Just like everything I try to create and it succeeds, the first time I tried to print real flowers on fabric, I was thrilled! I tried all almost everything you can print flowers to and one of the items is a boring white T-shirt!
The backstory :
A few months ago, I shared with you how you can print flowers on fabric. It’s true! You can decorate any cotton fabric with all the wonderful pigments that real flowers produce! You can read the technique in detail here.
The flowers and leaves of plants can give us wonderful pigments to decorate a scarf, a canvas bag or a T-shirt. And not only will the result be beautiful, it will also be eco-friendly! After all, you are decorating your t-shirt with the purest material : Plants!
What will happen if you wash the t-shirt?
Nothing! Flower dye is quite strong and doesn’t fade with washing! Nevertheless, it’s best if you wash the dyed fabrics by hand!
There are so many flowers! What flowers should you use?
My experiments have shown me that some plants create more intense and durable colors than others. For example, geraniums, basil and blue jasmine. On the other hand, roses produce a less intense and durable color. However you can experiment with anything red, yellow or green! The plants that offer the most pigment, are those from our garden or terrace… The plants we buy from a florist? Barely any color…which makes sense!
You will need :
- A white cotton t-shirt. It could be an old stained t-shirt – now tha’ts a smart way to cover up the stain!
- Flowers from your terrace or garden. It’s best if you don’t cut the buds before they bloom and choose mature flowers instead.
- A hammer
- A cardboard in A4 size
- A piece of cotton cloth
- A work station, wooden floor or sturdy table
- Choose the flowers and the green leaves you will print on the t-shirt. I didn’t use green leaves for this specific t-shirt. I used pink geranium, blue jasmine and yellow lantana.
- Iron the t-shirt so that it has no creases, especially where you will make the print.
You can print the flowers on the sleeves, in the chest, on the neckline, like me, or anywhere else you like best.
- Put the A4 cardboard inside the t-shirt to stabilize the fabric and in order to stop the color from transfering to the back of the t-shirt.
- Place the flowers on the neckline, below the seam. Make sure to place the flowers as evenly as possible.
- Cover the flowers with the fabric cloth, and stabilize by pressing gently with your hands.
- Grab your hammer and start hitting where you put the flowers. Hit hard and be careful with your fingers. I always hold the fabric with my left hand, creating a C shape and hammer inside this shape.
Hit hard, until you see the colors appear on the surface of the fabric (in this case, yellow fabric)
- You can carefully lift the fabric to see if there are any spots you missed. After checking, cover again and start hammering.
- Όταν δούμε ότι έχουμε χτυπήσει καλά όλα τα σημεία που έχουμε βάλει λουλούδια και το χρώμα των λουλουδιών έχει βγει, είμαστε έτοιμοι να ξεσκεπάσουμε τη μπλούζα. Open the fabric slowly and be impressed! After the inevitable “Aaaaah” scream of excitement (it always happens), you are ready for the next step.
- Using our fingers, carefully remove the remains of the flowers. That is, petals, leaves, etc. You don’t need them, so rub gently with your fingers and remove them!
Hooray! Your t-shirt is ready!
I am sure that if you try this craft, you will definitely love it, everyone will be impressed and no one will believe that this print was made from real flowers!
Of course, you can follow the same process on a canvas bag or even a baby bodysuit! Cool idea,huh?
So what do you think? Will you try it?
See you soon,
* I’d like to thank my friend Alkistis who was the model for the t-shirt I made. She ended up keeping it!