Friday, February 8, 2019

My version on how to dye fabric with Acrylic Paint

Hi y'all,

I tried to do a video yesterday and it was so awkward.  I thought that I would show photos and explain it here on my blog.  It has been about 8 months since I tried dyeing with acrylics and it took a few setbacks to remember how I did it.

I went to Pinterest to search for ideas and I found a few websites for inspiration.  Here are some things they don't tell you but trust me you really need to listen up.

1.)  You gotta wear gloves.  I didn't because I was trying to make a video and after awhile my hands started getting irritated and itchy.

2.)  You need to be in a well vent area.  It will give off fumes while applying the mix and when it is wet.  As soon as I closed my window I could really smell the fumes and you don't want that.  I didn't have a choice because it was raining like crazy.  Today, it isn't raining; however, it is 20 degrees.  I decided to go into my garage and open it up a crack and then proceeded to apply the paint to the fabric.  I am leaving it out there for awhile and then bringing it in to completely dry.

3.) Everything that you use has to be for dyeing only.  I use old placemats, paint brushes, measuring cups/spoons, recycled plastic cups, tupperwear, spoons and old baking sheets, etc.  Dollar tree and thrift stores are great places to get items cheaply.

4.) Just like with any other techniques of dyeing fabric, you should always wet fabric to get sizing out.  Also, dye adheres to wet fabric better than dry fabric.


The first website I found was here and it was very helpful.  Even though it is for garments, the items you need to use is the same. 

I also found this here and feel they give a better explanation on the steps.

*** Now onto my techniques***

There are 3 types of ways I have dyed the fabric and I love each one of them.  I choose the technique based on the look I want to achieve.  The main thing is that you have acrylic paint and paint medium.

On a side note, brand is not as important as the fact that is says fabric medium.  It is hard to find at the craft stores but if you go on Amazon and search up Fabric medium for acrylic paint you will find a large variety to choose from.  Just read the directions.  This brand says to do 2/1 ratio.

I have tried metallic and some of the other specialty paint and it didn't come out very well. 

**No matter if you dilute it with water or not you need to mix the acrylic paint with the medium.  Trust me, if you don't, it will be a uneven, clumpy hot mess that you will just throw away. 

If you go the route of watering down the paint, (I do this way the most), it is 1 teaspoon of acrylic paint, 1/2 teaspoon of medium and 1/4 cup of water.  Mix well, sometimes you have to consistently mix it while applying to fabric.

You can double the amount or adjust the amount as needed.

The pictures are not that great because my house is like a dungeon, but here is the first one I did today.

I used a foam brush and brushed the paint onto the fabric (32ct Belfast Linen).  You can do it with one color or make any design you want.  I did both side just to make sure it was covered.  You let it dry completely and then iron.  I will come back and show you the results.  You do not wash out the dye like rit because then it will totally wash away. 

Second way.  I picked out 2 colors of blue and prepared it with the acrylic, medium and water combo.  I packed the wet fabric (32ct Belfast Linen) in an old cup and then poured each color over the fabric.  It turned out really pretty; like the sky.  Do not wash out, let it dry and then iron.

This one is actually a very pretty turquoise.  I used the same technique with one color and made sure that it was totally covered.  It is a Joblean and I wish the picture looked better. Again, do not wash out, just dry and iron.

You can also ice dye, it will make it slightly different.

Third way:  mix the acrylic and medium together without water. 

You scrunch your wet fabric (14ct Aida) in a cup, layer it with ice.  Spoon the acrylic/medium mix over the ice (you can use multiple colors)  I chose an orange and gold.  Once the ice is melted, you have to rinse out the dye because it will be globby otherwise.  I have to say, I didn't really like it when it was wet. Now that it is dry, I am so in love with it.  It is gold, orange with undertones of peach and light gold.

*** Sometimes no matter how much you mix the dye you might get a little clump here and there, it isn't a big deal.

On a side note:

You will know you are successful if you hold it up into a light and you can see the holes and little to no clumps to prohibit you from stitching.  As you can see, I used Aida, evenweave and linen as examples and they are all clump free and ready to stitch on.

 I hope that this has helped you in the joys of acrylic dyeing.  Have fun and happy stitching.



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