Are you the type of person who loves to wear unique clothes and stand out in a crowd? If so, regular high street fashion is not going to appeal. The problem with mass-produced fashion garments is that they are all very much alike. If you are not careful, you will end up wearing an identical garment to at least one other guest at a wedding or party. How embarrassing is that?
Learning how to embellish and decorate garments is a fun way to create something unique. By using a few simple skills, you can start to add decorative touches to clothing or transform fabric from plain to extraordinary. Once you know the tricks of the trade, you can use these techniques when you make your own garments. Getting started is easy. Simply invest in some supplies from an arts and crafts shop such as Raaaft and you are good to go.
Fabric painting is a great way to decorate clothing and add some amazing touches to fabrics. You can pick up fabric paint in pots, tubes, or pens. Pens are easy to use for simple designs or touching up a larger design, but if you want to get really creative, grab some brushes and have a go at painting for yourself.
There are plenty of detailed tutorials available online, but in summary, you need to wash the fabric first to prevent shrinkage, and stretch it to create a workable surface. Be sure to place some card between the layers of fabric to prevent paint bleed which would ruin your final design.
Think of a design and trace it out first on a similarly-sized piece of tracing paper. When you think you’ve got it down, start painting! You can also add small embellishments such as glitter and sequins to the paint while it’sstill wet, to give it that finishing touch.
Don’t forget to let the paint dry for at least 24-hours. Follow the paint manufacturer’s instructions for washing the fabric. Also, consider whether by adding embellishments you must only hand-wash the garment to avoid it getting damaged?
Embroidery is a popular craze at the moment. It’s easy to get started. All you need are some embroidery threads and a needle, plus an embroidery loop. There are dozens of designs, modern and traditional, that you can work with. Learn the basic stitches before you experiment on your garments to avoid messing things up. Practice on some scrap pieces of fabric until you feel comfortable stitching a shirt, jersey, or dress.
Start small with a simple motif on a jeans pocket or tee-shirt. Flowers are easy for beginners, but if you need inspiration, check out some YouTube videos or download ready patterns. If you’re using the patterns, you can either copy them directly or create your own version with a spin on the original design to make it unique to you.
With embroidery, it should really speak to you emotionally. For instance, a flower design could remind you of the beautiful gardens that you walked through while on vacation this summer. Choosing something meaningful to you will ensure you’ll wear the garment again and again.
Sequins, Stones, Buttons, and Beads
Sewing on sequins, stones, and beads can add all kinds of fun decorative touches to other designs, or as a stand-alone embellishment. Pick up packs of decorative beads, sequins, stones, or buttons from any craft store.
Consider what artistic pattern would look attractive on your garment. Attach each decorative item without it being obvious it was added later. Look at combining different stones, beads or buttons if you can make that work visually for you.
Not every embellishment will look right on every garment. You need a sense of style to pick appropriately. Look at magazines or websites like ours that you enjoy reading to find plenty of ideas on how to customize a dress or other garment perfectly. When done right, you’ll enhance the design that was already there ensuring that you’ll never show up at a party looking the same as another girl.
Have you ever tried tie-dying fabric? If not, you really are missing out!
Buy some fabric dye and have fun with plain tee-shirts and other fabrics. It’s good to note that cotton is more absorbent than synthetic fabrics. Use buttons, string, and elasticbands to create patterns that speak to you.
It’s very easy to do, so experiment to see what groovy patterns you can create. Tie-drying tee-shirts is all the rage right now. It’s a colourful, casual tee to wear in different situations. When you dye it yourself, it’s much better than buying something off the shelf that was made in a factory and is being worn by many other girls. Never miss the opportunity to express your individuality and personality with your tie-dye.
It’s probably best to try a single technique first and see how you go with it. If you try to do too many different things, you may get frustrated. When you master one technique for embellishing your dresses or jackets, then you can move onto mastering another one. This way, you can wear your best creations to date while you’re still perfecting the next decorating technique. What are you waiting for? Send us a photo of your best embellishments and we’ll add it to this article to show other readers what’s possible.