When I was a little girl, one of my earliest memories was of a giant tin full of paint pens that my mom owned. It was gold with teal peacocks around the edge and it had a covered cloth on top marked from paint testing. It looked like a giant drum and I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to use these paint pens with my mom.
My mom is a creative person and when money was tight these pens were an easy way for her to create cute onesies and t-shirts for her little one (me!). As time went on, my mom’s interests changed and it was not something that we ended up doing together. Instead we shared other crafty adventures like cross-stitch and needlepoint.
Recently, I came across these same ballpoint paint pens at our local craft store and I knew if was time to try out a childhood dream.
How to Use Ballpoint Embroidery Paint
Supplies to DIY Your Own Liquid Embroidery Project:
- Tin paint hoop
- Linen kitchen towel (or other fabric project) (similar)
- Ballpoint embroidery paint pens in a variety of colors
- Marking pen (similar)
How to Easily Use Ballpoint Embroidery Paint
Start by tracing out your design with a stencil.
I worked out the design on paper first so I could see the letter placement and determine if this was the font that I wanted to use. This would be an excellent project to do if you have some skill at hand lettering. However, if you aren’t quite there yet, the stencil works well to set-up your lettering.
Once you have everything designed, find the placement center on your fabric and begin to trace in the letters from your stencil.
I used a marking pen from my sewing kit. I have serious love for this pen as you can clearly mark what you need and then the ink disappears with a bit of water. Also, I preferred to work on a flat surface and moved to the embroidery hoop once my design was inked on.
The tin hoop should come with an absorbing cloth to place under your project. The liquid embroidery paint pens have a tendency to leak through fabric and you will want this cloth to help protect the surface you are working on.
Once your fabric is secured to the embroidery hoop, it’s time to get to the fun part.
Begin on a scrap piece of fabric to get a feel for your paint pen. You want to keep the pen perpendicular to your work surface and NOT hold it like a pen. The paint comes out slowly and is easy to work with.
For nice coverage work slowly, in even strokes.
Once complete, clean off any marks from your sewing pen that were not covered by paint. Wait 48 hours to launder or dry-clean.
This is an oil based product so avoid getting it on your clothing and work in a well ventilated area.
If you are a subscriber to my weekly newsletter, I mentioned that I would be using a spirograph with this project. However, I quickly discovered that the tip on these paint pens is too thick for a spirograph template. What can I say… some times the best laid blog plans don’t work out the way you think they might. I’m sure I’ll come up with another hair-brained idea to use a spirograph on in the future.
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Have you worked with ballpoint paint pens? Ever try Liquid Embroidery? What is your earliest craft memory?
**This post contains affiliate links. Many of the supplies listed can be found at your local craft or fabric store, but the links have been provide for your convenience in recreating this project.**