boring fabric?

Good afternoon all! I have a fun technique to share with you... using your cricut (or other die cutting machine) to mask fabric! This technique is commonly used to decorate t-shirts, but I thought I would work on a smaller piece that could then be appliqued onto a pillow, or anything else you want... Let your imagination guide you on the many ways to use this technique.

*please know that I did not invent this idea, nor is it the only way to do it... just how I do it*

WARNING: this can become highly addictive to some people. You have been warned. ;)

You will need:
fabric to be painted
fabric medium (if using acrylics)
paint brush
cricut (or other die cutting device)
a craft sheet/cardboard (something to put behind your fabric to keep the paint from seeping through to other layers of fabric or work surface)

Like I said, I decided to do a smaller scale applique piece instead of a shirt, so I cut it out using Spellbinders "Label 6"
Now is a good time to put your protective sheet/board behind the layer of fabric you want to paint. I also suggest taping the fabric in place over it to prevent things moving and getting paint where you don't want it.

Decide on the size of your design and cut it out of your vinyl. Make sure to leave a good border of blank vinyl around all sides of your design to help protect from paint. *I used the black out "cherish" cut from "Calligraphy Collection" Cricut cart*

Roughly cut out around your image (again remembering to leave your protective border). For this technique, you will be using the "negative" spaces. (in other words, the part that is normally thrown away when you cut something out). You will be using this as a stencil. Peel and stick on your fabric. Don't forget to put in all the inside pieces (like inside "e", "o", "d", etc.)
Make sure everything is well pressed down. Work out all air bubbles. I like to run my fingers all along the edges of my design to ensure everything is sealed.

You should have something like this:
Now for the paints. You can use fabric paint if you have it, or you can use ordinary acrylic paint. I have a lot of acrylic paint, so I use that. If you are using regular acrylic paint, you need to add in a Fabric Painting Medium/Textile Medium. (mine is DecoArt, and was found right next to all the acrylic paints). Read the directions on your bottle to know ratios of paint to medium.

Carefully paint in your image. Now, when I say "carefully", I am not saying stay in the lines... that is why we left our protective border! What you have to look out for is pieces of the vinyl getting pulled up slightly (letting the paint get where it shouldn't) The more intricate your design, the more likely this is to happen. Just keep an eye on it.
It should now look something like this:
Let the paint dry to touch. Carefully peel off the vinyl. Again follow the directions on you bottle of paint or fabric medium... they usually have to be heat set. For mine, it is supposed to air dry for 24-48 hours, then heat set.
*because I am doing an applique piece, I decide to give it a little rougher look by fraying the edges. this makes a fun patch with personality =) *
It should look like this:
You can stop here, or you can bling it... The heat set crystal gems that are made for fabric are a fun way to add a little extra to your design, and because they are made for fabric, your shirt is still washable. YAY!
I decided to paint my heart in with "Fairy Dust" Creative Inspirations Paint. (keep in mind, although you can use the inspirations paint on fabric, the sparkle will not last in the washing machine... *I am trying to figure out a way to fix that.... there must be a way... there's just got to be a way.... hmmm............ I digress. Sorry*
Here is the sparkly heart:
OK..... Now it is your turn to dip your brushes in some paint and personalize the fabric in your life! Have fun!