Friday, April 16, 2010

Simply A Mess

So I'm working on this challenge project -- can't show it here until the challenge is revealed on my retreat next week -- and I decided I wanted to add some words.  I thought about all of the different ways I could get them onto fabric, and then remembered a fabric spray paint I'd found while roaming the aisles at a craft store some time ago.  It says it's made to be used on fabric, preferably cotton, and that it works like airbrushing.

"Simply Spray," it's called.  I thought might be useful at some point, and yesterday I decided to give it a whirl.

I printed out the words on the computer, then made a stencil by cutting the letter shapes out of freezer paper.  I ironed the stencil firmly to the background fabric I was using.  And, following the directions of the spray, I tested a tiny bit first and it seemed like it would work fine.  I sprayed, waited for it to dry, and peeled away the stencil.  And here's what I got:

Aarrgh!  A total mess!  Look at how it bled!  It totally ruined the background fabric and made the lettering look like huge black blobs.  As far as I'm concerned, makes this product unusable UNLESS you want to just fill in a big area of color and don't need to worry about edges.  AARRGH!

Luckily, I'd bought the background fabric (which was perfect for my purposes) at the shop in town, so I hopped into the car and bought another piece.  And, while I was driving and seething, I realized I could just apply wonder-under to the mess and cut out the letters.

So, that's what I did, which led to this:

When I was cutting the stencil out of freezer paper, it had crossed my mind that I could just be cutting the individual letters out of wonder-undered black fabric, instead of using stencils and paint.  But the stencil and paint idea seemed so much better! And then I had to cut them individually anyway.

The good news is that I was able to rescue the project and get it to be where I wanted it with only a few hours' extra work.

But I chucked that "Simply Spray" into the trash and won't be buying THAT again.

Consider yourself warned!


  1. That is the problem with products that have been untested. At least you gave it a try. I tend not to try new products for fear that they won't do what I want them to do.

  2. Aargh! I would have freaked out! That is the type of thing that always happens to me RIGHT before I finish an art project!

    Thank you for your comments on my blog. We've known each other for years and years! Amazing how much the internet has grown since then!

  3. Beware of things that say "Simple" and also those that say "As advertised on TV!"

  4. I work with Simply Spray and am sorry to hear of your bad experience, there are a few reasons for this result.
    The Soft Fabric Paint that you used in this project actually soaks into fabric like a dye, it can react very differently to various fabrics and bleed with saturation on soft cotton (which is also what keeps the painted fabric soft). It can work with stencils but we have better results with plastic or wood stencils glued down with adhesive spray.
    Simply Spray makes a product called Stencil Spray that would have given a silk screen effect to your project, it's thicker and less likely to bleed using the freezer paper stencil. I always test the paint on a scrap of the fabric that I will be spraying beforehand. I’ve had good luck using the Soft Fabric Paint for stenciling napkins, placemats, t-shirts etc and hope that you'll give it a try again with a different project as results can be really great.