Friday, November 21, 2014

Apron makeover

After ruining many nice clothes with paint I have been wearing aprons when I make art for sometime now. I was looking at my favorite paint splattered apron and decided to paint it. I was not covering up the mess, just making it prettier for myself.

I started by gathering up all the sparkly fabric paints I have. They are mostly Lumiere paints and some Stewart Gill fabric paints. I decided to go with a variety of color but it would look awesome too if you did a monochrome or two color scheme. I also got out all my favorite stencils to use, picking the ones that had a small overall design. I wanted to cover a lot of the background of the apron.

I then got out half a dozen stencil brushes to use so I wouldn't have to wet them until I had finished. Wet brushes makes the paint run under stencils so if you only have one brush and have to wash it out between colors then make sure you dry as much of the water out of the brush each time.

 The fabric paint is fairly wet but I wasn't worried about creating perfect lines so I used it as it was. If you want a crisp image you need to blot the paint onto a paper towel after you load the brush each time. I just put down a stencil and colored it in with paint using the brush in a circular motion. I then added another stencil overlapping the first one and filled that in too.

Here you can see how I left the first stencil in place while I did the next one. When I finished with a stencil I took it away and put it straight into a tub of water. I didn't want the fabric paint to dry on the stencil and ruin it. If you allow thick paint like this to build up on your stencil you will no longer get a good outline when you use it. I kept adding stencils until I had filled in the whole apron. If you really look you can still see some of the original paint marks but I don't mind that. I am sure it will get more paint on it in the future, haha. 

 I tried to overlap the stencils so there wasn't a clear outline of the border. The stencils with thinner lines didn't work as well as the bold lines did. This idea could work on lots of items like bags or scarves as well. I let it dry for a couple of days and then heat set the fabric paints to make them permanent.

A close up where I tried to catch the shine of the paints but you can't really see the sparkle here. All of the paint I used is metallic so you can imagine how shiny it looks. I did a thick application of paint to cover up the dark background but you could go for a softer look if you wanted to, especially if your fabric is pale.

When I go into my studio now and put on my sparkly apron I feel so happy that I want to get creative right away. I hope you have fun with this technique.


  1. You are a creative genius . . . this is perfection:)
    Connie xx

    1. Thanks for your wonderful comment Connie.