Workshop time (well, almost)

Can you believe it? Fall is here, and before you know it, so will the holidaze!

I am NOT ready for this. This is NOT ok! Wasn’t it just blazing hot 2 days ago?

Alas, ready or not, here it comes!

As an introvert, I tend to be in my head a lot. Lucky for me, I am, married to an extrovert. Left to me, I’d probably never get around to actually inviting folks over, even though I love company. I’m just much better at asking a friend to meet for coffee, or Pecha Kucha.

Around here, we’ve been doing a bit of entertaining after a long hiatus. The Mr. had a horrible work schedule for a while which didn’t allow for weekend entertaining. I am happy to report that his schedule changed, and we are back in the swing of things. I love having folks over just to hang, talk, chill, and, ahem, drink! In this day and age, as we develop more and more ways to be in touch, true connection just seems to be getting more and more difficult. It is still so desperately needed.

I am so happy that we have managed to create warm oasis of good food, good company, and good atmosphere in our little corner of the world. (Personally I think it’s all the printed fabrics, and the warm ambiance of my old-timey christmas lights that we keep up year ’round).


I am planning some very awesome workshops for the near future, so look out for the emails! I have pinned down some dates, just waiting to confirm a location, and we will be good to go!

In the meantime, be well, do good work, and keep in touch, my friends!

Screen printing fabric with latex house paint

A note about my experience on screenprinting fabric with latex house paint…

 screenprinting fabric with latex house paint

100% cotton fabric screen printed and stamped with latex house paint.

I have been screen printing fabric with latex house paint for at least 3 years now. I have successfully printed a lot of things: napkins, pillow covers, curtains, t-shirts, tote bags, etc. I have exclusively printed on cotton, linen, and ramie, so I can not speak for synthetic fabrics.

I hesitated sharing this information because

1.) I wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing before putting it out there, and
2.) I was not sure how it would be received. In the end, I figured, if it can help someone else, it’s worth the risk of an internet backlash (ha-ha!)

I mostly print on things that will not get a lot of washing, but I have successfully machine washed, and hand-scrubbed fabrics that I printed. I have found that it is best to wait at least a week or so, to let the paint cure, before attempting any washing. 

modified latex house paint on a screen. screenprinting fabric with latex house paint

modified latex house paint on a screen.

So obviously, you can not just glop on some house paint onto your screen and expect a good print. If that was the case, everyone would be doing this already. There are a few reasons this would not work out.

  1. Latex paint, used in its pure form, is too runny to be pulled through the screen.
  2. Latex paint, used in its pure form, dries REALLY fast, and will gunk up your screen.
  3. Latex paint, used in its pure form will leave a nasty haze on your screen, because it dries so quickly.
  4. Latex paint, used in its pure form dries stiff on fabric, leaving a not very pleasant ‘hand.’ Because of this, it also tends to crack over time and washings.
  5. Latex paint, used in its pure form, *may not be* wash-fast. This is debatable.

I call these ‘challenges to overcome’.

In order to make latex house paint suitable for printing, it needs to be ‘modified’ and ‘extended.’

Modifying & Extending the Paint:

Extending the paint simply means diluting it. This means that you are not using the paint at full strength.

You will be diluting the paint with a thickener. Wait, what? Yes, you are thinning with a thickener. It will make complete sense, I promise.

Latex house paint is highly pigmented and can stand to be thinned. Strangely, the color is not noticeably lightened in this process.

Extending the latex house paint solves challenges #1-4. Extending the paint will:

  1. Thicken, duh. Now you can pull it thru the screen.
  2. The extender used will slow down the drying process.
  3. Because it will now dry slower, there’s less likelihood of it drying on your screen, leaving the haze of color, and possibly blocking the holes on your screen.
  4. Because the paint has now been extended, it will dry on the fabric with a much softer hand, and the paint will not crack on your fabric with repeated washings.

Modifying the paint just means that you will add textile medium. This solves challenge #5.  to make the paint wash-fast.

Now, I’m of 2 minds regarding washability. I believe that latex paint is washable on fabric.

Think about the last time you got paint on your clothes while painting. How hard was it to get that paint out? Extremely.

I add textile medium for extra protection. I do not really believe that latex house paint needs textile medium to be wash-fast.

On the other hand, I’m nervous to leave it out.

 screenprinting fabric with latex house paint

latex house paint that has been prepped for printing.

So you want to know what I use to extend my paint, huh? 

I have tried a variety of products to make my paint screen-able. Here are the ones that I have tried.

  1. Shaving Cream. The cheaper the better.
  2. Clear, non-flaking hair gel. The cheaper the better.
  3. Unscented Lotion (yes, lotion) The cheaper (think dollar store) the better.
  4. Mineral Oil
  5. Permaset Aqua Print Paste

So there ya have it.

In the next post, we will dive into more detail about each of these materials. If you have not, subscribe here so that you don’t miss it..


DIY Printing Stamp with Craft Foam Shapes

In honor of Valentine’s Day I’ve whipped up a quick little printing project using craft foam shapes.  These are perfect for making your own printing stamps that you can use to stamp paper, fabric or anything else you can think of!


The craft foam shapes are great because most of the cutting work is done for you. They also come with adhesive already on the back, making your stamps ready to attach to your stamping block. You can use the shapes as is, arranging them into your own design:


Or further customize the stamps by cutting some intricate shapes into the stamps for a more organic look.


Once your shapes are cut to your liking and arrange them in your desired pattern.  Peel of the adhesive backing and stick to on a piece of glass, acrylic block or wood block, and Voila! You’ve got a custom stamp. You can use this stamp with an inkpad on paper, or with fabric paint on fabric.


Now print with abandon on your paper, fabric or other substrate. So, raid your kids craft stash and go forth and make something pretty!

working on…

More surface designs…of the non-printed type.

Currently loving embroidery, Afro-Martha style.

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Guess what?

Fabric has arrived!

But I haven’t had a chance make something with it yet….so here it goes: Drumroll please!

Introducing Diamonds and Chevs by YayToonDay Designs!

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The design on this fabric is inspired by my love of ethnic geometric prints, Yoruba heritage and love of color! The fabric in the pictured is printed on Spoonflower’s Cotton/Linen blend, but is also available in other fabrics. Yardage is available for sale here.

Block Fabric Printing

Remember a while back when I said I was finally going to design my first fabric line? Well, I’ve had the designs for a while now, but I kept futzing around with it. I found myself stuck in perfection mode…couldn’t decide on colors, etc. I also took a few detours, did a few home projects and hand printed some things, in the mean time.

Until last night, when I finally pulled the trigger. I did it. I ordered a yard. Ofmyownfabricdesign. From Spoonflower. Yay, Me! Okay, it’s not a whole collection yet (baby steps), but it’s a start that I’m pretty excited about. I cannot wait till it arrives so I can make something with it. Which means you all have to wait to see it too, hehe!

I waited so long because of sticker-shock. Spoonflower is great, but it’s not cheap. The DIYer in me kept thinking I could do it myself. I am absolutely in love with fabric stamping and screen printing, but after a few days of printing and sewing, I realize that those media are a little limited for what I want, which is yardage. And Color. Lots of it. So I bit the bullet and ordered the durn yard of fabric and got on with it.

Here is a long bolster pillow I made using my hand-printed fabric… I just love it, but the printing took the better part of my day, while the sewing took me less than an hour.

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I am looking forward to listing something I made with my own design.  I do still plan on hand printing some items, but for the most part I will leave the printing to Spoonflower.

Speaking of the shop, I have been cranking out some new earrings. Apparently I won’t be able to leave them behind as I thought. It seems they are quite popular.  Everywhere I go people ask for the earrings. I have shops who want to sell them, so like they say, ‘give the people what they want!’ So here’s a shot of what my work table looks like currently…

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Here are some more pillows I made for my living room. Isn’t the one in the forefront just gorgeous?! The fabric is is a lovely Batik with gold embroidery. Yes, I think they are both gorgeous, but I’m partial to shiny things…The fabric in the background was one I fell in love with while thrifting.

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Let me just say, I am just simply in love with India. I love all things Indian. The people, the food, and the décor, oh my! Attending an authentic Indian wedding is on my bucket list.  I recently discovered a lovely blog about Indian Interior Décor. I have been inhaling everything on this site, taking in the visual feast that it is. Needless to say, it is really informing a lot of my design direction. In the future I see my work melding my African background with other ethnic influences to create a very rich look.  So excited!