Glue and dye tote bag

I feel like I’ve been posting very crappy ideas lately… I’m working a lot these days and when I come home I’m so tired I’m everything but creative. So, in order to maintain my more-or-less-once-a-week self-imposed periodicity, I’ve been posting very easy projects. I guess I reached my peak with the cocktail umbrellas last month, and since then everything has gone down, down, down…
But I’m very happy today because I bring you one of my longest UFOS (Un-Finished-Object) ever! I’m proud to present the Kacey-Musgrave’s-inspired-glue-and-dye-tote-bag!!

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I saw this technique like 3 years ago and I wanted to try it since. First, I got discouraged because I couldn’t find the exact materials here in Barcelona and I was reluctant to try with different brands because the tutorial insisted it had to be Elmer’s blue glue, so I erased the project from my mind (or so I thought) until the moment a saw a bottle of the so-called blue glue during our holidays in L.A. in 2012. Then, the project resurrected in my mind and I decided to look for the exact brand of dye the tutorial recommended. Finally, I had all I needed to accomplish my undertaking! Yuhu!

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And then… seasons passed by… and it was June 2014 and the project was still a UFO… I really don’t know why. I had the fabric, the dye, the glue… but I guess the whole idea of glue and dye seemed potentially too messy in my hands, so I always found an excuse to procrastinate it. Moreover, when you’ve been planning something for so long, the possibility of doing it wrong and waste your impossible-to-find-in-your-country materials becomes a little bit overwhelming.

And then, out of the blue, I found the spirit to do it!

I invite you to check the original tutorial here at U Create. It’s very well explained and easy to follow.

For my version of it, I decided to make a tote instead of a t-shirt.

The sentence I chose comes from country artist Kacey Musgrave’s song Follow your arrow, which I discovered by chance at Vevo Apple TV channel some months ago and liked it right away.

Basically, this is what you need:

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Light color fabric, fabric dye, Elmer’s blue glue, and a cat (cat is optional). There’s people that say that any washable glue will work just as fine, but I haven’t really tried, so I can’t tell.

And these are the steps:

1. Choose a motive, sentence, whatever you like and write it down in your fabric using glue.

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Don’t be cheap with the glue. A thick layer is better than a thin one. Also, the glue doesn’t allow a lot of detail in the drawing, so you don’t want to go with very difficult designs.

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2. Let it dry. (Oh my, every time I read or say something that starts with “Let it…” I can’t help but singing it with the melody of Frozen’s Let it go. So, yes, in my mind this step is sounding like “Let it dry, let it dryyyy, you’ll never see me cryyyy…”).

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3. Prepare your dye in a plastic container with COOL water. I think this might be important, because the instructions in the package say it has to be done with warm water, but the girl in the tutorial insists on the water being cool, so I guess it has to do with the glue not fading away too early.

4. Soak!

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5. Check every few minutes until you see it’s getting the shade you expected. The tutorial also noted that the final dry fabric will look lighter than the wet fabric, so keep that in mind.

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6. Let it dry (again…) flat.

7. Soak it in cool soapy water for a few minutes to eliminate the remains of the glue. From that point on, you can treat the t-shirt, bag, whatever like a normal garment.

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8. In my case, make the rest of the bag…

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Again, if you feel like trying this for the first time, I suggest the original tutorial from U Create I mentioned before, because these are more like guidelines, but there you’ll find proper explanations and all that.

Also, if it’s your first time dyeing, make sure to have some cheap white t-shirts at hand because once you start dyeing… you’ll want to dye it all!

Oh God, I do understand the hippy spirit now!

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One thought on “Glue and dye tote bag

  1. Pingback: Watermelonize me! | Bubanana

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