Monday HOW-TO. I have done a few DIY's in the past and as smooth as they are - they were kind of meant to be a little bit of a fun-poker at how silly a lot of Do-It-Yourself posts are on the internet. I mean COME ON. Right? Most of the things you find out there are really, really easy to figure out how to do if you think about it for half a minute. I'm kind of fascinated by the FASCINATION WITH DIYs...
ANYHOOOO. I have a scarf collection that I am completely in love with. They are all from Lululemon. They are a fine burnout jersey with script lettering and aside from being beautiful and sold out - they feel like heaven. I have all three colours and what I love most about them is the way they feel. What I like LEAST about them is that EVERY TIME I WEAR THEM someone asks me if I made them. And then I want to punch them. And then I want to PUNCH MYSELF because UM YEAH how hard could it be to make these things? So I decided to stop getting punchy and give it a whirl.
NOTE: there are plenty of DIYs about doing script on pashminas. Check Pinterest. The one I saw uses fabric markers and as lovely as that sounds... writing on loose fabric with markers sounds like a pain in the ass to me. A paint brush has far less "drag" and would require much less pressure and have the potential for a thicker, cleaner line. Paintbrushes also happen to be my right hand men so I abandoned the tutorials and WENT IN BLIND. Like a crafting renegade.
The Hippie Hipster DIY
STEP1: Go to the fabric store with NO IDEA of what the fabric your are looking for is called. Get fed up describing what you're looking for to the very elderly fabric store staff that keep bringing you to the gauze + lace section and go at things from a new angle: CLOSE YOUR EYES. (I closed my eyes and walked up and down every isle until I FELT what I was looking for. This took about 37 minutes and one violently stubbed toe. My blind-discovery fabric happened to be a raspberry colour and not the white I was after, but I WAS DOING IT BLIND and the FEEL was bang on. Apparently, this fabric is called light bamboo jersey. WHO KNEW!!???!)
STEP1.5: Buy several metres of fabric and cut it into chunks the size of a scarf you'd like. (THIS IS WHERE I CAN'T HELP YOU. If you consult the professional DIYers I'm sure they have exact + perfect measurements for perfect scarves for perfect people and you could achieve DIY perfection. But, I am NONE OF THOSE THINGS so I say: ONLY YOU know what size scarf you like. Maybe you are very European and want a thin and long scarf. Maybe you are the size of a small house plant and a scarf the length of a sock would be plenty. Maybe you have a very fat neck. Maybe you are like me and you want a scarf that could also double as a tent or long rope for tug-o-war or a parachute SHOULD THE NEED ARISE. This is all you and no DIY should lead you assunder.)
STEP1.9: Lay the scarf on CARPET* because carpet will have enough friction against fabric that you won't need to pin it down. This is key. (OH HEY did I also mention that I did not sew a thing? I did not do that because I DON'T KNOW HOW. I don't even have fabric scissors so I cut the 'light bamboo jersey' with an exacto knife. *PLEASE NOTE: This DIY gets complicated right here if you're afraid of pouring bleach all over your carpet.)
STEP2: Paint words on your fabric. If you, like me, aren't a big fan of the 'sketchy' letters you would get from using markers and prefer a solid, smoother stroke you will need to move slowly and reload your brush often. (Originally I wanted a white scarf with black lettering... because that's my zone. But, I couldn't find white fabric with thefeel I wanted. INSTEAD I came home with raspberry fabric and that changed my DIY on the fly. I don't like red with black so I rolled the DIY dice and decided to paint on it with bleach. YES. It was kind of a cheeky move, but when it comes to playing with fire like that - I'm your gal. I poured bleach and some water into a container and started painting letters onto the fabric that was laying on the carpet. With full, wet brushstrokes. And it was tedious. And boring. And I spilled a lot on the carpet - which only warmed my heart.)
STEP4: Keep on! Use a regular nylon paintbrush. Use bleach. Go nuts! (For the curious cat's: my first scarf I used a bleach:water ratio of 1:1 and that was a little light for my liking. The second scarf I used a bleach:water ratio of 5:1 and that turned out radical. For my third and fourth scarves I used just bleach and NO WATER AND a different colour fabric AND a different brush and it wasn't as awesome. But it was EDUCATIONAL. It bled more and had more "drag" in the brush. Which tells me that water is the key to containing bleed... HOW CRAZY COOL IS THAT??? I felt like a mad scientist! The water-factor also tells me that doing your own thing is good for the soul. And so is testing. And personal taste. AND THERE AIN'T NO DIY THAT CAN TELL YOU HOW TO MIX THE THREE OF THOSE THINGS. So experiment.)
STEP5: Put the scarf in the washing machine and then dryer.
STEP5.5: BE. STILL. NOT. IN. LOVE.
STEP6: Wrap it around your neck 14 times. Style a pretty knot AND THEN BE PREPARED TO FALL IN LOVE. Oh - DON'T FORGET to take the mandatory weird, arty, mirrored self-portrait with your fabulous finished craft as if to say to the internet: CHECK OUT MY iPHONE. Ooops, I mean super CRAFT. ;)
And that was it. The DIY that kicked my other Christmas craft-projects in the balls.
Estimated time for this DIY: almost a whole day for 4 scarves (including drying times) = TIMELY.
Cost: $7.99/metre for fabric - scarf show here is 2 metres which makes it $16 or so and 4+ hours of painting.
WOW-factor: so much nicer than your typical bleach spill
Difficulty level: 0
Frustration level: 5 out 10 because it's SLOWER than anticipated
Level of ease: C'est très facile! (That's French for 'no problem'!)
Results: Totally worth holding out for the perfect fabric. In this case, the fabric is SO PERFECT. The colour is beautiful and the script adds just enough detailing to make it less hippie and more HIPSTER than old-school tie-dying.
I'm never taking mine off. ;)
Today: Penn, Poet and I are going to race around and get the last few items we need to wrap our gifts and finish the LOVE-YOU-BECAUSE books we rocked for our luck families. We've got 48 hours to get our jingle bells in gear and get ready to enter TOTAL HOLIDAY mode. It's girl tribe days from here til the end of December. Coffee!