Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Designer Crafts Connection - New Techniques to Try

Hi Crafty Friends!

I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.  - Pablo Picasso 

I think this quote by Picasso sums up my philosophy toward art, design and crafting.  I love to try new techniques and what other way to learn is there than to jump in and try it!  Of course, there will be craft fails, do-overs, and dead ends, but that is the way I learn - trial and error! 

This month the designers in the Designer Crafts Connection are all about new techniques to try out and add to your arsenal of crafty skills.  I can hardly wait to try out some of them!  To cruise the blogs, click forward or back on the big blue button off to the left side of this post. 

My technique this month is one I've been dying to try - pun intended!  Yes, I'm going to use Rit dye on a few things.  I haven't played with this before, but I've admired what other designers have done with it.  So, we will see how it works. 

First, I selected some colors and made my solutions.  I made them up in canning jars.  They are easy to use for the warm water and dye solution and you can heat them up in the microwave if they cool off.  Plus, you can put a lid on them and store them for later.  Here I have purple, teal, peach, fuchsia and yellow dyes. I also had some liquid dye in Kelly green.

I chose wood pieces, a wood birdhouse, some pieces of hemp twine, burlap, cotton braid and plastic spacers.  The plastic spacers are the most unusual things I dyed.  You can find them in the hardware store.  They have large holes and can be strung on cord.  These pieces I either dipped in the solution or painted.

I really like the way the burlap picked up a rich color.  The wood pieces and birdhouse are a more subtle pastel which shows the wood grain.  The nylon plastic spacers need to be dyed more than once to pick up more color.  And, the twine will be great for matching bead colors in my jewelry designing.

Here's another piece I dyed which I really like.  It was white cotton braid and I dyed it in the peach.  It would make a nice bracelet.

I also tried ice dying with a canvas coaster.  In this process, you cover the coaster with ice cubes, dry dye and a sprinkle of salt.  Then, you let the ice melt and microwave it wrapped in plastic to set the dye. It has a very nice effect and you get a nice intense color.

The canvas coaster

After ice dying with fuchsia

(I received some Rit dye and the coaster at a blogger event at the Craft and Hobby Show.  All opinions (and craft fails) are completely my own.Thanks, Rit!)

All in all, it was a fun day devoted mostly to trying out some of the many ways you can use Rit dye.  The hardest part was waiting for things to dry!  I can definitely see using it more in my designing.  For more great ideas, go to their website.

Happy Crafting!


  1. I need to play with some RIT! Love the ice technique!

  2. Great ideas! Love the colors you picked. You definitely took the fear out of dying for me. Keep up the wonderful work!

  3. I'm way behind in checking out blogs and other stuff - Like this post very much!