Lessons Learned – Fabric Paint


This evening, I ventured into territory unknown. For the most part, I stick to what’s familiar. Fabric…thread…scissors. I don’t get too fancy. But tonight I wanted to try something different. I saw a blog post a couple weeks ago talking about fabric paint and all the fun things you can do with it. This particular post was all about making a goldfish cracker come to life on a little girl’s pair of pants! I was sold on the goldfish, but was intrigued by the process. (You can read the full post here)

I wanted to try something a little different, so the cogs got busy upstairs thinking of what I could possibly make that would involve fabric paint. And BAM! it hit me! Travel Checkers! I loved playing games with my sisters when we were young. I remember one year, my two youngest sisters received a giant checker board game with huge pieces. Only problem with a giant checker board game? IT’S GIANT!

Solution? A travel size bag that can store all the pieces necessary for checkers (with a couple extra just in case the little rascals lose one)! I figured one side of the bag could be used for checkers and the opposite side for tic tac toe. I did some quick math to figure out how big I wanted the board to be (10″x10″) and then how big the bag had to be. The rest of this post are the lessons I learned doing a first run of the checker board (I’ll do probably two more posts about this – making the game pieces & the final product).

1. It’s really important to map out your board before you even put paint to fabric.

Use pencil to mark your game board and Xs to designate the boxes you need to stamp.

2. It’s even more important to line your work space with a lot of newspaper. It’s equally important to make sure you use several layers of paper between the two layers of your bag…or this happens:

I made the mistake of not putting paper between the two layers when I first started and it bled through. You can see here how much it really soaks in.

3. Since the checkerboard is a pretty simple pattern (1.25″ squares), I used some on-hand rubber I had for another project and used an x-acto knife to cut it. Had I not been so antsy to start the project I would have mounted the rubber so this wouldn’t happen:

Unmounted stamps are a pain to work with.

Finger prints, smudges, smears, yuck.

Your hands will look like this. Your stamp gets slippery. It's just a mess. Thankfully the paint I use washes off pretty easily.

All in all it didn’t turn out terrible. It was a really fun project and I’m looking forward to trying it again with better supplies and armed with the knowledge of how to make it look great! I kind of like the varying degrees of pressure for each of the squares, but the smudges and fingerprints are really distracting.

All done!


Stay tuned for an update on how the pieces are made! I picked up some really awesome stamp sets at JoAnn this weekend. Can’t wait to make a pirate themed set! -Becca

[Thanks to my photo-genius husband, J, for taking all the photos!]


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