Carol R. Eaton Designs

Carol R. Eaton Designs

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Whiffle Balls + Fabric Paint + Dye!


Do you remember playing with a bat and whiffle ball as a kid? It's a light weight plastic ball with holes in it. The original design was created by a Dad in Shelton, Ct - where I happen to live! I'm sure he had no idea the balls were also perfect for creating fun designs and textures on fabric! 

I began by randomly placing the whiffle balls in the damp cotton fabric 
and securing them with rubber bands.

For this piece I painted with dyes. Dyes can be applied with a brush just like fabric paint so why not go for it! The colors collect and mingle in the folds of the fabric creating those darker colors.  

This piece was painted with fabric paint and left to dry in the sun. Be sure the fabric is damp to encourage the paints to spread into all the folds. 

Here is a detail of a painted piece. You can see how the paint dries at intermittent times creating fun wiggly lines! 

As I recall the balls in this piece were spaced a little further apart than the ones in the first picture. This created more individual shapes.. give the technique a try and let me know how your whiffle ball piece comes out! 

21 comments:

  1. Wow this is stunning Carol!
    I'm not sure what a whiffleball is though - can you show a picture of one??

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    1. I'm not sure if you would find the exact ball in England but click on this link to see a photo! www.whiffle.com

      Have fun!

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  2. Very cool!! I'm assuming you kept the fabric wrapped around the whiffleball until it was dry? Growing up I remember our annual whiffle ball games on the beach at Cape Cod. A great game and everyone gets to feel like an athlete!

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    1. Love those whiffle ball games!

      Fabric Paint - keep the ball tied with the rubber band until the fabric is dried.

      Dye - leave the fabric/balls wrapped for the typical length of time (at least a few hours) before rinsing and washing.

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  3. Love these! Really beautiful Carol!

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  4. Oh I love this idea!!! I presume you did not thicken the dyes (?).

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    1. Awesome! I used regular dye and did not thicken.... which isn't to say that wouldn't be a cool idea!

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  5. Absolutely brilliant! I must try this.

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    1. Norma - give it a try - you'll be hooked!

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  6. OMG... fabulous! I wonder where I can get some whiffle balls.... will have to look! BTW, I have had some luck with pvc pipe couplings... poke the fabric thru the coupling, then squirt on the dyes and batch. I posted about this on my blog here: http://tiedyejudy.blogspot.com/2011/01/thinking-outside-box.html.

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    1. Judy - that sounds really cool - I'll give it a try!

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  7. Hi Carol - Found you via Roxane Lessa's blog hop! LOVE your whiffle ball results... gotta try this on a silk scarf! I don't think the patterns will be as pronounced as on cotton but should be interesting nevertheless :)

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    1. Thanks Deborah! I'd love to see the results from dyeing a scarf!

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    2. Hi Carole, love the effect that the whiffle balls makes. I had a go but the balls I could find in the UK have holes all over them rather than the one row of elongated apertures that I can see now that yours have so I got a different and not as nice effect. I have now found some with the elongated apertures but they are baseball sized whereas the ones I used already were golf ball sized. Can I ask what size are the whiffle balls that you used? Thanks.

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    3. Hi, I have used both golf ball sized and baseball sized. I like both results so it's purely a preference! Keep experimenting... even solid balls without holes looks good to me! The photo has the baseball sized balls.

      Can't wait to see your results... send them along!

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  8. This is so cool! I can't wait to try it. I ordered whiffle balls from Amazon. Good price, and if they don't work out, the grandkids will love them!
    http://www.amazon.com/DOZEN-Original-Wiffle-Brand-Baseballs/dp/B0047HFTR6/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1412874368&sr=8-1-fkmr1&keywords=Whiffle+balls+bulk

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    1. I can't wait to hear about your results!

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    2. I just posted about using Whiffle balls for snow dyeing. I linked to your post from last year. I'm loving this fabric!

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  9. I went straight out and bought the balls. Love the effect. thaks for sharng

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