Monday, March 11, 2013

DIY: Stained tank to hand-stamped tank

I really don't like to throw things out, or buy new things when what I have is in good condition. So when I noticed a stain one of my basic camisole tank tops, and the white one at that, I figured I could do something to cover up the stain. This characteristic in me most definitely comes from my grandmother on my mom's side- she sews buttons on her shirts and pants to cover bleach stains.

This is my tutorial for the modern take on button-covered bleach stains.

Step 1: Acquire target stain.
 Step 2: Pick a design. I thought balloons might be nice, and they would make an interesting pattern peeking out from under a shirt or sweater. Cut the design out of craft foam sheets using scissors and/or an exacto knife. I bought the thickest foam for maximum stampability. Make sure you're aware of how your design will look when reversed, or put the "up" side against the wood of the stamp later if you want it to look just like it does now.
Step 3: Using thin hobby wood from your local home improvement store (sold in lovely pre-cut pieces like this one) measure how big you would like your stamp to be. Make sure your foam piece fits on the wood you are going to cut.

Step 4: Cut the wood! I used our hand crank clamp and a Japanese saw. After cutting, check and make sure you still have all ten fingers. Yes? Good, let's move on.
Step 5: Get out your handy-dandy glue (I used Gorilla Super Glue) and glue your stamp to the cut wood piece. Make sure you know which side of your stamp gets glued so you don't reverse your design.
 Step 6: Brush on fabric paint. I use a brush because it gives a uniform coat, unlike dipping it in paint which can leave blobs oozing where you don't want it.
Step 7: Test stamp on paper. This one is self explanatory, I think.
 Step 8: Begin stamping, reloading your stamp with paint each time. I put thick paper between the front and back of the top just in case the paint bled through. It didn't, but better safe than sorry.
 Step 9: Finish your design, making sure that you covered any stains (if that was your goal to begin with).
 Step 10: Add additional details with a paintbrush. I wanted my balloons to have strings, but then they needed something to attach to. So I painted a fence all the way around the top (including the back).
Step 11: Allow to dry as recommended on your paint bottle, wash as recommended, and wear!

I love how this tank top turned out. It looks cute on its own with yoga pants for a Pilates class (as shown above) or layered under a shirt for school. The only thing I had to buy for this project was the foam, everything else I had as leftovers from various projects. I've already used the leftover foam for a Valentine's Day project, stamping hearts onto the envelopes of Valentines for my friends.

I'm so happy to have saved a tank top from being tossed away and to have saved the stress of finding a new one (they don't carry them anymore where I bought it). I certainly love a project as well.

Enjoy today,

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