Now that I’m winding down my online store, I’m freed up to try a few new crafty things, and I thought I’d have a go at sharing today’s creation – The Bike Cushion.
You can of course do this with any design you choose, for me a red bike print had been turning over in my mind for the last week or two, probably after admiring these decals on etsy.
Step one – grab some freezer paper and cut out your design. I find it easiest to draw my design in heavy lead on plain paper first, and then trace that design onto the freezer paper. Freezer paper has one matte side (the side you should draw on) and a shiny side (the side which irons on to the fabric you are screen printing on). Get a nice sharp knife from a craft shop, it’s impossible to do with scissors because you’ll bend the paper and it won’t adhere to your fabric properly.
You are cutting away the parts you want to be painted, so it may mean that you end up with a bit of a jigsaw which you’ll need to reassemble on the fabric when ironing it on. To make sure you can put all the bits back where they should be, it is helpful to use numbering, like I did above with the spoke fill ins. Iron with a reasonably hot iron, but keep it moving. If you hold it for too long you’ll brown the paper and your fabric. Be careful not to lift the paper edges, or the paint will seep through during the next step.
Once you’ve ironed your stencil on to the paper, grab your paint. You must use fabric paint, and my fail safe choice is Permaset which you can get at Eckersley’s or Dean’s Art in Melbourne. It’s thick, so you only really need a dollop.
Dabble the paint on with a foam brush, or you can paint it on with a fine brush. The foam brush is good for a bit more of a handmade result, but either is fine. Be careful not to lift the edges, and remember to apply really thin coats at a time. If you’re impatient (like me) dry each application of paint with a hair dryer and apply all your coats in about 1/2 hour (at least for a design this small).
Make sure it’s really well covered to the edges.
Once it’s dry, lift the pieces off carefully with the edge of your clean knife, taking care not to pierce the fabric.
Hang your fabric for 24 hours and then iron with a hot iron for 1 to 2 minutes over the design (*). Move the iron around so you don’t brown the fabric. Now you’re ready to make whatever you like, with your very own design. For me, well a cushion of course.
(* Given my impatience, I used the hairdryer and made the cushion about 4 hours later, seems to be fine!)