Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Bunting in custom colors using Chalk Paint® dye

Bunting is the decorative flag banners that you see more and more of these days~it was a very British thing that has caught on over here in the US now.  It is used to create a festive feeling for parties or special occasions.  Annie Sloan's new book, Color Recipes shows some new techniques which I will be teaching at Maison Decor soon~and one of these is using Chalk Paint® decorative paint as fabric dye!  In her book she shows how she dyed her Charcoal Pastoral Toile in different shades using Chalk Paint.  I decided it would be fun to make a colored bunting in the shades that go with my shop using this new technique.  You only need one teaspoon of paint to one quart of water and so this is also a  fabulously economical way to dye fabrics!  In my recent past life I did tons of custom window treatments so although I am handy with a sewing machine if you can sew a straight line, you too can make your own bunting!  
 Basically get some fabric and cut out triangles to the size of bunting you want.  I had a ten inch wide by ten inch long triangle.  I used plain offwhite linen for the backing as I had a bolt on hand.  You could cut up a sheet or buy drapery lining for the lining, as well as for the face (front) fabric if you just want plain colors.
 After I sewed my fronts and backs together, leaving the tops open, 
I turn them right side out. Then it is time to iron them flat.
 This shows the stitching~a simple straight stitch about 1/4" in from the end. 
Then trim excess fabric from your pointed end so 
it won't be bulky when you turn it right side out. 
 Ironed flat~
 I made a bunch of triangles and ironed them all~
 Then into the office kitchen sink where I wash my brushes~
I used one quart mixing pails and added one teaspoon 
of Provence and Florence to the pails.  Whatever color you use, 
the end result on the fabric will be muted, so plan accordingly. 
 I used Provence to get a color like Duck Egg.
 Mix it up well~using hotter water I found helped in diluting the
 paint into the water.  Add a small amount of water first, then the paint, 
stir it about, then add the rest of the water.  If you want to 
dye sheets or slipcovers use about 2 teaspoons per gallon. 
 Do it in the bathtub for bigger batches.  
 Dip your pieces into the pails.  Poke them down and 
let them sit in the water for about 5 minutes.  
That's all the time you need to dye your fabrics!! 
Quick and Easy!!! Woo hoo!!!
 Here are the Florence triangles all dyed...I rinsed off the triangles as I took them out of the pails, but Annie said you don't have to rinse.  Annie also told me that she did a test with the same dyed fabric sample and put one through the washing machine after dying and she could not tell the difference between the unwashed sample and the one that got washed! I saw them at our Stockist conference and I was amazed!! I laid the triangles out on old towels and you will get some dye spreading on your surface, so plan for that.
 Then I decided to dye some in Henrietta!  
Here are my bunting penants drying....
 After they dried, I laid them out in sequence 
of how I wanted to stitch them into a garland banner.
 I rolled out my bolt of linen and cut a 2.5" strip of fabric about 
10 inches longer on each side than the row of bunting flags. 
 I ironed the strip by turning the edges towards the middle to 
create a channel where the unsewn tops of the bunting flags would 
get attached and covered up for a finished result.  You can buy
 this kind of fabric strip already made up in different colors if you 
don't want to make your own. It is called Bias Tape and can be 
found at fabric stores. You could also make it out of the face fabric as well.
A closeup of the channel I created by ironing the edges towards the inside.
 Place the flags inside the channel and stitch a straight line! 
 This is the exciting part!!! The bunting is finished and ready to hang!
Chalk Paint party anyone??

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