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Friday, March 17, 2017

How to Paint a Leotard + Free Cut File for Scales Stencil

When creating active wear, your finished look isn't limited to the fabric you can find.  Nope. You can do a lot to dress up any design, even when you're starting with solids!  Today we will show you how to use active wear paint on fabric, either by freehanding or using stencils.  It's not difficult at all, as long as you have the right supplies!  

Isn't this amazing?!  Tosha is super talented!  And lucky for us, she's also a great teacher.  This painted leotard is a look you can achieve too!  First, let's start with supplies: 

Paint:  For activewear fabric that has stretch, you MUST use the right kind of paint! These are Jacquard Textile Paints and they come in a variety of colors.

Tools:  Sponges or daubers work best for stenciling.  Brushes work better for freehand painting. (For today's project we used only the sponge daubers.)

Boards: You need something to put under the fabric to protect both surfaces.  Cake boards work best because of the sealant on them.  Regular cardboard isn't as good because it soaks up the paint and then bleeds onto the fabric where you don't want it.

Fabric: It is best to cut out your fabric pieces before painting so you can place the stencil right where you want it. Choose your pattern, print the pieces, and cut out the fabric before painting.

Stencils: You can purchase a stencil at craft stores. Or if you want to make your own, we have a free Cut File for you!   Simply download by clicking the links below.

Got everything?  Let's get started! 

Lay your first fabric piece out on a cake board with its right side up. 

Beginning at the bottom, place the stencil where you want it and use the sponges to dab the paint on. We love the multi-colored look but you can do it any way you want! 

Remove the stencil, wipe the back of it clean, and then place it again, overlapping the openings.  Paint in the scales that you want filled in.  You can do all of the scales or just some select ones, as Tosha did here. (I love this look!) 

Repeat with the remaining pieces until you're happy with what you have! 

Then set the pieces out to dry (still on the cake boards!) for 24 hours, according to the package instructions.  You're not done yet though! 

After drying for 24 hours, you need to heat-set the textile paint according to package instructions.  Tosha used a heat press on the wrong side of the fabric, set at 305 degrees for 6 minutes.  If you use a regular iron rather than a heat press, be sure to follow the package instructions!  

After the paint has been heat set, you may want to add some bling to your project!  You can use adhesive jewels or iron-on ones.  

Now you're ready to sew the leotard according to the pattern instructions.  

I just adore how this turned out!  Now all that's left to do is wear it and love it! 

Isn't she stunning?!  Thank you, thank you to Tosha for sharing her secrets with us, and also to Sunnie for creating the cut file template.  We have been super excited to share these techniques with you, so you can go out and make your own now!  

Let's Create! ~ Kristen 

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