How To Paint A Silk Scarf


When my friend Linda showed me how to dye my own scarves last Friday, I had to take it a step further, and the next day I painted my first scarf.  I’m going to explain the process so you can try it too!  It takes some effort, but is well worth it.

Equipment used:

  • Blank Silk Scarf – 8mm Habotai 11″x 60″
  • Setasilk Silk Paints – These are very fluid and look more like inks or dyes, but are actually paints.
  • Paintbrush – Golden Taklon size 10 or 12 (anything you would use for watercolors as these paints act very much like watercolors)
  • Masking Tape
  • Silk Pins
  • Homemade Frame – 1/2″ PVC pipe cut to length and width of scarf, plus an extra 2″ border allowance.  My frame measured 15″ x 64″.  Don’t forget to get elbows for the corners!
  • Non-iodized Sea Salt (optional)
  • Small spray bottle of water
  • Silkpaint! brand water-soluble resist (clear)
  • Mild detergent (i.e. Woolite)

All specialty supplies purchased from

How to:

  • First put together your frame.  I put mine on a large easel in my studio so it would be easier to work with, and also wrote the length of each side on the pipe for future reference.  It is easy to store if you take it apart afterwards.
  • Tear off a strip of masking tape and fold over the tip of both ends so that you have a non-sticky area to work with.
  • Pin one end to the scarf, placing the tape beneath and pinning from the top.  Check to be sure your scarf is face-up (you can tell by the rolled edges).
  • Wrap the other end of the tape to the frame.
  • Continue until you have all sides taped to the frame.  It is important to put enough tape tabs on the scarf so that you can put tension into the scarf.  You don’t want to paint on a saggy surface.
  • Adjust the tension in each tab so that the entire scarf is taut. 
Blank Scarf Attached To The Frame

Blank Scarf Attached To The Frame – These frames can take up quite a bit of space. I’m glad I had an easel to rest mine on.

  • If you are going to use a resist this is a good time to apply it.  I added black dye to my clear resist so I could see where it had been applied on the silk.
Painted with resist.

Painted with resist.

  • Next I put some color inside the shapes protected by the resist.
    First application of color.

    First application of color.

  • Before painting the background I lay the frame horizontally so the colors wouldn’t drip down and off the silk. I then painted the background by first spraying it with a mist of water, then applying the paint with the paint brush.  At this time if you want to use the salt for adding beautiful textures to the color, sprinkle it on the damp paint.
  • Let it all dry.  It should do so pretty quickly.
  • Remove the pins from the  scarf and put in the dryer for about 5 minutes to set the paint.
  • Wash the scarf in a mild detergent (I used Woolite).  You can wash it by hand but I put it in a lingerie bag then washed it in the washing machine for a very short cycle.  (I used fabric softener too – not sure if you should, but I like it).
  • Once it finishes the spin cycle, or is just slightly damp if you hand-washed and hung it to dry, iron it dry using an iron on the ‘silk’ setting.

Voila!  You now have a beautiful, one-of-a-kind work of art to wear.  I’ve already received several compliments while wearing it (though I don’t always tell the person that I made it.) 

If you’re like me you’ll be looking for any opportunity to wear your luxurious new scarf!  Please send pics if you decide to try this – I’d love to see your creations!

When the resist washes out it leaves the original color behind.

When the resist washes out it leaves the original color behind.

There are so many cute ways to wear a scarf.  I bought a book called "How To Tie A Scarf - 33 Styles" to get some ideas.

There are so many cute ways to wear a scarf. I bought a book called “How To Tie A Scarf – 33 Styles” to get some ideas.

Close up where you can see resist and the effect of the sea salt.

Close up where you can see resist and the effect of the sea salt.


New York Was Incredible


I decided to take advantage of the fact I was going to be in NYC, and made an appointment with Patrick Cook/Director/Musical Theatre and Jazz, from BMI.  I met with him on Thursday, and was able to visit the World Trade Center Memorial at the same time, since their offices are located at 7 World Trade Center.  The meeting with Pat was productive – he was a real gentleman and helped me get to the subway station and on my way back to Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan where I was staying.  It was time for dinner at that point.


I managed to eat Asian food for every meal while I was there.  It was pure heaven, and I’m sure I didn’t even touch the tip of the culinary iceberg.  Tabata’s Ramen, located at  540 9th Avenue, was so good that I ate there twice.  The first time I ordered an award winning noodle dish that included tahini in the broth.  Yum!


I also ordered a side of skate that had been chipped into slivers and deep fried (another ‘Yum!’).  The only other place I’ve had skate is in England, and it was served as a large piece deep fried then placed in paper similar to newspaper, and came with a side of chips.


When I ate there again on Saturday I ordered garlic noodles.  Giant ‘YUM!’

Another dish I really liked was the panang curry I had at another place recommended by the lady behind the desk at Doubletree.  I ordered the duck, and it was simply amazing….the skin was still crispy, and it was a recognizable duck breast atop a bed of curried vegetables, with a side cone of rice.  And it was not expensive either.  I sure wish Chattanooga had some of these type eateries available.  The food was so fresh and expertly prepared.  At Tabata the cooks were on the other side of the bar making giant vats of broth, etc. for all to see.  Nothing to hide here folks.


When I travel I like to get practical souvenirs whenever possible.  In NYC I bought a couple of shirts, a nice purse (no brand, but really nice), and a couple of lovely hand-crafted mugs.


I also got a much needed shoe shine by this friendly man.


I took so many pictures of all the interesting sights, including photos in Central Park.  This trip was really a fun adventure, and I look forward to visiting again sometime in the future.

On the campus of Columbia University

On the campus of Columbia University

The Books Are In!


The Blanket Stories books arrived today.  Yeah!  I was pleased to see that they listed the name of the poets and artists on the back cover as well as having their poem/artwork inside.  Many ‘Thanks’ to Ruth Zamoyta and Richard Jochum for editing this wonderful Anthology.


A ‘Thank You’ to Dorothea Lasky for her beautiful interpretation of The Pied Piper mentioned in the introduction.  As an author it’s nice to see someone appreciate your work, and to make an educated analysis that also reveals how it spoke to them.

You may order a copy of Blanket Stories through by clicking here


2014-07-29 19.29.05


New York, New York! (Bum, bum, badadum…Bum, bum, badadum…)




I’m really looking forward to an upcoming trip to New York.  I was invited to read a poem I wrote called “The Pied Piper” that was chosen to be in an anthology called “Blanket Stories”.  The launch is Friday, June 6, 2014 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Macy Gallery, 4th Floor, Teachers College, Columbia University, 525 West 120th Street, New York, NY.  If you’re in the area, please drop by!


A friend and fellow poet, John Mannone, had a poem that made it to the finals, and his poem will be posted in the gallery as well at the June 6th launch.


If you would like to read “The Pied Piper” and other poems from the anthology, you can find them at  or

Another Mini Hymnal



I have made it a goal to publish a 2nd Edition of a self-published mini-hymnal, “Songs and Hymns for Him” sometime this fall.  A couple of days ago I received a hard deadline.  That is, I was asked if I could get a group of people together to sing some of my hymns at Barnes and Noble/Hamilton Place in Chattanooga, TN on September 27, 2014 at 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.   Of course I said “Yes!”


Now I get to tell all the people who are contributing hymns that we have a deadline if we’d like to sell our hymnals at that time.  The Second Edition will contain not only an updated collection of my hymns, but also hymns that have been written by others.  I’ve been happy to work with some talented gentlemen like Roy McKinney, Johnny Jackson, Fred Mathis, Robert Boyd, and others.


If you like hymns and want to hear some recently inspired traditional style hymns and choral style hymns, please stop by Barnes and Noble on 9/27/14 and pick up a copy.  In the meantime, some of these can be found at , available as mp3s, sheet music, and powerpoint files.  These are free to download and use.