Monday, September 21st, 2009
How to Paint a Placenta Blood Shirt
Step 1. Demand your nurses hand over your placenta, assuming they haven’t already eaten it. (Why do you think they became OB nurses?) If they’re nice, you’ll receive it in a handy plastic container.
Step 2. Refrigerate your placenta.
Step 3. Wait a couple weeks, realize the placenta may spoil, so stick the container in your freezer.
Step 4. Wait a few months.
Step 5. Buy some blank baby T-shirts, the less expensive the better. You may screw up, so don’t waste too much money. Forget K-Mart; it only has plain poor quality Hanes Onesies and cheezy shirts plastered with dumb decals. Target sells real shirts devoid of advertising.
Step 6. Wait a few more months.
Step 7. Thaw the placenta in the fridge for a day.
Step 8. Iron the shirts.
Step 9. Cut cereal boxes apart and insert a cardboard sheet into each shirt.
The idea is to stretch the shirt slightly so it doesn’t wrinkle up while painting and to separate the front and back layers so you don’t paint “through” the shirt.
Step 11. Get disappointed because blood isn’t nearly as dark as you thought it would be on cloth.
Step 12. Realize that the decorated side of the cardboard sheet (the outside of the box you see while eating breakfast) repels moisture. Watch as excess blood bleeds into the cloth totally ruining your artwork.
Step 13. Rinse all of your shirts in cold water to remove the blood. Wash the shirts in cold water. Start over at Step 8 tomorrow and skip all that months of waiting stuff.
Step 14. Be sure the plain brown interior side of the box faces up toward the side of the shirt you are painting. Ahh, much better.
Step 15. Don’t apply too much blood to your brush because blood is watery and bleeds into cloth very easily.
Step 16. Be resolved to the fact that painting with blood is sort of like painting with watercolors — you don’t have much control.
Step 17. Let your painted shirts sit and dry for a week.
Step 18. Set your shirts aside somewhere and forget about them. Relocate them several times in your home over the course of the next year.
Step 19. Find your shirts again in a box and realize only one will still fit your child.
Step 20. Run a hot iron over the dried blood. Don’t use steam because the blood will bleed into the cloth more, totally ruining your artwork again.
Step 21. Wash the shirt on a gentle cycle with hot water, then dry on the hottest setting.
Ta-da! You’re done!
Watch for our next article: How to paint shirts with 18-month-old placenta blood that has spent most of its life in your refrigerator.