So sometimes you have a project in mind and it turns into a horrible mess (or so you think). So you post it on instagram to celebrate life’s mistakes with the hashtag #squirrellyfails, only to learn that people didn’t think it was an accident and you DIY’d it like that on purpose. So glad I started sharing my DIY fails! Welcome to my beautiful mistake friends.
I planned for the gold foil to look crisp and clean – I didn’t think it would work as distressed gold. When Amber of Damask Love first said that’s what she thought it was I was all “nah nah it looks awful in person”. Then Alyssa of Frou Studio chimed in saying she thought the same, so I started thinking maybe it could work. When the mister saw it and confirmed that no, it doesn’t look like complete crap and yes, it looks like you intentionally distressed it, I realized that mistakes can often turn out to be a beautiful thing. Funny to think I started the #squirrellyfails hashtag as a way to “recognize that through our mistakes there is truth and learning”. Fitting!
Thank goodness for impatience. That’s how I messed up in the first place, and that’s why I know exactly how you can replicate this look. I made two goof ups which I explain in the steps below. Let’s make!
- Iron on foil adhesive and gold foil
- A plain onesie, shirt, or whatever garment you choose
- An iron
1 Stretch out the onesie a bit and measure the width where you want your design to go. I went for irregular scallops, but you could do stripes, triangles on a strip, hole punched circles, etc.
2 Cut your design out of the foil adhesive, leaving a straight edge along the top.
3 Iron on the adhesive as per instructions. When slightly cooled, stretch the material in all directions a few times. This will cause some of the adhesive to break, which will help add stretch when the garment is worn. It’s also the first part of distressing.
4 Adhere the gold foil as per the instructions. Except! Now we get to the beautiful mistakes. There’s two ways to do this. The first was done on the top row. You’re supposed to remove the foil only when it is completely cooled. Ignore that. Slowly peel off the foil when it is still warm (not hot). Sections of gold will come off the adhesive. On the bottom row, I ironed for a shorter amount of time with less pressure. However in my opinion, this one didn’t have as nice of an effect.
An important note: because the gold foil isn’t adhered as per manufacturer’s instructions, loose bits will flake off. It should settle after the first wash. Make sure to read the gold foil packaging for washing instructions too. Dryer is a big no no.