Way-Easy Guide to Painting Textiles With Kindah Khalidy

With the craft skills of a kindergartner, you absolutely design your own fabric.

Kindah Khalidy hand-paints little cotton tanks and canvas pouches with knock-your-socks-off, abstract motifs, and, whether or not you have the vision to go all wearable work-of-art, you can definitely DIY your own fabric. Enter: stencils and a tutorial from a chick who knows just what she’s doing. —monica derevjanik

Materials:

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+ Fabric of choice (canvas or cotton do well)
+ Kindah’s stencil (download here!) or your own drawn shapes
+ Cardstock or a manila envelope
+ Stencil paint brush with a round and thick bristle 
+ Cup of water
+ Paint palette for mixing colors
+ Masking tape or blue painter’s tape
+ X-Acto knife
+ Pencil or pen
+ Cutting mat
+ Iron
+ Fabric paint, such as Deco Art SoSoft or Jacquard Lumiere. (Note: Some paints require that you prewash the fabric.)

Directions:

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Step 1: Start with a clean, ironed piece of fabric so you can work with an even surface. Choose your shapes. [Ed: Kindah provided some options—or, duh, you can draw your own!] Remember that you will be cutting out the positive space. Think about incorporating alternative shapes into your design. For example, you could have one main flower stencil and then then different leaf stencils to mix it up. You can also create multiple stencils to layer over each other. 

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Step 2: Cut out the drawn shapes with an X-Acto knife. Then cut around the shapes, leaving enough space around the cutouts so you can tape it down to the fabric and have some room to paint over without messing up the fabric. You can group small shapes together. Place your stencils onto fabric and tape the stencils down so that they don’t move during the painting process. 

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Step 3: Mix the colors in the palette. Dab a little bit onto the brush. Too much paint will leak over the stencil, so use sparingly and do a few tests to find the right amount. Press the stencil down around edges while you are painting to prevent paint from leaking out the edges. Paint over the edges of the stencil to make sure that you get the entire shape filled. Let the paint dry before lifting up the stencil. When dry, move the stencil around to create a repeat composition.

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Step 4: Layer stencils to create more intricate designs, or go in with a paintbrush for a more hand-done look. Most paints require that you heat-set the fabric after painting, so iron your fabric and then wash according to paint instructions.

Ready to see how Kindah works a paintbrush? Get her amazing (springy!) Of a Kind clutch now.

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Kindah Khalidy

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Kindah Khalidy’s secret to career happiness? Find a space where you love to work. As a kid, the Northern California native romped around outdoors, building intricate forts out of, well, nature itself. “I would spend all day stapling leaves together into a curtain or making elaborate pine needle rugs,” Kindah explains. “I was always more geared towards grand spaces than fantasy.” And when it came to her next step, she decided to enroll at the California College of the Arts solely based on the school’s airy textile studio—a space that made her feel anything but trapped inside. “My mom and I went to look at the class, and we both were like, ‘This looks like a really fun space to work in,’” she recalls. “I need that great natural light, especially when I’m painting.”

There, Kindah began creating one-off, hand-sewn garments composed of abstract shapes in unusual color pairings. “I think a lot of designers start creating because they’re trying to fill a void—they’re conjuring up something they’re not already seeing in the market,” says the designer, now living in Berkeley. “My designs are even a little bit out of my own comfort zone. My favorite reaction is when people scream and say ‘Whoa! What is that?’”—monica derevjanik

kindahkhalidy.com

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Kindah Khalidy’s Totally Sweet NorCal Candy Tour

Some sugary fixes that look as awesome as they taste.

If you’re searching for an excuse to make a candy run, just tell everyone you’re looking for some color inspiration—that’s what Kindah Khalidy does. And, boy, does she know where to get the good stuff. Check out her favorite local sweet spots—and the pieces in her hand-painted collection they inspired. —monica derevjanik

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Cottage of Sweets, Carmel
“Cottage of Sweets isn’t in the Bay Area, but it’s my #1. It’s literally the teeniest, wood-shingled cottage, and it’s packed with candies you thought were extinct. I always recommend the made-in-house fudge and the interestingly shaped gummy candies. Jawbreakers are beautiful with the mix of primary colors splattered all over—I’m really into the mix of color and negative space, and I had fun mixing the two on a clutch.”
(Ocean Ave. between Monte Verde and Lincoln; cottageofsweets.com)

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Powell’s Sweet Shoppe, Berkeley
“Powell’s has that Willy Wonka wonderland factor. It’s a large space fully stocked with lots of wicker baskets of hard-to-find classic candies. They even have most of my favorite Haribo gummies.”
(3206 College Ave., Berkeley; powellsss.com)

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Miette, Oakland
“Miette has four locations, and each is unique in its own way. I love this store because it displays its confections in such a way that one can appreciate them as art. Their macaroons are very good and are made without food coloring.”
(85 Webster St., Oakland; miette.com)

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Ici, Berkeley
“Ici is small and slightly feminine—and always has a line of customers running down the entire block. They have all these flavors of ice cream, sorbets, and ices…and then bonbons and other frozen treats. Their cones have a decent amount of chocolate inside, and you can get them in bouquet-like packages for takeout. I actually gifted one to my boyfriend once as a manly alternative to a bouquet of flowers.”
(2948 College Ave., Berkeley; ici-icecream.com)

Wanna satisfy a sweet tooth? Kindah’s Cotton Candy Clutch is absolutely your fix.

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