Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Creative Guest: Watermark Tee by Sweet Verbana

Here's what we're making today:
What I love about this project is that it's completely customizable. I used favorite quotes to decorate my shirt but you could also use song lyrics, bible verses, favorite book excerpts, etc. You can also choose whatever color you like. I think it would be a very kid-friendly project as well. There are so many possibilities!
Elmer's Blue Gel Glue (it must be the blue gel, white won't work)
Fabric Dye (RIT is my tried and true brand)
A white cotton Tee, Tank, Dress etc.
If you're unfamiliar with Batiking, it's a method of dyeing fabric in which you create a design with a dye- resist. When you dye your garment in cold water, all will be colored except where you've placed your dye resist. In traditional batiking, you would use wax as a resist. I tried this out and found it to be messy and difficult to control. Using store bought glue is much more convenient and very easy to control.
Step 1: Prepare
Wet your tee with cool water and place a water resistant board between the layers of fabric. I used the lid of a bin.
Step 2: Design
I'm not much of an artist, so what worked best for me was writing favorite quotes right across the front of the shirt.
This quote was found via Pinterest
You could also try drawing a simple design like my very amateur sailboat:
Let dry completely. This will take several hours.
Step 3: Dye 
Your dye bath should be prepared using cool water. Experiment with different amounts of dye until you find the right concentration. Keep in mind that the color that comes out of the dye bath will be a couple of shades darker than the dry, finished garment.
When you get the color you want, lay your tee flat to dry.
Step 4: Wash
When your tee is dry (to let the dye set) soak it in cool, soapy water for about 15 minutes. This soak washes the extra glue out. Throw it in the washer and dry as you would normally.
Step 5: Wear and Enjoy!
I'd love it if you'd stop by over at Sweet Verbena and check out my other DIY fashion tutorials


  1. I think I'm gonna try this !
    Thank you for sharing!

  2. This is ingenious!!!

  3. Going to look for Elmers glue gel here in South Africa. Love this idea

  4. any ideas on how to do more than one color?

    1. You should check out: pinkandgreenmama.blogspot.com
      they have a posting on Pinterest showing how to use watered down acrylic paint and the gel glue. Very nice!

  5. You could try fabric markers or crayons to color the blank space. Some of them need to be heat set. Heat set can be done with a dryer.

    A bleach pen can be used to do similar effects with a garment already dyed.

    1. This is great I teach 4th,5th and 6th grade art. Love this idea for my own personal art. Thanks for sharing