Going through all my old craft supplies in an effort to downsize and I found a huge collection of fabric paint!
Fabric paint and acrylic paint mixed with acrylic medium are around $1-$3 each, so it is really easy to amass a large stash quickly and I couldn’t bear throwing them away. It is a rule in my house that if you don’t use it (or know you have it) for over a year – out it goes! Being the hoarder that I am, I decided to paint shirts for a bachelorette party and hold onto the paint a little while longer.
- Fabric Paint (or Acrylic paint with Acrylic medium)
- cardboard or card stock
- paper plate
- Paint brushes (I use cheap $1 isle brushes, nothing fancy)
Note: If you use acrylic without the medium mixed in the paint will be very hard and stiffen the fabric. No bueno.
1. Make sure to put paper down or to work on a surface you don’t mind getting paint on.
2. Lay your shirt out with a stiff piece of cardboard or card stock under the painting surface to prevent paint from bleeding to the other side.
3. Get out your pencil and ruler and lightly draw your design.
Note: It is very hard to get the paint to do clean fine lines on softer cottons, so remember to keep the designs bold. Don’t draw the pencil too dark because it can take a few washes to come out of the fabric (found that out the hard way). You can see below how even with lettering, I made sure to keep the strokes nice and wide.
4. This is where the paint medium comes it really handy. When you pour your paint out onto the paper plate, give it plenty of room to spread out and mix with medium. I suggest going with a 1/4 to 1/2 medium to paint ratio. The medium helps thin the paint so you can smooth out your lines and keep the paint a uniform thickness across the fabric, so if you are struggling, add more medium. For some of my older fabric paints that were a little dry and stiff i added paint medium just to get the consistency. For these I went with a lighter ratio, but it is really up to you to find a consistency you like to work with. Also, the paint dries very quickly, so I suggest working with only one color at a time.
5. To set the paint, you have to steam iron it once it is dry to the touch. I left the paper in between the layers and placed a piece of pressing cloth on top to protect the iron in case the paint was still a little wet. Put the iron on the hottest setting and make sure it has plenty of water in it so you can just steam away! Since you have to iron anyway I added a few iron on gems to this one for a little extra bling.
For the Maids of honor I ended up following a few T-shirt refashion tutorials on Pinterest. I dyed these shirts pink before starting with rit dye. It is a great way to add color cheaply. I really like this ombre tutorial as well, I didn’t find it until after this project so I might have to try it next time.
This project is so easy and perfect for a rainy day or a quick gift. It would be a great party craft for middle school or high school kids as well. Next I think I will make some hand painted outdoor cushions. I think painting on duck canvas will be a bit easier than cotton.
I hope I have inspired you to dig through your old supplies and get a little crafty!