I found the above picture while surfing Pinterest a few weeks ago. I was keeping an eye out for creative projects to transform into art therapy ideas for an upcoming art therapy group I have with young adults that are developmentally disabled.
I saw this picture and the directions looked simple enough. Use permanent markers to create a design on a plain white pillow. Then spray with rubbing alcohol.
As always I like to test out these projects before doing them with anyone else. Here's what I found out.
1. You can draw on the pillow with the markers but the thicker the lines the better it will bleed and the cooler it will look. As shown below...at first I just drew a picture on the pillow but it didn't bleed that well. So I filled in the words "Enjoy Life" by making block letters and it bled much better.
2. Also the design works a little better if you fill in as much space as the pillow has versus leaving white space. You can see this on the back of the pillow design I made. I could keep filling in the white space and it may look even better.
3. I put rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and spritzed it all over the pillow. It took quite a bit of spraying and basically dousing the entire pillow for the bleeding of the ink to occur. I would almost try put rubbing alcohol in a pan and just dip the entire pillow ink side down in the pan and it might be easier. Of course this is less controllable as far as bleeding the ink goes. If you want to control the ink then the spray bottle may work better.
4. The good thing is that you can keep going over the pillow. So if you don't like it, what to add something or make the ink thicker in a spot, all you have to do is wait for the pillow to dry and then use the markers again and repeat the rubbing alcohol process.
5. Note...let one side dry before doing the other or else put plastic down. Otherwise you will end up with permanent marker stain where ever the wet side laid against. Yep...you guessed it...this happened to me. ;(
6. I thought the rubbing alcohol fumes but get bad but they really didn't. IF you are working with individuals/groups that are sensitive to smell and don't like getting their hands messy, I would suggest having them use disposable hypo-allergenic gloves a white breathable protective mask just in case.
All in all this was a fun project. However, I'm still kind of stumped at how they made the first image shown pillows. I haven't quite figured out how they made the pillows bleed and look that cool.