I don’t know about you, but this time of year I’m sometimes desperate for a gift idea for relatives, or office mates, or even my daughter! It has to be something a bit different. Something sort of special that can’t be found just anywhere and something that shows I think enough of the recipient to put in some time on a gift for them. But (SHHHHH!) the less time spent on it, the better, right? You want it to look like a million bucks, but not take your entire day to do it. That is the secret of this project.


First off, this is not my technique but I think it’s pretty cool. So thought I’d share it with you. Just in case you need to do some last minute projects, too. If you want to get right to it, just skip down to the instructions below.

Otherwise, I thought you might enjoy a look at ‘scarf day’ at the New Orleans workshop a couple of weeks ago. We had a blast! Each person completed two or three scarves. It’s a rare class when people don’t want to break for lunch!

The first scarves you see below are BATIK.

We applied melted wax as a resist with tjap stamps, and anything else we could find…potato mashers, cookie cutters, etc. This is a lot of fun, but it takes more time, so we’re not going to talk about that today. Skip below to read about the ‘Marker Scarves’!

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Belle, wearing her marker scarf.

Belle, wearing her marker scarf.


Here’s What You Need:

SILK SCARF – order this today from Dharma Trading Company and you’ll have it next week, in time to complete for Christmas. They have several sizes. The one I’ve used here is: Habotai 8 mm, number H811 which is 11 x 60″. But they have many sizes and even an infinity scarf!

Here’s a direct link to their scarf page:

SHARPIE CHISEL MARKERS (8 Pack) OR OTHER ALCOHOL MARKERS – You can usually find these at Wal-Mart or Staples, but here’s a direct link if you want to just stay home and order them from Amazon.


BOTTLE OF ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL (over 75% strength is best). You can find this at any CVS, Walgreen or maybe grocery store, too.



  1. The markers will penetrate the scarf and go through the other side. So, why not double the scarf?
  2. Lay the folded scarf onto a board or a piece of freezer paper, just to be sure it doesn’t get onto anything if it seeps through the fabric.
  3. Draw onto the scarf with the Sharpies. DRAW SLOWLY so that you get a good layer of color into the fabric. In the photo you can see that I’ve drawn simple shapes: rectangles, squares and such. And I left a bit of white between them because they’re going to run a bit. FYI – This is so easy to do at night when you’re watching TV. Do the marker work, then spray the next day.TT1124-9   TT1124-10
  4. Turn the scarf over and check the backside to see if it has enough color. If not, darken it.
  5. Now for the best part. Lay the scarf out flat onto a piece of freezer paper or other paper. The color will run thru, so you can get some pretty cool papers underneath that can be used for collage, for example. (We collage artists save everything, don’t we)?Now SPRITZ the scarf WITH THE ALCOHOL. Get it wet. While it’s wet it will continue to run the color. So, if there’s a place you don’t want it to run as much, don’t spritz as much. It’s that simple. It dries quickly. I like to spritz out in the garage or outside because I don’t want to take a chance of breathing in the alchohol spray. Don’t breathe it!
  6. When the scarf has dried, press it very well with a hot iron. This heat is what sets the color. Then you should be able to carefully wash the scarf when it needs it.
  7. Here’s a photo of my first finished scarf. I like it!
Finished Scarf

Finished Scarf

I also want to treat you to a look at an absolutely fabulous scarf that was done by Luella from Australia. This is part of her scarf “in process”. Wow. Pretty nice piece.


So, relax and know you have a fall back for those last minute gifts. People will think you’re amazing creative! And YOU ARE!

Finally, if you want more information about this technique, check out a book by Suzanne McNeill called, “Creative Dyeing”.

That’s it for this week. Off to buy the turkey and maybe unpack! Wow, I have two months off before traveling again, and I’m going to enjoy every minute of it.


Thank you all for reading.
Kathie xo

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