I love printed textiles. After searching for weeks for something that would work in our living room with our specific colors and pattern mixes I was getting discouraged. I wasn't finding anything that came in the right pattern or color within my budget. I needed six panels to cover three windows so my odds of finding something vintage at a thrift store was unlikely. I finally decided to try my hand at painting a design myself.
I started out hand-drawing my design with a bleach pen. Three pens, forty minutes, and a cold water wash later and you could barely make out a design. My fabric color was already light so it may have worked better in a darker color in a tighter weave. Next I tried painting on a piece of wood but the weave of my curtain panel was too loose for it to show up nicely so I ditched that method and just hand-painted it with a brush. I knew the design would be less sharp and uniform but I went with it and it's grown on me.
I chose my panels for their color because they'd compliment the blue and green couches and chose my design to reflect the diamond pattern in the black and white rug from IKEA. The white paint mirrored the white in the rug which helped this shade of blue mix better with the black and white.
Supplies: Cotton curtain panel (or fabric you'll later sew), fabric paint (I used acrylic because I probably won't wash them), paintbrush, vinyl table cloth or cardboard panels, tape, chalk. I tried using a piece of wood but it didn't turn out right so I ditched it after this photo.
First lay out your vinyl tablecloth or cardboard panels and tape it to the ground. This will protect your work surface from paint. Then spread out your panel and hand-draw your design with chalk. This will come off easily in the wash or if you brush it off when your paint has dried. Hand paint over your chalk design and let dry according to manufacturer's directions. Repeat if you need two panels and then hang your curtains. I had to carefully peel my curtain off the vinyl tablecloth because it kind of dried to it and then hung it on my chain link fence to dry further. Be sure to give it plenty of time.
I'm really happy with how it turned out and am glad I didn't give up after my first two experiments failed. Sometimes there's no other option so you just have to figure out how to make it work, right? Now I just have to tackle four more panels and I'll be that much closer to a house tour. Wish me luck.
Have you ever tried painting textiles? How'd it turn out? My friend, Rubyellen, recently made a darling top out of fabric she painted. Go see!