About 2 weeks ago now, I attempted to make a watercolor look throw pillow using Derwent’s Inktense blocks. (I know A LOT of my posts have had that product in it lately… I got them for Christmas, plus they make such pretty colors!) Anyway, I got some really cool effects, but not quite what I had been going for. If you haven’t read part one here it is. I tried the process again yesterday, and I finally got the look I was going for. This time I used a heavy weight upholstery cotton, which made all the difference. I also worked on a craft mat without paper towels. Here are my fabric squares drying after the first round of color:
I bought the upholstery fabric as a remnant so it was $3, and a bit less than a yard, I cut four pieces that were big enough to make a pillow out of and was left with one rectangle that wasn’t. Here it is:
I loved this one:
This one was pretty hideous last night, it was the first one I tried the drip effect on and it got very muddled.
I was hoping more color could salvage at least some of it, so I started in:
And found while I was lifting it up, the back was getting saturated enough to let some of the ink through in these nice splotchy shapes:
Here it is after more water and a bit more ink, I mostly just wet the spots I wanted to bleed through heavily and let the excess ink from the first round reactivate and soak through:
I couldn’t decide which of these two designs I wanted as the pillow front:
So I made a double sided pillow with both. To seal the color I painted each piece of fabric with textile medium. I used this one:
It’s a very thick medium so I thinned it with just a little water to help it flow smoother. It goes on creamy white but dries clear and enhances the color ever so slightly. On the light weight fabric I used in part 1 it also stiffened it, but on the upholstery fabric I couldn’t tell a difference. After the textile medium dried, I covered the painted fabric with a scrap of muslin and ironed the each piece of fabric to set it: A double sided pillow is different than the throw pillow I made here, it’s a bit simpler to do but the insert can’t be removed. You put both sides of the pillow right sides together, and sew around 3 sides, turn it right side out, iron, stuff with a pillow insert and then sew up the remaining side.
The orange pillow was made from thrifted fabric I’ve had for years, the pillow insert I got here and the tutorial I made for envelope pillows here. I think the sofa is moving right along, I want maybe 2 or 3 more. If you want to try out this effect for yourself, I would spring for heavy weight fabric. Get plenty of it to try out some different effects, and work on a hard surface so the excess ink sits and soaks back onto the fabric. Keep paper towels close at hand though, if your creative process is anything like mine you’re going to get messy.