Sunny with a touch of beautiful leaves

Monday, October 26, 2009

It's been rainy, cool and cloudy here for most of the summer. This summer has felt like more of a Portland or Seattle summer than one from Kansas. When the sun peeked out today, I welcomed it with open arms. The leaves are vibrant colors this year. A splash of beauty.

I thought I would begin to show you how I cover a paper mache box with fabric.There are several ways to do it's not my way or the highway. If you have another method that is easier....let me know. I'm always glad to learn something new!

I picked out this blue print from our new fabric line Old Primrose Inn to cover this round box. Vintage things are always my favorite, so I thought I would distress the fabric a bit to give it an aged look. I am using 1/2 yd. of fabric.

I use Rit Color Remover. It's a powder that comes in a small box. You can find it with the laundry products in your local grocery store. Wet the fabric first and then fill the sink with about 1" of warm to almost hot water. Add 1/3 of the package of Rit Color Remover to the water. Stir to mix the powder in the water. Don't worry about the exactness of all of's just a fun science experiment. Great way to play with some of the fabric in your stash that you no longer like as much as you did before. It might turn out to be your favorite print!

Add your wet fabric. Make sure the solution covers the fabric.

Several factors will make this process quicker. More powder and hotter water. By using less powder and cooler water you will have more time to choose when the fabric is ready.

My first time doing this process I boiled water, used a full package of color remover and then added the fabric. The color was removed from the fabric in about 2 seconds. To make matters worse, I couldn't get the fabric out of the boiling water quickly enough. Learned my lesson with that one! Now I use hot water from the sink and less powder.

The color of the fabric begins to take on a yellow or orange cast. When I think the fabric is ready I pull it out of the water and then begin the rinsing process. As the rinse water hits the fabric sometimes the color seems to return to the print. This means you have to dip the print into the color remover for a bit more time.

The fabric in front is the original print. The one in the back is the print after the color removal process. The process removed the soft blue and now the print looks green. The print motifs are a stronger yellow, which is ok....but the overall look is not the vintage look I wanted. Honestly, I think I like the original print the back to my fabric stash to select another print.

This black print is one of my favorites from our Aunt Lucie's Cottage line.

I added a bit more powder to the solution and repeated the process with the black print. Here it is after color removal. Rinse the prints out to remove the solution.

Then add a bit of Rit tan dye to soften the look. Usually I do this process in my sink. But I just stuffed the fabric in my dye jar.

Leave the fabric in for about 5 minutes and removed it to check the color. If it looks ok, pull it out and rinse...if not put it back into the dye bath for a bit longer. I repeated the process with the blue print too. Even though it wasn't my favorite....sometimes I'm surprised after the fabric is overdyed with tan dye.

Here they are.....drying on the line.
I'm off to work on another project while the fabric dries!
"See" you tomorrow dear friends!



  1. Your fabrics looks beautifull. Unfortualy I never heard of Rit Color Remover and Rit tan dye. Don't think we got it here in the Netherlands. Such a pitt because I think you can great things with it.

  2. What an interesting technique. I'll have to try it sometime. Have you ever overdyed fabric? I saw this demonstrated once and I loved the results.

  3. Thanks for sharing your technique with us.

  4. gracias por mostrarnos cómo conseguir esas maravillosas telas, bss y felicidades

  5. This is pretty fun! I'll tune in tomorrow to see how to cover the box!

  6. Love the way your fabrics turned out. I love this method that Barb showed us in class. I've used it a lot. I'm always amazed at how different the fabric colors turn.
    Hope all is well.
    I finished Flea Market Find, and made a few changes. You can look at some pictures on my blog. This was a wonderful sampler! I'm so grateful for you talents.
    Take Care.

  7. Thank you, this was interesting. I'll have to give it a try. Sandi

  8. Oh I remember you all showing us this technique in class. I still don't dare to try it. lol! I love your fabrics without anyway! But maybe one of these days I'll get up the nerve. Looking forward to the next post!

  9. I use different methods to age my fabrics. I have use walnut crystals and tea to age it and if I want to age it once I have made the box, I use walnut spray.


  10. Hi Alma, I tried your technique on some gold Rhubarb and Ginger floral for my little baskets and it worked great. I did mine in the washing machine and next time I'm going for the sink! I was hesitant to try it since it sounded complicated but in the end it was a lot of fun!
    Nancy in WI

  11. Alma,

    Thanks so much for showing us your technique. Would you give us directions sometime on how you cover the box then with the fabric?

    Thanks, I enjoy your blog so much! Your photography is always so beautifully done.



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