Fabric Stamping and Painting

fabric stamping and paintingDespite our vast apron collection, one of my daughter’s favorite dresses was splattered with blue paint stains. I tried to casually brush it off (no pun intended), but she was keenly aware of those stains and wouldn’t wear it. So we came up with a plan to cover the little blue dots with fabric paint, and it worked! I lined the dress with a piece of foam core (cardboard would also work), and we were ready to go.

To make the paint, I added Textile Medium to acrylic paint — the textile medium thins the paint so that’s it adheres nicely to the fabric. N mixed it up and applied it to a large foam stamp, and then pressed it on the dress. Not on the blue paint stain exactly, but there’s time for that.

The fabric medium is awesome because it can be added to any acrylic paint and makes painting on fabric much more economical than buying individual bottles or tubes of fabric paint.

fabric stamping and paintingThe large scale of these foam stamps worked well with the goopy paint.

fabric stamping and paintingAt some point, N decided that sidestepping the stamps and going straight for painting on fabric was the way to go. Hello, Project Runway moment! Do you think Michael Kors would say it looks like unicorn crashed into a Kindergarten cotton candy factory? I was actually surprised that she left a fair amount of the dress unpainted. And, she painted over those blue stains…not that it really mattered at this point!

fabric stamping and paintingMy daughter was so proud of her mad fabric painting skills that she requested MORE CLOTHES. But not hers…MINE. I should have seen this coming. I found a pair of yoga pants that needed some embellishment.

After it dried and took a spin in the washing machine, the new dress was good to wear. I was taken by how proud she was of it when she wore it to school later that week. If you want to empower your children, “making” their own clothes could be a good way to go. Or, with Halloween right around the corner, maybe painting on clothes could be incorporated into your costume-making plans.

fabric stamping and paintingHave you ever painted clothes with your kids? What did you do?

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  1. Oh, yes. Decorating our own shirts is big in this house. I can’t remember the last time my 7yo wore a shirt he DIDN’T have a hand in making–we have some fish-printed ones from years ago (using rubber replica fish) that we made big, so they still fit. We have glue-batik shirts, freezer paper stencil shirts, and an iron-on crayon one he made at art camp. Oh, and the leaf-sun print ones we made this summer, and my daughter has a scratch-foam printed one. Also, you can use the liquid acrylic paint without the textile medium. We have five-year-old shirts (those fish prints!) and the acrylic paint hasn’t even begun to flake.

    • 🙂 I see a lot of clothing painting in our future,, Amy. Our acrylic paint was on the thick side so I didn’t think to use it alone, but we’ll have to give that a try next time. I’m so glad you suggested it! And those rubber fish are hilarious. I’ve often thought of making fish prints the traditional way, but not sure if I can stomach it. You never know, though!

  2. I love it that you let her go wild with the paint, I think I would have been hovering when the freestyle came out. Gorgeous. We bought some fabric paint 1/2 price last month after seeing some great potato print clothes.

    • Kirsty, I was really curious to see what she would come up with, and since the dress was already in the rag pile it was easy to keep my thoughts to myself! I also find that the more experience she has with painting, the more refined and deliberate she becomes with her ability and choices.

    • 🙂 Thanks, Jen. He’s hilarious, and I just got through watching 3 PR episodes back-to-back, so it’s my feeble attempt at harnessing his genius.

  3. My little girl also loves to paint clothes! I’ve never heard of fabric medium and sounds like a good idea to make cheaper fabric paints, thanks!

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