I'm getting ready to do a newborn baby shoot in a few weeks, and I want to be ready! I've been researching all the cute newborn shoots of photographers. Everyone has the same idea: beanbags, up close, capture those tiny fingers & toes, use fluffy blankets, scarfs, egg baskets, baskets of all shapes & sizes.... and the list goes on and on and on.
I've been dying to try out the cheesecloth look for newborns. Since I don't have a picture of my own yet to share, I can't share other people's images.
I searched high and low for tutorials for cheesecloth -- but couldn't find anything. Just some stuff on forums, so if there is anyone else out there like me who is searching for things about cheesecloth... here you go! This is what I learned!
I bought several packages of cheesecloth at Bed Bath & Beyond for $3.99. I had a $5 coupon off if I spent $15, so I bought 4 packages. I knew I wanted to dye at least two packages. One in hot pink, and another in denim blue. (you can also use four 20% off BB&B coupons for each package if you don't have a $5 off coupon!)
So, this morning I set out to dye with the hot pink. I've never dyed before, so this is ALL new to me! I only had one piece of cheesecloth to dye, which is approximately 36" x 36". I washed all four cheesecloths in the washer on my delicate cycle on cold water. This is where I made my first mistake. If you can, wash them individually. Or, put each piece in a lingerie/nylon bag. Three of my cheesecloths were intertwined with each other!!! What a headache!
(had to cut some of them on the edges b/c I couldn't unravel them), I added 2 cups of boiling hot water to a sand bucket along with the dye, 1 cup of salt, and 1 tbsp of laundry detergent. Stir. Make SURE you are wearing gloves!! I wore the disposable gloves... Then, I did mistake #2. I added my wet cheesecloth (you want to make sure it's wet first before you add it). Now, this wasn't the mistake... I just didn't read my directions further on down the box (thought the entire box was written in a different language) -- but I was supposed to add a gallon of hot water for each pound of fabric. Oops. By the time I caught my mistake, my cheesecloth had been sitting in the dye for 20 minutes or so. So I added more hot water, and let it sit for about 5 - 10 more minutes.
After I let it sit a little longer, I took it out and ran warm water through it until it the dye came out, and gradually added cold water.
Next, the directions instructed me to wash the fabric with mild detergent. Wash it in the washing machine? Wash it by hand? I had no clue. I'm one of those people who need step by step directions telling me EXACTLY where to go and what to do. I did remember seeing some ebay listings of people selling dyed cheesecloths telling people to wash by hand and line dry. So, I decided to wash by hand in my kitchen sink. Added some warm water, some dish detergent and washed it by hand for about 5 minutes. Then rinse with warm water -- then with cold.
Wring it out ... and I was amazed at the color! LOVE IT! I am letting it air dry -- but I already love the hot pink color, and can't wait to use it on the baby girls I'm shooting this year!
Hope this helps SOMEBODY! :)