Friday, November 12, 2010

Suzanne Brookfield: Tyvek Tutorial

Before I start I would like to thank Carol of the The Cubby Hole for allowing me to use this technique, as she introduced me to Tyvek at one of the amazing workshops at her shop.

Tyvek is a very strong material which can be obtained from arts and craft shops. Forensic scientist suits are made of this material (as are decorators). It does not tear and is water resistant. Tyvek can come in different forms but I am using a sheet of Tyvek paper. This can be fed through a printer if you wish and can be coloured with a different range of mediums ....PLEASE DO NOT USE any colouring media that give off fumes once the paper is heated; such as alcohol inks.

• Tyvek paper
• Colouring media such as acrylic paints, ink pads, spray inks etc etc
• Brushes
• Baking paper
• Iron / Heat gun
• Sewing machine (optional) and thread
• Pokey tool
• Wooden Skewer or kebab stick
• Glue stick
• Metallic paints (optional)


1. Cut up your piece of Tyvek into random shapes if you require (bear in mind there will be shrinkage). Paint as required (you could colour afterwards but I much prefer the not knowing how the Tyvek will turn out). Allow to dry – this should not take long. Different colouring media will affect the outcome once shrunk but just experiment because it’s fun to play.

2. Once I am happy with the colouring of my Tyvek (you can apply lots of colour without fear of it ripping – so you can go bonkers with your colour) I now stitch randomly with a sewing machine, varying the stitch etc. I have not tried stitching by hand – but I cannot see a problem.

3. Once happy with the Tyvek material between two sheets of the baking paper and apply your iron. Move the iron over the whole surface without pressing too hard. The Tyvek will bubble and rise – you will be able to see the effect. More pressure, more heat etc will change the effect it is just a case of playing to see what you like. It is very random and no matter how hard you try you will not be able to repeat the same effect again.....

You now have a piece to use as a background or you could pass through your die cutting machine to make wonderful shapes. Beads and fibres can be added as desired.

Tyvek Beads

1. Colour as above, cut your Tyvek paper into long triangles.
2. Take your wooden skewer and using the longer edge of your triangle wrap around the skewer, adhering with glue stick. Start rolling until you get the effect you require (a bit like a butterfly chrysalis). Stick down the point with more glue stick.
3. Holding the skewer at one end use your heat gun to heat the “bead”. This will seal the bead and give a marvellous effect (again each one will be different according to how much heat you apply).
4. Once happy remove from the skewer and voila you have your bead which can be used as a charm .....however you like

5. Whoops could always burnish with metallic paint or other buff paint.......
Hope you have enjoyed my tutorial.
Suzanne xxx


  1. Fantastic tutorial Suzanne. Superb.

  2. amazing tutorial, when I get a chance I think I will defo give this a go, will have to bookmark this post. thank you x

  3. What a cool effect this material has! Gives that worn tattered look! Love the beads too! Thanks for sharing, I'm sure lots will give this a try!!

  4. Great tutorial,it's a lovely material to work with, although I prefer to colour and heat the tyvek before sewing or adhering to paper or fabric.

  5. Fabulous tutorial, Suzanne, and I love your gorgeous card! This looks like fun - I'll have to try to get some Tyvek and play!

  6. Thanks for a great tutorial, your card is awesome! ~Diane

  7. Well, this is wild, never would have thought of this in a million years. Thanks for a great tutorial!

  8. many many thanks for this tutorial !!

  9. What fab stuff, thanks for sharing this

  10. Very cool! I am currently having new siding put on my house and they are using Tyvek as the barrier. I am so gonna go get some of the scraps and try this! Thanks for the great instructions!


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