We’re concluding our exploration of fabric dyeing and painting techniques with a look at plastic bag painting. This is the perfect technique if you’re going for that perfectly imperfect painterly style. Plus, this technique has applications options for a wide variety of textiles! Read on for more info.
Use a plastic bag and fabric paint to embellish fabric, creating a unique texture. Try this technique on a wide variety of fabrics to create fun garments, bags and home décor.
Fabric Painting Basics
Select a solid-colored fabric or a fabric that reads as a solid, such as small, dense or tone-on-tone prints. Position the fabric yardage or cut out pattern pieces right side up on a covered work surface.
Use a plastic plate to mix the chosen fabric paint. If mixing colors to match a certain shade, mix more than enough for the project. It’s easier than trying to mix the exact color again if more paint is needed. Always start with a light color, and then mix darker shades to obtain the desired shade. If using a dark color first, a lot of lighter paint needs to be mixed in to obtain the same shade.
Purchase a box of thin disposable gloves at a home improvement, drugstore or beauty supply store. Or use dish soap to remove fabric paint from your skin and hands.
Unlike a sponge, a plastic bag is non-porous and easier to control during the paint application. The textured edges created from the bag folds are sharp and clearly defined. Either blend very little to create a rock-like texture or blend a lot to create a softer texture.
Turn a plastic grocery bag wrong side out to prevent any ink on the bag from transferring to the fabric. Scrunch up the bag in your hand until it’s a manageable size. If using more than one bag for a project, secure each bag using a rubber band.
Dip the plastic bag into the paint, lifting it up and down to get even paint distribution on the folds. Don’t put too much paint on the bag. Pounce the bag onto the fabric, moving it around to cover the entire surface. Repeat to add more paint and colors as desired.
Once satisfied, allow the paint to dry. Follow the fabric paint manufacturer’s instructions to set the paint. Most fabric paints are heat-set using an iron.