Introduction: DIY Tangram Sweater

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Tangrams. Once you graduated to middle school you thought you’d never look back, but now, with a little bit of Inkodye you can dust off those tangrams and make a fashion statement. There are over 6500 possible shape configurations!

You may have flashbacks about being last to pick a toy during 20 minute recess and getting stuck with Tangrams. Perhaps you remember breaking down because you were the only one in the class that just couldn’t arrange the shapes quickly enough into the duck formation shown on the overhead projector. Well, this time around it’s all different. Tangrams on your own terms, and the result is not frustration, but a totally epic fashion statement.

Show no mercy, if fourth graders can do it you can too.

If you don’t already have your own set of tangrams (what!?) then you can get a cheap set here.

Step 1: Prepare & Gather

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Dust off your old Tangram set, grab a sweater and your Inkodye. You’ll need a sponge brush, a piece of cardboard & a small mixing bowl. Blue painter's tape or masking tape may also be desired for clean edges (see step 3). Tip: place the sweater on a wooden board or movable flat surface that can easily be taken outside.

Step 2: Protect

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Insert a flat piece of cardboard or hard plastic in your sweater to prevent Inkodye from bleeding through to the back of your shirt.

Step 3: Tape

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For straight lines, use masking or blue painters tape and press down firmly so Inkodye doesn’t bleed under the tape. If you are more of a ‘color outside the lines’ kind of person, try it freehand!

Step 4: Pour

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Use just one color straight out of the bottle or experiment with your own Inkodye color concoction! Orange and blue can be mixed to create beautiful sepia tones!

Step 5: Mix

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If using multiple colors,stir together with your sponge brush until colors are blended nicely. 

Step 6: Apply

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Paint a nice, even coat of Inkodye on the desired area of your sweater.

Step 7: Coverage

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No need to over-saturate, but be sure you apply a coat of Inkodye to the entire space.

Step 8: Go Wild!

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Place your Tangrams in any configuration you choose. Tip: If you Google images of “Tangrams”, there are plenty of ideas and how-to’s for animals, airplanes, letters…the sky’s the limit!

Step 9: Expose.

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Take the board with your sweater out into the sun and watch the Inkodye color come to life!

Step 10: Rotate

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To ensure even sun exposure, rotate the wood surface a few times during development to avoid shadows and soft lines. Be careful not to move the Tangram pieces when rotating the board.

Step 11: Remove.

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After 10-12 minutes, take your sweater inside and remove Tangram blocks.

Step 12: Wash

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Use hot water and soap to wash off undeveloped Inkodye. It’s best to use a washing machine so the sweater is agitated during wash. For best results, use our special formulated Inkowash to remove all undeveloped dye.

Step 13: Wear!

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Enjoy your Tangram sweater and a spot o’ tea!


chaitanya.vedak (author)2013-10-24

Awesome Sauce.. .
looking at this.. I have another suggestion.
Use the Thin Plastic (or Cardboard for better results) Tangrams, and stick it with pins right thru the tee..
Then Spray paint.. ...
This too is a neat method, if you intend multiple colors. as the background..

What type of spray paint would you use?

Well... Fabric Paint (Slightly Diluted), and using a Regular Garden Spray Bottle, should do.. I also think Acrylic Colors hold fast onto Fabric..
Will have to try it out, to see the actual Results..

janborkowski (author)2013-10-25

Do you have to use a Tangram for this project? Couldn't you just cut out an stencil out of cardboard to block the sun? Would that work? Also, I like in a very cloudy area, in a crowded apartment. Can this be done indoors? With much less sun?

Ricardo Furioso (author)2013-10-24

Nice sweat. Bada$$ car.

aza3 (author)2013-10-24


Patrick S (author)2013-10-22

This is awesome! I usually just browse the tech area of 'ibles but this project made me double take. Great idea!

canida (author)2013-10-22

This is super-cute! I love tangrams.

About This Instructable




Bio: We're Lumi, a team based in LA making it easier than ever to order custom made goods. We believe getting things manufactured doesn't ... More »
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