Saturday, 15 March 2014

Sharpie pen art

After a browse on Pinterest for kids craft ideas I stumbled across a blog post using Sharpies on T-shirts as an alternative to tie dye. The effects were stunning and I wanted to try it immediately but didn't have a suitable t-shirt to hand. I am such a 'got to do it now' person! I did however have a plain cotton drawstring bag that I had purchased for Lino cuts printing. Perfect!

I experimented first on a mini canvas. I tried lots of different patterns with the pens but in the end the simplest design worked best. I used two colours to create a simple sunburst shape.

Then the recipe called for rubbing alcohol. I thought about trying regular clear alcohol like vodka but as this was going to be a project for kids my advisors suggested that it wasn't appropriate. A trip to the pharmacy as suggested on the website proved fruitless as they had never heard of it but after a quick search it turns out to be the American term for surgical spirit. Now I have a gallon of the stuff so if I ever need to harden the soles of my feet I'll be ok.

Using a pipette from a first chemistry set I dropped a small amount onto the centre of each shape. Instantly the colours burst like a firework to create a spectacular colour fest! It was a bit trial and error in terms of the amount of alcohol to add. Too much and the centre faded but not enough and it didn't reach the edge of the shape. Be patient though as the alcohol continues to ooze for a while.

I used a folded up newspaper between the sides of the bag to ensure that the colours didn't seep through.

I don't know if this project would be washable but I don't intend to wash my fab bag.