Sunday, January 29, 2017

Can You Dye Burlap?

As a matter of fact...yes you can dye your own burlap and save yourself a little money in the process.
(I will preface this by saying it was my first time trying to dye anything....ever).
My sister is in the habit of asking me for information or whatever anytime she is working on a project of her own.  She knows that I can usually find things that she can't just because I will look and look and look until I find what I want.
My sister (Christy) called and asked if I knew where to find colored burlap ribbon that was inexpensive.  She wanted light blue, charcoal gray and a lighter gray as well as just plain white/ivory.  She needed quite a bit of it and couldn't find the colors she needed and what she found online cost way too much for the amount she wanted to use.
Brother Brad was on the job!  I found pretty much the same thing that she found...maybe a little less but not enough to make a difference.  Me with my bright ideas...decided to call her and tell her that I would just dye it for her.  That way I could get the natural/bleached burlap and make any color she wanted.  The plain burlap is much cheaper.
I spent the next couple of days researching how to dye burlap and I think I read every single blog post there was to figure out if I could do and how to go about the whole process.  I ended up using a combination of ideas and suggestions I found along the way.
I went to my local craft store (Michaels was my first stop) so I could gather my supplies.  Several rolls of burlap ribbon and dye.

Supplies I used:
ivory/white burlap ribbon (think it was 4" wide)
Rit Liquid Dye (Pearl Grey)
Tulip Fabric Dye (Light Blue)

I would have preferred both dyes to be the same brand but that is all that was available locally.

I started out doing a few test pieces just to see how much dye I needed and how long I needed to leave it in and how long to rinse...etc.

I basically just followed the directions on the back of each bottle of dye.  Almost word for word.
I filled a large bucket with warm water and added the amount of dye I thought I needed then unrolled the entire roll of burlap and dropped it into the bucket.
I let it soak for a few minutes and got my hands dirty swooshing it around to make sure all parts were getting covered.

(side note:  one blog I read said to just leave it rolled up and put the roll into the dye bath.  NO....don't do that.  Trust me.)

In total I think I left each batch in the bucket of dye for maybe 5 minutes max.  I then rinsed is cold water for a bit and found a nice place to lay the rolls out to dry.

I almost got the exact colors that I wanted but for my sister's purposes it was just fine.

I wish I had taken photos throughout the process but I wasn't even thinking that it would work so I didn't bother.

So does work and it's quite easy to do.

Wedding Photo Monogram Print on Canvas

I have been making monogram prints on burlap for weddings and anniversaries and just because for a few years now.  I love the idea and they make great gifts.
My mom occasionally comes up with some really great ideas for me to try.  They don't always work out but it's usually something that I hadn't though about doing before.  So she wanted one of the monogram prints for someone she worked with.  He was getting married and it would be the perfect gift.  Then she asked if I could put a picture on it as well.
Hmmmm.......I don't know....well.....maybe......ok...yeah.  I sure can!
Instead of printing on burlap I decided to use white canvas.  I also used my heat press and image transfer paper instead of printing directly onto the fabric.  I wanted a nice clean image.  
I played with the placement of the photo for a while and it wasn't working they way I had envisioned in my head.  Then I thought....background.....full size of the print....faded!
Bam!  That was it.  
This isn't the first one I made because I didn't ask if I could blast their photo all over the internet.  I used a photo of my husband and myself from our wedding and I also made another one with my niece and her husband who have recently been married.

I have this style print on canvas available in my Etsy Shop.

I absolutely love the way it turned out.

My Mom's Angel

A few months ago my mom texted me a photo that she had just taken to see if I would be able to print it for her on burlap or anything.  
I took one look at the picture and was truly amazed at the pure beauty of it.  Right there is the clouds was an angel.
It was perfect.  She said it was probably someone watching over her and I agree.

My Mom's Angel in the Clouds