It has been a while since I spend time doing what I love to do the most – crafting! The idea of sewing a fabric baby gate came to my mind quite some time ago because I couldn’t find a solution to block the staircase without installing a semi-permanent structure that will block part of the walkway. This project will work for you if both sides of the walls have something to hook onto. And the best part is you can remove it any time you don’t need it.
I bought a set of fabric paint from Artfriend. There are two types of such paint – one for light coloured fabric and one for dark coloured fabric. I bought the latter since my fabric was a khaki colour. However, I find that the yellow and blue do not stand out well on the dark fabric if you use it alone; I had to mix it with white fabric paint to get a pastel colour which showed up better on dark fabric.
After I have sewn the fabric baby gate, I did an outline of my design using a light coloured chalk then a dark fabric marker. At this point in time, I should have iron it to fix the marked outline and washed off the chalk stains – which I didn’t. In the end, I spent a long time trying to get rid of the white chalk marks after my design is painted. It would be better if you are able to draw on the fabric free-hand without the guidance of the chalk.
It took me two nights to complete painting the little characters in my design. The colours showed up beautifully on the fabric.
After the design was completed, I ironed to fix the paint and then washed off the chalk stains. Ironing at high heat will render the fabric paint washable. The final effect resembled those of iron-on transfer on T shirts; so you could do the same to create your design on T shirt as well.
I had the option of using velcro or buttons for the ears of the gate. After much thought, I decided to use buttons – velcro can potentially trap more dirt and hair. But you could use velcro if you wish to make it slightly adjustable.
Like my other DIY project – sewing a simple square silk blouse, I used a serger to neaten the hem of the fabric. This is not compulsory but it makes the hem look much nicer.
I hope this project inspires you to start your own DIY project on fabric paint.
Disclaimer: This baby gate will not work once your baby starts to learn how to undo the buttons on the ears! But it is still useful if you want to keep your pet dogs away from the stairs.