Sunday, November 17, 2013

Painting Silk Scarves with Magic Markers

It all started when the Director of the Southwest Virginia Museum in Big Stone Gap and I went to a week of art classes at William Holland. We talked and dreamed and talked about incorporating art classes and an art gallery into the Museum. Over a year later, there is an art gallery with juried artisans' art for sale in the Museum. There is also a monthly art/craft class the third Monday of each month from March to December. Aside from my class on tea tasting, I volunteered to do one on silk scarves. I had painted silk scarves several years before using wonderful silk dyes and then used Shiva paint sticks which are oil based. Both were very nice and both some what expensive for a workshop where all expenses are to be provided at a reasonable cost. Being a teacher, well, retired but do teachers ever retire? I did research. I discovered how to paint silk scarves with magic markers.

 All of these markers work just fine. They are Sharpie poster paint and permanent markers. The ultra fine tip make fantastic outlines. The red glitter pen is a Martha Stewart glitter pen. If you want some glitter, this is the marker to use and the colors are great! The Bic mark it pens really bleed, really quickly.
 Besides the magic markers, you will need Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol. I bought the 70% percent bottle. Spray bottles to mix the alcohol and water.
 The instructions and all sorts of other ideas for creating with magic markers are in this book by Sherill Kahn. I collect books and discovered years ago, her books are treasures. They are very helpful and easy to understand. Doing the research, I saw this book mentioned a lot. I ordered it. It is worth every dollar I paid for it. If you are considering using magic markers on silk scarves, this is really one book to purchase. It is thin and some folks refer to it as a booklet, but it is a reference book to me.
 Here are the results of my scarves. The leaves are stencils. I used all Sharpies on this scarf. It has been washed and heat set. This was my fourth scarf.
 The first scarf I began with everything except the kitchen sink or so it is said. I made circles over the top of blue sharpie and then used an ultra fine tip to outline. The stars I outlined and then used a sharpie. The alcohol really spread around the marker.
 This is my fourth scarf. I used small scarves from Dharma Trading Company for all the scarves. The lavender I drew with the utrafine tip sharpie over permanent purple sharpie with lots of alcohol spray. The birds were a stencil. I added some details with the fine tip sharpie.Some colors bleed more than others I have learned.
 My second scarf is my representation of the mountains at twilight using limited sharpie colors.
The class at the Museum was just fine. We had a lot of fun and everyone made two small scarves. This Thursday, I will be teaching the class again for the City of Norton Parks and Recreation. There will be a small scarf to practice on and a six foot long scarf to create with. The cost is $15 including both scarves and all your materials. If you live nearby, you can call 276-679-0754 to preregister for the class. It is limited to 12 persons. I do hope you try creating with magic markers in all sorts ways on cloth, paper, or wood. ~


  1. If I did not have a full schedule at work that day, I would be there in a heartbeat.

  2. This is lovely, Carol - you make everything look like SUCH fun and SOOOOO easy! I LOVE the baby bluebird stencil ... that's one of the cutest things I've ever seen! x

  3. Wonderful art! Inspiring! I am planning to do this with my teen aged niece and some of her friends. Could you advise me? Your 4th scraf with the ultrafine detailing: did you add the ultrafine details after the lavendar background had dried? Thanks!

  4. Thank you very much for keep this information.
    Silk Scarves UK