Abstract Black and White Ink Blot Scarf Dyed with the Sun!

You know how sometimes, a project just comes together perfectly right from the get-go?  Inspiration strikes you immediately and you have a crystal clear vision of not only what you want to do, but also the supplies you’ll need as well as the actual process.

Then once you actually dive in, the crafting stars align and the gods shine down upon you and everything falls into place and works out PERFECTLY, leaving you beaming with pride while saying “OMG, *I* am amazing and so is this masterpiece that I just created?!?” and you want to show it off to anyone and everyone….

Yeah….this was NOT one of those projects.  Well, sort of not.  My inspiration and supplies came to me quickly, but I over-thought the process (over-thinking = typical me) so the execution didn’t work out like I had envisioned.  BUT, that being said, I still think my final scarf is pretty darn cool.  Not completely what I had intended, but I’m still digging it and will wear it with pride!

Here I’ll share with you not only what I used and did, but also some tips for improving the project in case you’d like to try this idea out yourself….and it’s also SCARF WEEK!!  Yep….keep reading to find 12 other awesome dyed, painted, and stamped scarf ideas!

Abstract Black and White Ink Blot Scarf Dyed with the SUN! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Abstract Black and White Ink Blot Scarf Dyed with the Sun!

Supplies

  • White cotton scarf
  • Black Inkodye & Inkowash (or regular laundry detergent)
  • Sunlight (seriously!)
  • Two chairs & several chip clips (I’m crazy, so don’t use these)
  • Cardboard to keep the grass green

 

Ink Blots

Maybe it’s because I have one Bachelor’s and two (yes, two) Master’s degrees in Psychology, but I’ve always been fond of Rorschach ink blots.  The high contrast, the glorious symmetry, and the open-for-interpration meanings are always things I’ve really digged about them, and I thought it would be fun to try and create my own for this project.

Now you’re probably reading this post’s title and thinking to yourself “Ummmm, Christine….isn’t *abstract ink blot* a little redundant??”  I know, I know.  Ink blots are by nature abstract.  The final results of my scarf experiment ended up being really abstract….but more on this in a bit.

Just for fun, take a look at the following ink blot….what do you see?:

 

I see a couple flying pigs standing on the Liberty Bell (hey, I am back home near Cincinnati over Fourth of July weekend), while my husband sees an angry elephant.  Definitely open to interpretation, huh.  Here’s our actual texting conversation about this:

Abstract Black and White Ink Blot Scarf Dyed with the SUN! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

The Scarf

I bought a basic light-weight scarf that’s 100% cotton (you need to use natural fabrics with Inkodye).  I wanted something that would be thin and light-weight since I like to wear scarves in all seasons.

Abstract Black and White Ink Blot Scarf Dyed with the SUN! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

This is where my over-thinking started.  I wanted the scarf to have mirrored images both vertically and horizontally, so I first laid the scarf out flat….

Abstract Black and White Ink Blot Scarf Dyed with the SUN! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

….then folded it in half one way….

Abstract Black and White Ink Blot Scarf Dyed with the SUN! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

….then in half again the other way.

Abstract Black and White Ink Blot Scarf Dyed with the SUN! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

The Inkodye

I didn’t want to use regular fabric paint because this is a very thin scarf, so I went with some cool dye that I’ve used before with great success: black Lumi Inkodye!  I used this previously when I made a Game of Thrones Night’s Watch t-shirt for my son, and it’s pretty darn cool.  You can check out that tutorial for all the details on just what it is and how it works.

A great thing about this dye is that it changes the actual color of the fabric instead of just getting applied to the surface like regular fabric paint.  This means the scarf will still maintain its lightness and breathability….definitely a necessity here in Alabama.

It comes as a pretty thick liquid, so I thinned it out with quite a bit of water (it’s also a nice way to stretch a bottle since the final color result is still the same, even being diluted).

Abstract Black and White Ink Blot Scarf Dyed with the SUN! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Creating the (Sort of) Ink Blots

So here’s my set-up for the Inkodye application…..oh so professional, no?  My reasoning behind using chip clips to attach the folded scarf to the backs of two spare chairs was this:

I would pour the Inkodye directly out of the bottle and onto the scarf, *assuming* that it would quickly be absorbed into the thin cotton and all the layers would have the same ink pattern.  Therefore, when the scarf is unfolded, it will have the perfectly mirrored ink blots….

Abstract Black and White Ink Blot Scarf Dyed with the SUN! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

….but, that’s what I get for assuming.  Even with the Inkodye being very diluted and thin, it did not absorb quickly into the cotton.  Instead, it pooled on top and rolled down and along wherever gravity took it, like raindrops on a windshield.

This resulted in thin streaks instead of thick blots….boo.  It also meant that all the folded layers didn’t receive the same amount of dye, so half of the scarf is a little more dyed than the other….double boo.

Abstract Black and White Ink Blot Scarf Dyed with the SUN! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

The Inkodye starts as a light tan color, then gradually changes to a red/burgundy, until finally ending up as true black once it is fully activated by the sun.  The pseudo-bloody murder scene image you see below was snapped mid-way through activation (so don’t worry, no human or animal sacrifices were made during the making of this scarf).

Abstract Black and White Ink Blot Scarf Dyed with the SUN! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Once all the Inkodye had been poured on, I unfolded the scarf (and started crying internally that my ink blots weren’t looking very ink blotty), then let it sit in the sunlight for about twenty minutes until the dye turned black.

Then I brought the scarf inside and ran it through a couple hot wash cycles with some Inkowash.

Abstract Black and White Ink Blot Scarf Dyed with the SUN! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

The Final Abstract Black and White Ink Blot Scarf Dyed with the Sun!

And here it is!  While it’s not the ink blot masterpiece I was originally going for, I still really like it.  It’s definitely abstract and unique, and most importantly, cool, hip, and different, which is ultimately what I was going for….so all’s well that ends well!

It’s got a lot of different things going on:

  • A tiny bit of ink blotness;
  • A little zebra stripe vibe;
  • A graffiti feel;
  • And my husband says it looks like urban camo (you can take the man out of the Army, but you can’t take the Army out of the man….).

Either way, it’s much better than the plain white original, and I love that it’s 100% unique.

Abstract Black and White Ink Blot Scarf Dyed with the SUN! | Where The Smiles Have Been

Abstract Black and White Ink Blot Scarf Dyed with the SUN! | Where The Smiles Have Been

Abstract Black and White Ink Blot Scarf Dyed with the SUN! | Where The Smiles Have Been

Abstract Black and White Ink Blot Scarf Dyed with the SUN! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Here’s what the scarf looks like all spread out.  One side is more ink blotty than the other, which is kinda cool.  If I want to wear it so more white or black is visible, all I have to do is change the way I fold/bunch it up…..you gotta love adaptable accessories!

And forgive these, uhhhh….crazy angles.  My husband served as my photographer and we had our photoshoot one evening, then quickly followed it up with dinner and bath time for the little man.  When I was reviewing the pics later, I said to my husband “What’s up with these??  Why are they all wonky??”  He replied with “I was being *ARTISTIC*.  And you’re welcome.”  Wow, thanks hon….as we say here in the South, “Bless his heart.”

Abstract Black and White Ink Blot Scarf Dyed with the SUN! | Where The Smiles Have Been

Abstract Black and White Ink Blot Scarf Dyed with the SUN! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

And just because my husband has a hard time taking anything seriously–something that I find both simultaneously endearing and irritating about him–here’s a series of outtakes from our photoshoot.  He kept saying “Show me sexy!!” while taking rapid-fire frames, so I gave it my best over-the-top-model-in-a-convertible-effort….and then immediately cracked up at how ridiculous I knew I looked. :)

Abstract Black and White Ink Blot Scarf Dyed with the SUN! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Tips for Making Your Own Ink Blot Inkodye Scarf

If you’d like to give a similar project a try for yourself, here are some tips so you hopefully have more luck than I did:

  • Experiment first.  I would have but I’m impatient, and more importantly, I was working in a very tight crafting window, a.k.a. my son’s nap time.  I therefore didn’t have a second to spare!
  • Only fold your scarf in half once instead of twice.  That way you have fewer layers the dye will have to be absorbed into.
  • Lay the scarf out nice and flat (ideally on a screen or mesh of some sort), instead of stretching and clipping it like I did.
    • The reason I did not do this is more over-thinking: I don’t have a large screen or mesh, and if I laid it on some cardboard on the ground, I was concerned the dye would absorb quickly and pool, resulting in the bottom layer being fully dyed and the others remaining blotty.  But now I think it actually would have worked ok.
  • Put down cardboard so you don’t stain your grass, and also wear long pants and old work shoes…..my shorts and flip flops combined with the ink splattering off the cardboard resulted in black freckles all over my legs and feet.  Yes, very attractive.
  • It would probably work better if you dabbed the ink on with a sponge or brush instead of pouring it on.  I’ll have to try this method sometime…..because now I’m on a mission for some true ink blot amazingness!!

 

Scarf Week 2015!

If you thought Shark Week on TVland was the big event for this week, you thought wrong!  Nope, the blogosphere is where it’s at because lots of us crafty folks are taking part in the second annual SCARF WEEK!  Yes, we’re so very clever like that. ;)

Every day this week has a different theme related to all things scarfy…..I had hoped to take part in a few of the events, but alas, a traveling husband and energetic toddler didn’t allow for it, so today’s event is all you’ll be seeing from me.  Nuts!

The dyed, painted, and stamped scarf fun has only just begun though!  Be sure to chomp those shark scarf teeth into each of these inspirational D.I.Y. projects that are hitting the blog-o-sphere today!

{You can click on the images that tickle your fancy, or you’ll also find links below!}

13 Dyed, Painted, & Stamped Scarves |  Where The Smiles Have Been

From Drab to Fab: Stenciled Scarf Makeover by Creative Savings Flower Embellished Ice-Dyed T-Shirt Infinity Scarf by Architecture of a Mom Tie Dyed Scarf {tutorial} by Ginger Snap Crafts DIY Pink And Gold Elephant Scarf by Practically Functional How To Create A Brush Stroke Scarf by The Small Stuff Counts Abstract Ink Blot Black and White Scarf Dyed with the Sun by Where the Smiles Have Been Creating a Butterfly Infinity Scarf by Crafty Bonds Rorschach Inspired Art with Yarn by It Was Weekend D.I.Y. Galaxy Print Infinity Scarf by The Thinking Closet Graffiti Bicycle Scarf by Tried & True DIY Gold Polka Dots Scarf by The Crafting Nook DIY Linen Scarf by H2O Bungalow Image Map

1. Tie Dye Infinity Scarf Using Super Soaker Water Gun by The Southern Couture

2. From Drab to Fab: Stenciled Scarf Makeover by Creative Savings

3. Flower Embellished Ice-Dyed T-Shirt Infinity Scarf by Architecture of a Mom

4. Tie Dyed Scarf {tutorial} by Ginger Snap Crafts

5. DIY Pink And Gold Elephant Scarf by Practically Functional

6. How To Create A Brush Stroke Scarf by The Small Stuff Counts

7. Abstract Ink Blot Black and White Scarf Dyed with the Sun by Where The Smiles Have Been

8. Creating a Butterfly Infinity Scarf by Crafty Bonds

9. Rorschach Inspired Art with Yarn by It Was Weekend

10. D.I.Y. Galaxy Print Infinity Scarf by The Thinking Closet

11. Graffiti Bicycle Scarf by Tried & True

12. DIY Gold Polka Dots Scarf by The Crafting Nook

13. DIY Linen Scarf by H2O Bungalow

 

Coming Soon….

Here’s a glimpse at what’s coming up later this week!
Scarf Week 2015! | Where The Smiles Have Been

To access all five days of Scarf Week, visit our co-coordinators, Lauren from The Thinking Closet and Vanessa from Tried & True.  They’ll be updating their posts with the clickable collages as they go live this week.  And you can also follow along with our hashtag, #ScarfWeek2015!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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About Christine

I'm Christine, a SAHM to a spunky blonde, blue-eyed two-year-old boy and married to the best guy you'll ever meet. We live our lives in the Deep South, and I spend my son's nap times getting my craft on. I blog at Where The Smiles Have Been about my adventures in craftiness, DIY decor, Silhouette projects, and life as a new mommy.

Comments

  1. Love the scarf! Perhaps if the entire scarf was evenly dampened with water before applying the dye, the folded method would work. There would be less resistance and the dye might sink through the fabric rather flow on top.

  2. What a creative idea! Your scarf is beautiful, great job! Thanks for joining the Link-It To Me Link Party, I hope you will join us again this week! Pinning :)

  3. I think it turned out great! I have never tried inkodye, but now I might need to give a shot!

  4. This is so cute!! Love the final product – thanks for sharing! :)

  5. Hi, Christine ~ I love your scarf! It turned out beautifully. You {and this post} are hilarious!! It’s a quiet morning around our house {Hubs took the kids so that I could have some quality work time}, and I’m sitting here reading your post and laughing. Out loud. Loudly. For all of the neighbors to hear. :0) That text conversation between you and your husband is Classic with a capitol “C.” I also love that you’re doing “Scarf Week.” How fun and creative! I’ve all ready ordered my scarf on Amazon and can’t wait to get to experimenting. Off to check out the other scarves of “Scarf Week.” Thanks for laugh and the inspiration! Have an amazing day!

  6. Very clever!! Your scarf is really lovely. You will get a lot of use out of it this winter, I’m sure. I love the Scarf Week theme! Come over and share at the Summer Family fun party!

    • Thanks so much, Shirley! I can’t wait for it to cool off a bit so I can finally wear this scarf out! And I’ll definitely be headed your way to check out your summer linky party! :)

  7. Oh, I love it!!
    And props for also using Rorschach as inspiration, your version is also very awesome! #greatminds
    :)

    And thanks for showing working with the Inkoodye, I actually have a bottle of that at home but never used it so far… now I’m highly excited to try it!! And if only to create a bloody murder scene, haha!

    Love, Elena

    • Yes, great minds indeed, Elena! I can’t wait to go check out your scarf too! Inkodye can be a little temperamental if you try and get too precise with it, but it is pretty fun. I hope you enjoy experimenting with it! :)

  8. Such a cool idea. The first picture (after the majority of the tutorial) looks like a guy dancing at the bottom… So ink blot success! (And I agree with your husbands assessment of the angry elephant!)

    • Looks the angry elephant is quite popular here, haha. ;) And I see that dancing guy too now that you pointed it out!! Thanks for stopping by, Mackenzie!

  9. I had a project like that the other day. It’s still a work in progress but it just might be better. Your scarf turned out great. I wear a lot of scarves in the fall and winter. Those pictures made me laugh.

  10. Ooh, I am obsessing over your scarf! I love the black and white, and the ink splotches are so cool. Your photos are so fun – good job to your husband! If he’s anything like mine, he was probably rolling his eyes at having to take pictures of me for yet another blog post :) Thanks for joining Scarf Week!

  11. I love how your scarf turned out! I laughed so hard at your husband being “artistic” because it is something my husband would say.

  12. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve held a bottle of that dye in my hands and then put it back on the shelf. You’ve totally convinced me to check out with it next time, I love this scarf so much! Thanks for joining Scarf Week 2015! PS: That part about your husband taking artistic shots. Hilarious! They came out pretty good too!

    • Thanks, Vanessa! My husband will be happy to hear he’s received compliments on his artistic shots! ;) And yes, the inkodye is pretty cool….you should totally check it out! Thanks again for hosting Scarf Week!

  13. I love your scarf and how it came out! It’s perfect for so many outfits and your glamor video is hilarious! Fun to be touring with you on Scarf Week!

    • Thanks so much, Wendi! I debated on whether or not to actually put that little animation in, but figured, what the heck! It’s ridiculous like me. :) Glad to be a part of Scarf Week with you!

  14. Ahhhh! So many amazing things in this post.

    a) I love that you share so honestly about the snafus you ran into. That’s life! I had a few of my own with my scarf project for today. But yours really turned out so beautifully. I’m glad you went ahead and shared it!

    b) Your text convo with your hubby was hilarious. Another fun tidbit I’m so glad you included.

    c) How crazy cool is it that we had two different Rorschach inspired scarves today!? What are the chances?

    d) Inkodye sounds amazing and perfect for Florida scarves (we need to breathe down here too!). Thank you for introducing it to me!

    e) the pseudo-bloody murder scene…bah ha ha.

    f) the model in convertible GIF made my life. You are seriously my spirit animal. Can we be friends?! ;-)

    Thanks so much for being a part of Scarf Week, Christine! You rock. Off to pin!

    • Wow Lauren, this is such an awesome comment….but then again you always leave those. ;) Thanks for all the kind words! And yes, we can totally be friends! :) Thanks again so much for hosting Scarf Week and letting me be a part of it!! I’m already thinking ahead to next year!

  15. You are adorable! Annnnd your scarf turned out great! :)

  16. Omg! I looked at the inkblot before I read and said “An angry elephant!!”…so funny :)
    Even though the scarf didn’t turn out exactly how you envisioned it, it still turned out so cute!! Love the GIF at the end, too. :) My BF always tries to be “creative” when he helps me, too ;)
    –Brittany

  17. Stephan says:

    The result is awesome! Love the rorschach look of it :)

    • Why thank you, Stephan! I’m glad it comes across a little bit….not exactly how I intended, but all’s well that ends well. :) Thanks for taking the time to stop by! :)

  18. I bought the Lumi kit and attempted to make some printed tanks this weekend….MISERABLE FAIL. The design on the shirt is non-existant, but the ink that splotched around the stencil is dark as can be. I now have two un-wearable tank tops that look like a pen exploded on them (around a 8.5″x8.5″ square). :p Oh well. Your scarf turned out great though! Maybe I need to give the abstract method a try next time.

    • Oh no, Jamie! That stinks! I’ve had a couple miserable fails with Inkodye too (that did not make the blog as a result). I’ve tried doing a couple prints using transparencies and they DO NOT WORK! I don’t know how those tutorials on Lumi’s site actually work, because even if I use three transparencies layered up and put a sheet of glass over top, it STILL results in the dye being activated. I’ve discovered that it works better for me with abstract designs and things that don’t require precise variation. Vinyl stencils work great though. Hope you have better luck next time with it! :)

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