Although I was enthusiastic about my success with the plastic bag iron-on decal tutorial posted over at Filth Wizardry, I was not completely satisfied with the results. Kitten Muffin’s decals appeared much better fused onto the fabric than mine, and while the original Barnes & Noble book-tree logo wasn’t going to just fall off . . .
. . . I had no faith in its capacity for surviving in the wash. And forget about any of new, smaller bits I spent Saturday trying to add to my mini-masterpiece.
They are decently stuck on, and I think the minor warping is kind of cool, but with only a little effort I can get a fingernail under them and peel them right off.
I like the way it looks, but for some reason it still seemed a little like wearing a plastic bag on my shirt.
That’s when I had the idea to take a closer look at the shirt label. When I’d pulled it from the closet it had been mostly because it was a shirt I rarely wore, but also because it was manufactured by a company named “Seattle Cotton.” If Kitten Muffin mentioned the type of fabric in her posts, I missed it, but I’d sort of made the assumption that cotton was the way to go. Who knew that Seattle Cotton made shirts that are 50 percent polyester? Was this why the plastic wasn’t fusing properly?
I grabbed a 100 percent cotton shirt this time and a cutting from a Trader Joe’s 5 lb. potato bag. I also turned my iron to its highest setting, giving it time to get really hot.
Now that’s what I’m talking about!
Some of the ink came off on the parchment . . .
. . . but that logo is fused on there for good. I’m absolutely confident it will survive the laundry.
Now up to full nerd speed, while wearing my Organic Russet Potato shirt, I got to work on my final “junker” t-shirt and the bag in which my mom brought her belongings home from Overlake Hospital after her surgery last week. I worked with using multiple layers of plastic to create shades of the light blue. I’m very pleased with the result.
It's hard taking a picture of a shirt while you're wearing it!
So my take-way is: if you want a permanent plastic bag iron-on decal, use cotton and very high heat; if you want a temporary plastic bag iron-on decal, use a cotton blend with a cotton setting. It will peel right off.
Now I’m off to Goodwill for a stack of 100 percent cotton t-shirts.
And while we’re on the topic of making art from plastic bags, here’s what Austin, Texas artist Virginia Fleck is up to. (I found this through a post at Get Your Mess On!, but her link is bad, so use mine.)
I know what everyone's getting for Christmas!