I may not have the urge to tattoo my body, but I did get the urge to tattoo a jacket! I love the intricate design of some of the henna tattoos and thought they would would look great as embellishments on a denim jacket. I started with this white denim jacket that I picked up at a thrift store for a few dollars. Originally, it had eyelet lace trim around the collar, pockets, and cuffs. I didn't care much for it, so I cut it away!
I then spent some time...quite a bit of time...drawing designs on the jacket with an ultra fine point sharpie marker.
After I was satisfied with the designs, I used Elmer's washable clear glue and filled in some of the design elements. I filled an empty paint tube with glue so that I could have a smaller opening and more control over the gluing process. I let the glue dry thoroughly. The dried glue works almost like magic in the next step, which is dyeing the jacket.
I used Rit Denim Blue liquid dye. I was going for an ombre look, so I started at the bottom of the jacket and worked my way up to get the desired ombre effect. As you can see in the picture below, I made a makeshift rack to hang my jacket from. Every 5 minutes I lowered the jacket to the next level, into the dye. When I got to the level of the inked design, I placed the whole jacket in the dye for a couple of minutes, then placed it in the sink to rinse.
The dried glue resists most of the dye, leaving the treated areas lighter. The glue is washable and disappears in the wash.
Whenever you dye something, you never know exactly how it will turn out. With this project, the thread remained white. I really like the effect, though, since it ties in so nicely with the white in the inked designs!
This technique was a bit time consuming, but I'm really happy with the results.
A few tips:
•Make sure you use Elmer's washable clear glue and let it dry completely.
•I didn't get my jacket wet before dyeing (which is usually recommended for a more consistent result), I didn't want to risk washing away the dried glue and, therefore, ruining the effect.
•Be sure you use a permanent ink marker.
Update: Louise in SW Saskatchewan had this useful information to add to the process:
I was aware of the reason why the thread didn't take the dye, but the advantage of the blue glue was news to me!!
I like to link to these great parties!