Oil Stick Rubbing: Instant Gratification Glam

I know paint sticks are old news. But I really didn’t get it the first time around. Did I buy them? YES! did I know how to use them? Not so much. Was I disappointed? I was devastated.

The premise is that you take oil paint sticks and rub them on fabric with a design rubbing plate. Simple. Not so much. Everything slid all over the place and I made a special mess. Like many things, it went under the heading of “Well, I tried.”

It was several years later when I walked into a booth full of oil paint sticks and I told the lady I had failed. She said the words I longed to hear. “You’re doing it wrong.”

There is nothing as lovely, if not also annoying as knowing there’s a better way to do something that will make it work for you.

I love oil paint sticks, particularly the metallic ones. Glowing lovely color on hand dyed fabric with texture, what’s not to like. These Shiva Oil Paint Sticks are from Amazon.

The rubbing plates come from a lot of sources. My favorites are from the Cedar Creek. They have numerous kinds and sizes. Again you can find them at Amazon.

Here’s the secret hand shake. You have to keep the plates from moving around on you. There are two tools to do that.

The Grip-n-Grip Mat: Use this 14 x 11 inch rubber mat to hold the rubbing plate on so it wont wander under your fabric while you are rubbing.

Use 505 Spray on the rubbing plate itself so the fabric doesn’t move on you.

Basic Tips:

Peel the oil paint stick to get to fresh wet paint with a potato peeler. The surface of the stick will dry after your’re done and protect the paint stick.

Secure the rubbing plate on the grip mat and spray the rubbing plate with the 505 spray. Place the fabric on top. The fabric can be removed but it won’t slide around.

Gently rub the oil stick over the surface of the fabric. Feel free to mix colors.

Let the fabric air dry for at least 24 hours. When it’s dry to the touch, you can iron it with a paper towel as a pressing cloth to set the color.

You can clean up with Goop, the cream you find in the car care section for cleaning oil off hands.

Artifact: Wind over Water

These are done on hand dyed fabrics. They create something like a batik look, but with ultimate control. The metallic colors absolutely gleam.

I’ve discovered I can stitch into the oil paint stick rubbing with metallic thread for extra shine.

920 Artifacts: Dragonfly 4

Don’t be afraid to try something that didn’t work once for you! It may be there’s a secret handshake you just need to know.

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