Mar 30, 2010

Last post on plastic bag transfers?

Hope you aren't getting too bored of this yet. I swear I'll move on to something else soon ;)

Seeing as this is a blog aimed mainly at stuff for the kids to get elbow deep in, and the last two posts have been really only about things that I have made for them and they have had no hand in, I thought I'd post up another quick idea that you can actually get the kids to do themselves with this.

I've found that if you draw on the surface of a plastic bag with a sharpie pen and then iron it onto your fabric, you can then seal your artwork in place by ironing over another piece of plastic, but this time a clear one, like from a sandwich bag or freezer bag.

I cut out a heart from white plastic bag, for my five year old to decorate with sharpies.

Then because the white bag was quite thin, and the tshirt that it was going to be stuck to was a dark colour (I guess you wouldn't have to do this with a white shirt), I cut out a slightly larger heart in a thicker yellow plastic to go under it. I ironed those two pieces on at the same time.

Then, I cut out a larger clear plastic heart shape from a little freezer bag. I think thinner sandwich bags would be fine for this, probably even better, because the thickness of the three layers of plastic did make the finished decal about as thick as a regular iron on decal.

I ironed this final layer on really well, to make sure there was a good melty fuse with the fabric and that the bottom layers of plastic were also fused into it with the colouring that my daughter had done, safely sealed under the clear plastic.

Here's a pic of the melted plastic layers before I pulled off the parchment paper.

And here is a pic of the parchment paper after it had been used to iron on the top clear plastic layer. You can see that some of the ink has actually melted through into the clear plastic, so I'm betting that's pretty well set and wash proof.

This one hasn't been through the wash yet, so I can't vouch for it's durability, but it seems that there should be no way of the marker pen being washed out from under that final layer of clear plastic.

Obviously grown ups could have loooooads of fun themselves drawing and fusing their own artwork this way, but I thought you'd like to see something that the kids could have a go at themselves.

I still haven't found a way to make big decals with plastic bags. I have to piece them together and insure each piece is smaller than the base of the iron to not get the nasty shrivelly effect. I'll let you know if I do figure something out in the future though.

To answer a few of the questions I've had recently:

Ironing the plastic on does give a faint whiff of melty smell, but I had the kitchen windows open anyway and the bits of plastic were so small that it was minimal. I think if you are doing the full on ironing masses of bags together to make that tyvek type material then kick ass ventilation is advised though. I'll be doing that outside with an extension chord if I get around to it!

I have a few mutilated adult tshirt things that I've made for the kids that I could post about, seeing as a few of you have asked about the skirts. I'll see if I can pull those together and make a coherent post out of them in the coming weeks. In the mean time, the skirts I make are really similar to the one that Maryanne posted about on Mama Smiles here. Only difference is that they are upside down, in that the hem of the original tshirt is where I thread the elastic through, and then I hem the cut end to be the bottom of the skirt. You have to have tshirts without side seams to make that easy though.

Thank you for all the get better soon messages too. I am nearly mended :)


Kami said...

This is absolutely tremendous! Did you discover this phenomena all on your own? I can't wait to try it!

AutumnBrooke said...

I'm loving the posts about this. I really want to try it! I'm wondering if this would work for a big transfer. You know at Hobby Lobby how they have the sheet metal sheets for like $8? What if you took a big transfer, covered it with the paper, put one of those metal sheets on it, and then ironed over it? It seems the pressure of the metal would hold it in place, and it would also transfer heat as you moved across the surface of the transfer. IDK, maybe I'm crazy. lol


Rusulica said...

while ironing the first two layers (the ellow one, and the heart), did the sharpie-colours transfer to the paper? because, you ironed directly on the sharpie-coloured surface.

Anonymous Me said...

This is so cool! I don't have preschoolers but shared the idea and a link back to your blog on Facebook. You have gained a new follower! =)

Donna S. said...

Just got to catch up on your blog... you are brilliant! Wall-E is still enjoyin lots of attention at reCREATE - thank you again!!

Charlene said...

Maybe using the oven, and a cookie sheet on top and bottom to apply pressure? You've got me thinking....

I'm SO excited to try this now - I see multiple possibilities and uses! Thanks for the posts.

(Found ya via craft gossip!)

Lindsey said...

Kami, yeah, I started messing about with this just before Christmas. I wanted to hold off on posting about it until I'd tried a few different things with it and made sure that the ones I did could stand up to being laundered. It was really cool to try it out and have it actually work, because i thought surely if it would work then why weren't people doing it all over the place already. My equally curious husband was keen to have a go as soon as he saw the first decal actually worked.

Autumn, I have no idea if that would work, but it's surely worth a go!

Rusulica, weirdly the pen didn't come off onto the parchent paper when I was ironing the yellow and coloured layers. Just when I ironed the clear plastic over the top, so it must have melted into the clear plastic or something. The pen colours did change slightly with the heat, but not too much.

Donna, Yay! Glad Wall-E has a happy home! He must feel great being around lots of creative re-use every day :)

Handem said...

Thank You... this is such a doable creative idea...

Is@Hz said...

Hola Kitten Muffin, querĂ­a decirte que he practicado tu experiencia y he hecho referencia a ella en mi blog:

Muchas gracias por compartir.

Lindsey said...

Iz@Hz, that's lovely! So cool to see that it worked well for you too :)

urban craft said...

this just keeps getting better and better! Thanks for these, I would have never imaged the iron on plastic bag transfer would have worked.
So cool.

kelseymeghan said...

i LOVE your blog. it's so adorable and nutty and chaotic but so funny and uplifting. i hope to be able to do some of these same things with my kids one day :)

Anonymous said...

I am busting to give this a go. I have SO many projects in the making that I am going to be strong and not start another until they are completed.
I have an ironing press so will hopefully be able to do larger transfers. I will let you know how they turn out.

Unknown said...

I was wondering about an iron press as well? Did it work?