Instructables
Picture of Sand pattern swimsuit
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A sandy swimsuits is usually not a good thing, but in this case it is!

Show your style at the beach with a sand pattern swimsuit, a swimsuit with a stenciled sticky application on the fabric that reveals a custom pattern after lying in the sand. The sand can then be washed away simply by swimming in water. When you're ready to show off your pattern again just lie in the sand. The best part is that the pattern can be anything you want!

The secret is a thin film of silicone caulking applied through a stencil. The silicone is elastic and can flex with the movement of a swimsuit, staying durable and firmly in place. This project explores the concept of applying flexible silicone to a swimsuit. The results were a success, but took some trial and error.

 
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Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies
  • 100% clear silicone caulking
  • card stock
  • hobby knife
  • Lycra swimsuit (or similar stretchy swimsuit fabric)
  • cardboard
  • binder clips

It's a good idea to wear protective gloves when applying the caulking, and to work in a well ventilated area.

Step 2: Make stencil

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sketch your pattern onto cardstock. You want to use thin cardstock so when you apply the caulking through the stencil you're left with a thin layer and not a goopy mess.

I recommend trying out your template on scrap fabric first, and to print out multiple copies of your stencil, as they are bound to get soiled while applying the caulking.

Here are some templates I made for my swimsuits, you can download and use them if you like.

Step 3: Cardboard form in swimsuit

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Before applying the stencil the swimsuit needs to be secured to a flat surface in order to make a clean stencil transfer. A section of cardboard was cut and slipped inside the swimsuit, and gently stretched flat and smooth.

The swimsuit was then held to the cardboard with binder clips.

Step 4: Clip stencil to swimsuit form

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Next, clip the stencil over the swimsuit, using more binder cips to hold it in place.

vzor613 months ago

methinks this might be the next big thing in kids swim wear. My sister did it on her kids swim suit and she just kept running from the sand to the water over and over the first time she wore it.

vzor613 months ago

methinks this might be the next big thing in kids swim wear. My sister did it on her kids swim suit and she just kept running from the sand to the water over and over the first time she wore it.

A good idea! Has anyone tried it?

Would the silicone not damage the swimsuit when removing it or discolour the fabric? Also silicone dries up quickly....i don't see how you could use it again after the swim.

You must not have ever accidentally got silicone sealant on a shirt. At least on a 100% polyester material, it does not come off, ever. I imagine the same would go for cotton or blends. I have washed this shirt about 30-50 times and the silicone is still there in the same exact smudge it was when I mistakenly touched it! The shirt is still in perfect condition except for the silicone mark.

Nate_Bro amplex4 months ago

Exactly.....

I have a smug going on 6 years now on 100% cotton, still the same as the day I, oops...

silicone doe not dry up. It cures and is permanently flexible. Also it does not come off. It bonds to the material. In fact removing will tear the material.

GintareC4 months ago

Looks like a fun project!! :)
You could try applying wax or dry soap on the stencil so the silicone doesn't stick to it. I use car wax whenever I need to make a silicone mold, but for home purposes, I bet soap should work just as good.

ptrobrn4 months ago

Just goes to show you sand will get everywhere!

Jobar0074 months ago

How did you ever come up with this idea? This is pretty cool!

Fikjast Scott4 months ago

I have never seen anything like this before. wonderful idea.

lindarose924 months ago

What a great idea! This is really cool!

spunk4 months ago

I like the bubble wrap design - I guess it makes one feel safe and protected in rough seas ;)

Jarem204 months ago

Nice Work!

Idea*
That's a awesome Ida
caitlinsdad4 months ago

Ok, good, the pic of the beach bum is not of you in a speedo...

The next step is to build up a thicker print so you make a giant press stamp out of your swimsuit to imprint the wet sand with something or roll wet against a wall to print a message.

JON-A-TRON4 months ago

It worked! Nicely done.

andydrumer124 months ago
Strange

I love this idea! It's cool to see it in action on the beach!