1 February 2008

Recycling old clothes

I was so stressed out yesterday about my electricity problems that I forgot to post about my op shop finds! Apart from the very cute fairy dress for my daughter (that I succumbed to because she has been invited to a fairy party in a couple of weeks), and some cotton knitting wool (for those dish clothes I really am going to get around to knitting!), I scored 5 t-shirts on the 'fill a bag for $3" rack. All men's shirts, but all 100% cotton, and all with nice, large sections.

I have plans for these shirts! They're all nice shirts, but I don't plan to wear them, and hubby definitely won't, he already has far too many shirts of his own (he would probably disagree though!) Today I picked out the white shirt, (back right, the front left is actually grey, although it doesn't show as so in this pic) which has long sleeves.

Firstly, I cut it up. The trick here is to cut along the seam lines, and lay all the material flat. It's on an old bed sheet that is the wrong size for any of our beds, so that the material doesn't get dirty from being on the floor (which is on our veranda).

Next, we painted it. I used Sun Colours, from Dala that my mum bought at a craft show years ago. They are a very watery fabric paint, that I further watered down into spray bottles. About 1/5 paint, the rest is water. Any watery fabric paint would do. You can even buy a bottle of stuff that will set normal paints into fabric, textile medium I believe it's called. I know Jo Sonya has one, probably other companies too.

Then you just spray it on! My daughter loved this part!

Since this will be for my daughter, we used lots of colours to get sort of a rainbow effect, but you could just use a single colour, or a couple of contrasting colours with good effect.

Finally, we dropped some rock salt on top of the still wet pieces.

This draws the colour to the spot where the salt is dropped, making a very pretty mottled pattern.

Then we shook the salt off (very carefully, putting it into a bottle to use again next time), and hung the material up to dry.

Tomorrow, once it's good and dry, I'll make a dress for my daughter from it.

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