Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Why'd you buy those letters?

Awhile back—months ago I think, Sandy Donabed mentioned on her blog that she had bought a box of chipboard letters at TJMaxx and was thinking about using them for sun printing. I had seen the same box of letters at our TJ and carried them around the store for awhile, trying to figure out why I needed them. I didn't buy them, but then Sandy mentioned that great idea and I went right back and bought them in two sizes. And I finally got around to trying them out today.

I painted a piece of fabric with fabric paints. Setacolor paints advertise themselves as being "sun paints" but really any kind of fabric paint, probably any kind of acrylic paint for that matter, will work the same.

While the fabric was still quite wet, I placed the cardboard letters on it and sprinkled it with salt. The salt makes a nice speckled texture on the fabric.

Then I carried the whole shebang outside and put it to dry in the sun. The sun is not magic and doesn't really create the image. It happens because the part of the fabric that is not covered with something dries faster than what is covered and as it dries it wicks the wet paint out from under the covered areas, leaving them lighter. I do find that the images are sharper when it dries quickly, though, so a nice sunny day works best for me.

That board it is on is my fabric painting board. I've been using it for years. Long ago it had a sheet cake delivered from a bakery on it. I wiped the frosting off it and took it home. You just never know when the perfect thing is going to show up in your life!

Once it is dry, remove the letters and shake off all the salt.

I don't know what I'm going to do with this. So, why did I make it?



  1. Very nice. :-) I've been stealing the little plastic glow in the dark stars on my kids' ceilings for sun printing. Refrigerator magnet letters would probably work well too -- now I wish I hadn't given ours away when the kids grew out of them... We have a lot of sun here, but lots of wind too, so my painting surface has been a sheet of styrofoam that came as packing in a large box.

  2. I love it, Terry! Good purchase -- and your new fabric is wonderful!

  3. Fun! This would make a fabulous background for an art quilt.

  4. Great idea. I woudl try it myself at once if only it wasn't raining like Noah was in charge here!