Monday, March 11, 2013
Heat-Distressed Recycled Tyvek Inchies
Inchies...I really thought that 1" x 1" would be too small to do anything interesting so I didn't immediately sign up for the exchange in our heARTist trading group http://heartisttradingcards.blogspot.com/. But...I loved the inchies Karen Musgrave and Marie Johansen made and didn't want to miss out on receiving some tiny treasures, so I joined the inchie madness.
I don't usually work huge—I like anything from ATC size to 5"x7" to 24"x24", but really, what could I do on a 1" square? I started by rummaging through my scrap box. The box isn't leftover junk, it has leftover pieces of favorite projects that are too small to use, or unfinished projects that didn't quite come out right but still have interesting elements.
I found a special scrap I had been saving from a project a while back—it was a rectangle of tyvek, made from a recycled USPS mailing envelope. I had painted the inside with an goldish-olive metallic Lumiere paint, splattered it with gold, white, copper and turquoise Lumiere dribbles, then (after it was dry) distressed it quickly with a hot, dry iron. Tyvek, especially the recycled kind, puckers and bubbles and melts unevenly, and you never know what the result will be. (If you try this, please wear a mask and have good ventilation!)
I randomly chopped the piece into 1" squares, then sorted through them to find the most interesting sections. Some I used as they were, and others I hand-stitched together to make them more interesting. I added teeny turquoise seed beads and some tiny chunks of turquoise stone. I backed them with peltex for stability, and instead of using glue, I attached the peltex with tiny criss-cross stitches to add texture. The final touch was adding brown fabric marker at the edges to cover the white peltex that peeked out.
It is interesting that a man-made fiber—tyvek—can have such an organic quality when it is painted and melted. The technique doesn't work as well using ordinary acrylic paint—I have found that only Lumiere gives me the effect I like.
Now I'm ready to do more inchies! They are the perfect way to use up the itty bitty scraps that are too pretty to thow away, but not big enough for any other project.