Kanojo Blog Blog-Blog

13Jun/101

Kawaii gifts, n-th round: Bath-Towel

"A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have."

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy writes

Partly it has great practical value - you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta;  use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to- hand-combat;

Or so it goes on...

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost". What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

Now what am i trying to tell you by this? HELL, theres something that really ROCKS! You know what it is? Right, TOWELS!

And for that one and very reason we made one. A very epic one.

(also note, i know i've missed towel day :{)

As a friend of ours is a real sauna-freak and there are decent things named "sauna-towel" out there ... we thought we'd give modding on of those -- which are only super-sized towels by the way -- a try as a present for his birthday... This is what we've made

For cutting out the stencils from *thick*paperboard* you want a metal-ruler and a hobby knife / cutter / etc handy - make sure it's sharp, your hands and wrist will hurt less!

A pretty boring detail of what's going to get cut. You may notice the bit-special-null - it's so we don't need to align a negative of the inner part of the 0, and no, every font editing software was HELL for a non-typographer 😛

To see whether everything you cut is (somehow) correct you might to switch to the backside view of your stencil - corrections and fixes if you didn't cut deep enought are easier to happen here

Ouch! My wrist hurts! But hey, almost everything of the first line of the stencil is cut.

It's important to test everything in your setup is going to work before attacking the actual target of your work ... we've sprayed two test-lines on this old but long-serving towel...

Cutting is finished, now we're about to attach our stencils to the actual sauna-towel.

The testing failed, we weren't able to align the lines of the stencil correctly, so now we're taping them together to one large stencil...

This is what a aligned and taped line of the stencil looks like...

As you finished aliging the stencils fasten them to your towel and go somewhere you can spray - as we didn't know how bad the cloth-paint would smell we chose outdoors 😛

The next important thing - even if you spray really really close - is masking. just one little mistake and you've got overspray next to your stencil, you really wanna avoid that!

Now the preps are finished, stencil is aligned, fastened to the towel, masked all around... let's get to the spraying part!

It's - as always - handy to have some helpers around, in this case to press down the individual characters of the stencil to get a sharper and more crips outline... those gloves^Wmittens^Wgloves from the pharmacy (or other sources) are also really handy - less hand-washing action afterwards, better for your skin too....

By the way, this is the paint we used ;-0, it's sourced from boesner.com, a large arts-supply store in germany (and europe?). You wanna mix it with some distilled water so it will spray smoother with your brush. We used a .2mm nozzle-brush so we thinned it down quite a bit...

spraying finished. We were suprised how good the paint flowed through the brush... - be sure to let this dry a bit before removing the stencil or you risk ugly marks on the cloth...

The post-processing for this type of cloth paint is quite simple - but another (not so thick) cloth/towel over the sprayed region and take your iron and iron the whole think for a few minutes, that affixes the paint to the cloth and makes it washable.

After the first side of the towel was finished we decided to do a symmetric application on the other side too - which gave opportunity to shoot some details

... is fun by the way - more details.

and this is the finished product. Lovely^Wtowely, isn't it?

Notice the stain there ... we haven't got ourselves to wash it before giving it away, so they'll just stay on...

By the way - whoever is able to decode what's on there may win ... uuuhm .. as many washing-machines as that person can catch!

So, bottomline of this post: Spraying cloth with a nice stencil isn't that hard. Actually if you see plain white t-shirts selling on Ebay for 2 Euros you come to think of those text-only-nerd-tshirts ... and that it's quite simple and cheap to make them yourself for only a few bucks. If you're good with the airbrush -- or the cutter, in case of complex stencils -- you can do even more custom, more nerdy stuff.

You'll see first samples of that soon -- i hope.

Ookay, i think this was it for this "tutorial", i hope you enjoyed the idea, and i hope your friends will get decent towels soon too, cause, you know, what's more important in live than having your towel always with you? J/K

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  1. I know, what\’s standing on that towel. But before I tell you I need to find some guys who help me catch those washing machines. But I think I can\’t participate anyway. 😉

    I can remember the towel was laying on top of my laundry rack over night… so afair I might have washed those stains out with some ox-gall soap. 🙂


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