Neither the romper nor the apron has a perfect stencil, but it really does not make that much difference. I find I have to do two or three stencils before I get my hand in with the right weight in using the paint and brush so if you do want a perfect transfer, practice a couple of time before starting on the items you will give away.
Here are the ornaments on the cotton apron.
When finished, wash the stencil and your brush in warm water and leave to dry.
Now lets look at the Shiva Stik.
Shiva is a high quality pigment in a wax and linseed oil ‘stik’. They are designed for use on textiles, do not change the hand of the fabric and are colourfast when dry and cured (heat set). The strength of Shiva Stiks is that they self seal so will not dry out significantly in your cupboard. BUT that means that the first thing you must do is take the skin off before using them.
I have a heap of ends and well loved stiks that have been part of class sets. Literally 1000’s of people have used some of these stiks and I have retired them from classes, but although they look shocking, they still work beautifully.
Here it is with the outer skin mostly removed.
I use a stencil brush with the shiva.
Get your stencil, mask around the area you are going to use and I also stick the stencil in place so it does not shift.
Rub the stencil brush over the exposed Shiva stik to transfer colour onto the brush and then, again following the lines of the stencil, brush on to your back ground. Use firm strokes, but still be careful of getting under the stencil. You will probably need to apply more colour onto your brush as you go. Keep going until you have an even coverage over the whole area.
Gently lift the stencil away. Leave the Shiva to dry for a day or two. Once touch dry, iron and it will be colourfast forever.
To clean up the Shiva you need something that breaks down oils. I rub dishwashing liquid into the brush and once all the way through wash out in warm water. Sometimes you need to do this more than once. Spray and wipe or warm soapy water can be used to wash your stencil.
Here is the finished oven mitt again.