DIY Dot Inspiration and Trials

I feel really bad that my project wasn’t finished for today’s post. I waffled between doing it as a DIY inspiration post and reviewing Spin by Catherine McKenzie. The DIY project won.

I’m sticking to my no buying mantra and in that spirit, I decided that I wanted a glittery sweater to wear to our company holiday party on Friday. The inspiration for this project came from my Style DIY board on Pinterest.

glitter  dots

Being the genius I am, I decided that maybe, just maybe, I should do a practice run on this glittery dot thing before I botch up a perfectly good sweater. First thing was to find something that I would be fine with being destroyed should dot attempts go vastly awry. Then I put on my thinking cap:

  1. Paint with glitter mixed in, paint then glitter or glue with glitter sprinkled on? Three options, two shirts. Mix two techniques on one and a complete technique on the other. Next!
  2. What size glitter? Do I want it to look more like sequins or have the simple sparkle of fairy dust. Of course, I opted for fairy dust because I love all things fantasy and make-believe. Yes, I admitted that publicly. Plus, all the glitter around the house will be kinda like decorating.
  3. Best way to make evenly spaced dots. Taped grid seemed the best way to go. I just really felt environmentally bad for using so much tape until I realized I could probably recycle if I was careful about removing the strips.
  4. How do I keep paint from bleeding through to the other side of the shirt? They weren’t the heaviest shirts. In fact, they are both pretty thin. I found a great solution in the plastic binding covers I recycled from work.
  5. Where can these wonderful creations dry without being disturbed? Sigh. I don’t have the heart to use my self-healing mat and being compulsive, I gave or threw away  every table we owned that would have been perfect for drying. Not a genius moment. Chair bed and/or ironing board it is.
  6. What works best for washing? I have Martha Stewart’s fabric mix-in for the 97 bottles of acrylic paint I’ve amassed and that seemed to be the best option since I can heat set the finished product and wash on the hand wash cycle.

Friday night, I tried silver glitter dots on a green shirt converted to infinity scarf. Results: questionable. I was impatient and didn’t allow the paint to dry long enough so some of the dots were ruined when I removed the tape lines. The lines were straight though and if I hadn’t messed up the dots, it would have been pretty good. I let it dry on the little chair bed in the craft room without any problems.

The second trial? An atrocity. An abomination to all things DIY. The material was too thin for the paint and bled straight through. Unfortunately, this one I tried to dry on the ironing board and in all my genius thinking, it never once dawned on me that releasing the shirt from the cover while the paint was wet would result in streaks on the other side. There were blue smears all over the inside of the shirt that showed through the front.

As I write, I’m contemplating creating a stencil because the amount of paint required to get a perfect dot is so thick that it takes way too long to dry and move on. I also don’t have to worry about neatly applying the paint, which was something that made me a little stressed. And it would require less tape and measuring and re-measuring and readjusting lines due to my slightly perfectionist tendencies.

I’m also going to go ahead and bite the bullet and sacrifice a sweater for this project. I need to know how the paint works on thicker, less tightly packed material. That’s the goal this week. Hopefully, I will create my dream glitter sweater by Friday’s holiday party.


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