Whimseyboxers! It’s that time again!
Spending time with the Whimseybox Team has been, dare I say it, more fun than anything! Okay, so a bit of hyperbole, but I couldn’t be more excited to spend my summer with them all. It’s been a hot one here in Colorado, but the heat can’t slow us down. We’ve been working through the sweat and sun (and a finicky A/C ) to expand Whimseybox and reach out to the DIY community.
I’ve been spending my time interacting with online DIY communities far and wide. We’ve been chatting, emailing, commenting and I’ve seen is some pretty impressive bloggers and go-getters out there.
Just because I’m in the office most days doesn’t mean I’m shut off from the outside world. Through the power of social media and email I’ve been able to connect with plenty of talented and well connected designers, bloggers and creatives all over the web.
By reaching out, some of you have offered to review a Whimseybox for your blog or even host a giveaway, and I hear that! We’re working with different bloggers to get those reviews out there to the readers. We want to hear what you all think about Whimseybox and see what you all do on your end. If you’re interested, feel free to shoot us an email. We’d love to collaborate!
Turning every social media outlet into a verb
Since Whimseybox is still pretty new to the Boulder area, we’re trying get involved with the town and the creative community at large. Actually, we are hosting an event tomorrow, June 20th from 6-9! It’ll be held in our office on Pearl St. and is completely free. So, if you’re in the area, be sure to come to the first-annual Whimseybox Etsy Craft Party.
One of the reasons I wanted to intern for Whimseybox is the atmosphere, the other was for everyone’s love of craft beer. With that in mind, I sought out local breweries to see if they would be interested in hosting an event in collaboration with Whimseybox. Turns out there are a lot of DIYers over at Boulder Beer Company who are more than excited to host a crafts and craft beer night. Seeing as we just met with them last week the details are still in the works, but you will all be the first to know!
More recently, we’ve become a sponsor for Firefly Handmade Market. A super cool event in which over 90 local vendors come and participate in a street fair style shindig. On June 29th and 30th we’ll be posted up on 29th street mall in Boulder, CO with Whimseyboxes, prizes, projects, and some happy shoppers. So much to do and places to go this Summer, better get back to work! Stay cool y’all and don’t forget the sunscreen.
Whimseybox is always looking for inspiration and ideas and it’s no secret that we love Pinterest. So to get you inspired we’ve set up a little scavenger hunt on our Pinterest. The rules are simple and prize is fabulous because you get to pick! Choose from any of our tool kits as your prize. Head over to our Shop to check them out and see what other goodies we have there. These pins are hidden all over our Pinterest in different boards so be sure to keep an eye out! But don’t just stop at three or even just our faves, we love following people on Pinterest so we’re really excited to interact with you all. Happy Hunting!
Scavenger Hunt Rules:
1. Follow us on Pinterest
2. Find three of our fave projects and repin them
(Like this one below)
3. Fill out the google form below
4. Stay tuned and we’ll select a winner next week
The boring but important stuff: This contest is only open to residents of US and Canada who are at least 18 years of age. You may only enter once and all entries must be submitted by 11:59pm mountain time on Tuesday 6/25. One winner will be selected at random. Winners will be contacted via email. We respect your privacy and will never sell your contact information. Void where prohibited by law.
A few weeks ago I saw this super cool 3-D doormat on Swissmiss and it was perfect timing because we’re trying to whip the office into shape for the Etsy Craft Party on Thursday. Since it’s not available in the US I decided to DIY my own!
Photo by Kimberly Ellen Hall
Have you ever found a beautiful silk top at the thrift store only to hesitate since it was some unattractive color? Or maybe you have several white tees that aren’t so white anymore….there are lots of easy interesting dye techniques that can bring old clothes and housewares back to life. All it takes is a little direction (here ya go) and some elbow grease on your part. See my favorite techniques below:
- Shibori is the collective term in Japanese for tie-dye, stitch-dye, fold-dye, pole wrap-dye, etc. It is translated into English as shaped-resist dyeing because you create patterns by forming the cloth into shapes that will resist the dye in some places. You can fold, pinch or tie the fabric your own way to create all kinds of interesting patterns. The tie-dye technique you learned as a kid is actually shibori! Here is an excellent how-to reference from artist Cozy Bendesky
- Silk Painting is as simple as it sounds. You use special cold water dyes and simply paint them onto the silk in any pattern you like. You can also use a liquid called a resist to keep the dyes from touching and blending. I love all the silk tutorials on Dharma Trading, and they are also an excellent source for materials.
- Batik is still done traditionally in some areas of the world. The batik-like fabric sold in fabric stores and used for ready to-wear garments has probably been produced by printing the design on the surface of the fabric in a factory process. Hand-produced batik may be found in some specialty shops and import stores. It is pretty easy to do yourself if you have the space to safely melt some wax. Then you simply alternate painting wax and dye to create your design. Paula Burch has my favorite batik tutorial.
- Low Water Immersion dyeing is also known as “scrunch” dyeing. You use as little water as possible, crunching the fabric together with as little stirring as possible. Wonderful color gradations then occur. Mixing opposite colors result in ugly muddy effects when you tie-dye, but they result in gorgeous subtle shadings in low water immersion dyeing. Try out this excellent technique with my step by step instructions below.
- Let’s go! As in all good projects please make sure you have all the chemicals and supplies you need for dyeing ready before you start: I recommend using Procion MX dyes, plus you also need soda ash, rubber gloves, measuring cups and spoons, dust mask for measuring out dyes, and a container for doing the dyeing in. (it should be plastic, glass, enamel, or stainless steel, not aluminum or iron.) The container should be as small as the fabric will squeeze into for best results. Also, please don’t use the dishes you cook with for synthetic dyeing! Picking up some dye-only utensils at the thrift store is a good idea. Be sure to pre-wash all clothing to remove invisible finishes that can prevent the dye from getting to the fabric. Here we go:
- Dyeing. First, crumple the garment or cloth and stuff it tightly into the container. Then mix up one color of Procion MX dye, anywhere from 1/16 to 4 teaspoons of dye per cup, into one cup of water. Pour this over the garment. Next, mix another color and pour it over too. You can use any interesting color combinations, and you can add the dyes in different places or in different ways to try and affect the blending. You could try one color in the bottom of the container before adding the clothing. Ot try 3 colors! Keep track of how much water you add, though, you will need to know for the fixing at the end. Do not stir the fabric at all!
- Wait. Allow the colors to blend. After you have added everything, leave it alone for anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. You will have to check on it to figure out the time, every dye combination works a little differently. Too little time will not allow the diffusion separation to occur; too much time can allow the dyes to diffuse too thoroughly and blend together.
- Fixing the dye. When you have left the dye to rest long enough, you can add the fixer to stop the dye process. The fixer is called sodium carbonate, or soda ash. A good recipe to use is one teaspoon for each cup of liquid in the dye bath (this is where your keeping track of the amount of water at the beginning comes in handy!). Dissolve the amount of soda ash you need in one cup of hot tap water. For example if you used 6 cups of water in your dye bath, then, use 7 teaspoons of soda ash, dissolved in an additional cup of water (the extra tsp is for the water you dissolve it in). Gently pour this soda ash solution over the top of the dye bath. Still no stirring!
- Wait again. You must then leave the soda ash to react with the fabric and dye for at least one hour, preferably in a warm spot. After the solution is fixed you can rinse you your fabric until the water runs clear!
Quick Low Immersion Recipe:
1/16 – 4 tsp dye per cup of water (double for a rich black)
1 tsp soda ash per cup of water
• crumple cloth into container
• prepare dye
• pour over fabric
• mix another color (wild combos work well)
• pour a cup of water before 2nd dye if desired (removes air bubbles)
• add second dye
• you could also try adding first dye before fabric and second dye after fabric
• no stirring!
• fabric should be almost covered with dye and water
• let dyes spread for 5 minutes to 1 hour
• add soda ash, 1 tsp for each cup of water used in the
dye bath and for dissolving (dissolve soda ash in 1 cup warm water)
• You can also add 1 tsp per cup of total water volume for better clarity of color
•let sit at least 1 hour, up to 24, in a warm spot
Our mission at Whimseybox is to help you Stop Pinning + Start Making, but that doesn’t mean we want you to ignore your Pinterest! Yeah, we love Pinterest too. In fact, we have so many different boards that we thought we’d start sharing some with you here. With almost 2,500 pins up now, you’re bound to find something that will inspire you to get out there and create something. And feel free to chat with us in the comments on any pin- odds are we’ll have something to say about it as well!
This week we’re featuring one of our most indulgent boards: Gratuitous Displays of Craftiness. You know when it’s approaching lunchtime, your stomach is growling, and you find yourself salivating over page 30 of a food blog? This is the craft equivalent of that. Beautiful craft photos line the rows of this board, enticing your DIY-hungry eyes to take a peek for a minute or 20. Check out some of our favorites.
There is something about such a clean, simple, neutral photo such as this one that just calms a chaotic mind. Doesn’t it make you want to take a deep breath and relax for a minute? So refreshing!
The organization of these cute little twigs is just so aesthetically pleasing!
Heaven is a place on earth, and it is chock full of ribbon.
Love these patterns!