Shiva Paintstiks are a non-toxic, permanent, oil paint and wax crayon. They are fun and easy to use and offer you another option of personalizing your fabric creations. The Paintstiks come in 2 sizes, mini and large size, for your convenience. The minis are great if you aren’t sure how much you will be using them, or if you want to try out some new colors. Of course, the large ones will last much longer and are better for larger projects. Since they are self-sealing, they won’t dry out.
2 different sizes of Shiva Paintstiks
Paintstiks can be used in a variety of ways, however this tutorial is about using stencils on your fabric. Sometimes you need a bit of personal touch or just a little more layering or detailing for a project, and Paintstiks allow you to do just that.
First, select your fabric and be sure it is prewashed to remove and sizing, and then tape it down on your work table. This helps keep your fabric taut to make it easier to paint on it. I have chosen a dark blue batik fabric.
Fabric taped to the table
Next select your stencil that you want to use and the Shiva Paintstik colors that you like. You can use a ready-made stencil or create your own. And get your brushes ready. You need to use a very stiff short bristle brush, and it is best if you have a different brush for each color, or you will need to be cleaning the brushes in between colors. Since this is an oil paint, the colors will blend together nicely if that is what you want, but they will also blend if you accidentally grab the wrong brush or color. You do need to wear paint clothes or an apron to keep the paint off you. And keep some baby wipes handy to wipe off your fingers and the ends of the Paintstiks to keep the paint from showing up where you don’t want it to.
Tape the stencil down to the fabric
Go ahead and tape your stencil down to your fabric to hold in place. You can also use an adhesive spray to hold it in place. This helps keep your edges sharper.
Since the Paintstiks are self-sealing, you will need to remove a thin layer in order to expose the paint underneath. Use a utility knife or something sharp to scrape the paint skin off.
Scraping the skin off
Be careful when scraping the paint, to put it on some scrap paper or paper towel so it doesn’t end up on your floor or your clothes.
Next you need to take your stencil brush and rub it into the end of the Paintstik to get the paint on the brush. You can also rub some of the Painstik onto a pallette and then dip your brush into that. Use whichever one is easiest for you. You can use the Painstik directly on the fabric, but putting the paint onto the brush gives you a bit more control.
Rub the brush into the end of the paintstik
Next take the brush and rub it onto the stencil using a circular motion. You can use more than one color to blend and give dimension and shadows to your work, or you can use a Shiva blending stick as well.
Painting onto the fabric
Work from top to bottom to avoid smearing the paint onto your hands. Change your brushes with your colors. Wipe your hands often. Use the baby wipes to also pick up those stray globs of paint that you get on the end of the Paintstik and on the brush.
Remember to add some other colors to give some dimension. You can also just paint part of the image heavier to add dimension.
- Adding extra color to the stencils
You can then move the stencil to add some more painted areas. Remember to be careful of touching the areas that are already painted. You may want to clean the stencil with a baby wipe before setting it down on your fabric again. While the Shiva Paintstiks look like crayons and act like crayons, they are really oil paint. The paint will transfer and smear if you aren’t careful.
I added some more flowers and leaves to my piece of fabric.
Now I have a new piece of fabric to use that will be unique to me.
Now comes the hard part. You have to wait. Set your piece of fabric aside. It will be dry to the touch within 24 hrs. However, you will need to wait longer than that before it is ready to use. If you are in a dry climate (like here in Colorado) you can probably heat-set it after 48 hrs of air drying. If you are somewhere more humid, you will need to wait 3-7 days before heat-setting it. If the paint is very thick, you will also need to allow extra drying time.
At that point, take the fabric to your ironing board. Be sure to place a teflon sheet or parchment paper both underneath the fabric and on top of the fabric to protect your iron and ironing board.
Ready to iron, with pressing sheet on the bottom
Heat-setting the paint
You will need to use a hot, dry iron to heat set. Apply your iron to each area of the painted fabric for 10-15 seconds. This will set the paint into your fabric. You can also place your fabric into the dryer on a high heat setting for 30 minutes.
Finished fabric piece
Once the paint has been heat-set, you can wash and dry it like any other fabric.
When I decide to get out my Shiva Painstiks and stencils, I go ahead and create a bunch of different fabric pieces for use in later projects. It is easier to get everything out and paint at once, and then have a whole stack of fun new fabric pieces for when I need them. I hope you try this out and have some fun with it.
You can find Shiva Paintstiks, brushes and stencils at Blue Twig Studio