Will Laundry tags, stop the invasion of the laundry snatchers? Probably not. Is there even such thing as laundry snatchers? I doubt it. The real reason for needing laundry tags, may surprise you. It isn't to stop them, if there were any.
Here's why you really need these.... Simply to mark your machine, while it is in
use. It's a way to say "Yes, these are my clothes, NOT yours!"
Hopefully, it will keep the important question out of a strangers mind
"Are these my underpants?" Believe it or not, this COULD and probably
Age: 10 and up
Time scale: 2 out of 5 (not including baking time)
Now the story, leading up to the creation of laundry tags!
While sitting in the laundromat at an R.V. Park, babysitting my laundry, a lady and her husband popped in. They weren't babysitting their clothes. They probably didn't believe in laundry snatchers, just yet! Suddenly, I hear the lady exclaim "someone took our clothes; they are gone!" Yes, the invasion of the laundry snatchers, has began.
Now, the super sleuths, began the hunt for their missing clothes. What did this hunt entail? Pawing through the dryer, I was using. It was annoying enough, but even more so, when they started knocking stuff out onto the floor. I had to bite my tongue to keep myself from shouting "Get your paws off my clothes!" Instead, I said "Those are my clothes." Ignoring me, they continued their search.
Finally, they found their clothes,
three machines away from mine. The laundry snatchers, magically put them back,
where they got them from. Imagine that! No, their clothes weren't stolen. No, I
didn't go shopping, in their dryer. No, I hadn't mixed my clothes, in the same
dryer as theirs.
There was no apology for their accusations. They gathered their clothes and scurried away, hopefully at least, slightly embarrassed. (I doubt it though).
How to Make laundry tags with polymer clay.....
Protect your work surface with either a ceramic tile, a silicone baking mat or a piece of wax paper. Remember, anything used on polymer clay, should not be used later as a surface for food. This should probably apply to the kitchen table, too! The clay leaves a residue that is hard to remove.
Condition a package of white clay.
Roll into a ball and then squish it down flat.
Draw out a t-shirt on a piece of white paper.
Cut around outer edge.
Use a roller or pasta machine to flatten it more. If you are using a pasta machine, use the thickest setting. You will need a piece measuring about 4 x 3 inches, when flattened. This should be about the thickness of a couple quarters, stacked together.
Place the T-shirt pattern, on the flattened clay.
Trace around the edge with an exacto knife,. Cut all the way through the clay.
Remove excess clay from edges.
Use a ball end tool to press a line into the clay, where the front neckline dips
Slice out half the clay thickness, in a half moon shape. This will make the neckline, have a front and a back.
The back sits farther in, than the front. This creates depth to the T-shirt. (Kids can skip this detail, to make it easier.)
Smooth all the edges of the t-shirt, using your finger to get rid of any lumps and bumps.
Use a needle tool to add tiny stitch lines, if you want.
When doing a crazy tie dye type pattern, the details, can get kind of lost.
All this fiddling around is not necessary, if you are in a hurry or don't enjoy getting too fussy.
If you really like adding details, you may want to go a step farther. If so, you can add texture by rubbing a piece of cotton material, on the clay and then pulling it off.
Write your name and "laundry" on the front of the shirt.
It's easier to get the letter placement correct, by first writing it out, on your original paper pattern.
Even if you don't use a pattern to draw out the t-shirt on the clay, it is still helpful to use a piece of paper for the lettering.
Place the pattern on and trace over top with the ball end tool, to transfer.
Remove the pattern and use the small ball end tool to make the lettering
a bit deeper.
Once you have this looking like a cute little, miniature t-shirt, it's time to pop it in the oven. Preheat the toaster oven first. Check out the instructions for the clay you are using. If you made this on a ceramic tile, it can be put in the oven, just like that. No prying, off the work surface is necessary!
I baked this at 275 F
for 40 minutes. (Slightly longer than the instructions called for.) I was
having toaster oven temperature issues. If it starts to smell strong while
baking, it might be getting over cooked. Be careful not to over bake. This is
the tricky part. Under baking makes it break easily. Over baking makes it
brittle, so it breaks easily. Ugh!
You will know it is cooked, just right (like goldilocks' third bowl of porridge) when it is still slightly flexible, after cooling. Having an agreeable toaster
oven, is the secret to getting the perfect bake job.
After baking the laundry tag, let it cool.
Fill in the lettering with a fine tipped, black permanent marker.
Now, you can go nuts with the color. One look at the coloring on my T-shirt and people will know, not to mess with my laundry.... or will they?
Glue a flat, round, heavy duty magnet to the back of the mini t-shirt using
To make crazy, bright, loud, tie dye, laundry tags, use bright colored permanent felt markers.
Start coloring on the back first, to practice.
Use a bright pink, fine tipped permanent marker.
Use the pink to color a line, around the neckline, at the shoulders, near end
of the sleeves and on the bottom of the tiny t-shirt.
Draw fine lines radiating out in a small circle, in three or four spots.
Switch to the blue marker and make lines, out more and only partially overlapping the pink.
Now use the green marker.
Fill in the remainder of the background areas with orange and yellow. The color shouldn't be too dark or the lettering won't stand out enough.
At this point, this shouts "look at me!" It's pretty loud.
I chose to soften the affect, quite a bit by blending the colors.
Tone this down by dabbing a q tip in a cap full of rubbing alcohol and rubbing the surface.
The harder you rub, the more felt, it will remove.
Let dry. (The rubbing alcohol evaporates quickly.)
Rub surface gently with a damp paper towel.
Cover with a coat of matte polymer clay sealer.
Now, you can mark your territory in a polite, but obvious way. Take that laundry tag and pop it on the machine. No more invasion of the laundry snatchers or their accusers.
Everyone will know, those aren't THEIR underpants!
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