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Decorating Clothing

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There are many fun ways to embellish clothes with beads, paint, glitter and fabric.This is a page about decorating clothing.


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By 4 found this helpful
May 13, 2016

I wanted my own personal tee shirt without the cost of company mark up. At Michael's they have tee shirts on sale often, for $2.99 each. They also carry iron on transfers for the tee shirts, (3 sheets per pack). You can make at least 3 tees with 1 package. So I wanted to try my hand at this new craft.

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By 0 found this helpful
July 18, 2005

Any body have any suggestions on applying a design to a shirt. Like letters, painting, airbrushing, pictures, etc.



July 18, 20050 found this helpful

Hi Rudy! Here's a site that I enjoy....there are T-Shirt ideas among other fabric crafts to do.


Enjoy!!! http://www.dunc  rojects/list.asp

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By Charlene from Reidsville, NC (Guest Post)
July 20, 20050 found this helpful

When painting on fabrics, make sure to back it with a stiff cardboard covered with wax, wax paper or can use rubber bands to secure it in place. (I have a shirt "form" that I got from the craft store for this purpose.)

Also, for large areas to be painted, it's better to use a brush with thick, short bristles... like a stamping brush. There are specially made brushes for thin lines and special "strokes"...I managed to get mine on clearance. It's not actually a brush as we normally think. It's more like a pencil with a stiff, felt-type end (like a marker).

I like to use short strokes with just a small amount of paint. It means repeating the action time and time again to complete the design, but it doesn't allow for the paint to pile up on the fabric. You want the fabric to still be able to "move" even after the paint dries.


As far as "airbrushing", I would recommend using the "BloPen" markers that are designed for children as long as you are only doing this for yourself (and a few shirts).

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July 22, 20050 found this helpful

I love making my own shirts on the computer and using iron on transfers. I ususally stock up on "blank" kid's shirts when they go on clearance and I've found iron on paper at the dollar store! Using MS Publisher or Photoshop I've made some really cool shirts. All the nieces/nephews in our family all have summer birthdays so we usually get together once and I make fun shirts personalized for each one! HTH!

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August 10, 20050 found this helpful

Try those iron on embroidery patters...then paint, stitch, glue to your hearts content!

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August 22, 20050 found this helpful

A friend and I recently decorated a t-shirt for my 5 year Granddaughter. I purchased large plastic cookies cutters (.50 cents each). Through trial and error, we discovered we could mark on the cookie cutter itself several times with a No.


2 pencil, press it onto the fabric, then draw on the imprinted lines with fabric paint; the one we used comes in small bottles with a nice tip. I added some smile-face buttons. I'm mailing it to her this week!

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August 3, 20060 found this helpful

I like to screen print on various articles of "blank" clothing to make them interesting and unique, something to fit my style.

You can buy a Screen Print kit from Michael's craft store (and use the 40% off coupon in the paper ad) or..

I do my own and it's relatively cheap.

What you'll need:

Article of clothing to print on.
Speedball(brand that I use, it works the best) screen printing FABRIC ink. (it's about $8 a jar, but it lasts a loooooong time). (Also, make sure you get the jars that say FABRIC or else it might not set forever)


A medium sized paint brush and various sized smaller brushes.
Mod Podge glue.
Embroidery hoop.
Panty hose.
Newspaper/wax paper/ cardboard (something to put in between the sides of the fabric so it won't bleed through in reverse).
A printed, monochromatic design.
Old fabric. (to test your screen on)

Take the panty hose and affix it to the embroidery hoop. Be sure to stretch it tight, otherwise it could ruin your design when you apply the paint. (Like you would if you were doing embroidery, but you'll have excess hose.) Trim the excess off so it won't get in your way. You'll now have the beginning of your screen.

Lay your printed design flat on a table and then lay the "screen" down (fabric side down) on top of the design. Make sure everything you want fits inside of the hoop. Good. Now with a sharpie trace every part of your design, fill it in if you want, especially if it's an intricate design - this will help you later. After you finish tracing you're ready for the next step.


This step requires patience and a bit of a steady hand. Don't be scared, this step takes a bit of time and is the most difficult. I should state that if you have a complicated and/or intricate design it probably won't come out exact. I found this out my first time, but you will be pleasantly surprised with the results.
IT'S IMPORTANT THAT YOU FLIP THE SCREEN OVER TO THE REVERSE SIDE SO YOU DON'T GLUE IT DOWN TO THE NEWSPAPER. Panty hose side up.(or whatever you're using for a drop sheet) Again, lesson I learned the hard way.
-After that longwinded speech, here's what you do: Using the Mod Podge and smaller paint brushes, you want to paint AROUND the OUTSIDE of your design. You are blocking out everything you don't want paint to touch. The negative space. Take your time and make sure to cover the negative space well.
After you finish with the mod podge let it dry. Or if you're impatient like me you can use a hair dryer, low power so you don't stretch the panty hose.

After it's dry you're ready to screen print. But first, you really should test out the screen on a piece of scrap fabric just to make sure it's what you want and that their isn't any negative space that happens to be uncovered.

To print on fabric with your new screen:
Take your shirt (most likely) and put a piece of cardboard in between the sides. Smooth out the fabric, but don't stretch it . Lay the screen on the fabric, panty hose side DOWN. Panty hose should be in direct contact with fabric. Take your medium sized brush and the speedball fabric paint and slab it across the screen. Don't be afraid to put enough on, but don't use too much either. After it looks like you've covered your design, dip the tip of the brush in the paint and stab the design. This will ensure that you get through the screen and cover your design. After you feel comfortable that you've covered it well, carefully peel up the screen off of the fabric. The end result should be your design on your shirt or wherever you've decided to put it. Remember to test it first so that you get it to where you want it.

While the ink dries you can wash out the screen so you can reuse it. They are surprisingly durable. I've got one that I've used over twenty times for various items and it still works like the first time.

Let the ink dry and after it has dried well, iron over it for about five minutes to set the ink. These instructions come on the jar of Speedball screen printing fabric paint. After that the design should be permanent. (Unless you bleach it and then who knows?)

After you gain more and more experience and get a feel for it, you can try to do designs with multiple colors, layering, et cetera. is a great resource for tips, actual kits, inks, et cetera.

This is my first time writing out detailed instructions, I hope they were clear, if not, you can email me at and I'll get to you as soon as I can.

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By jean (Guest Post)
August 5, 20060 found this helpful

I make a skirt, then stitch a patch cut from the pattern in the leftover fabric onto a matching purchased t-shirt. For example, just made a skirt with grapes/wine bottles in a border print, and stitched an eight inch piece of the border onto a tank which is the purple in my print.

I cut the patch with pinking shears, pin onto the shirt, and handstitch, using the back stitch. Press flat first, and make sure you do not stretch out the shirt fabric while pinning.

I have also done this with purchased pants for my daughter, since she is quite short, and frequently needs pants shortened by cutting off material, then hemming. One that turned out especially well was a pair that had an embroidered design up one leg. One flower from the design centered on the shirt looked nice.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 25, 2015

How can I make my box pleat skirt more full or blingy? I recently purchased a crop top with a peach orange full length box pleat skirt to wear to a Indian wedding. The problem is, I feel that the skirt is too plain and doesn't have that body I see in other box pleats.
I can add lacing at the bottom or rhineatones or add can can underneath or cover the whole skirt with lace pleats in peach orange. But I'm not sure how to make it the best. Any suggestions? I don't see a lacey box pleat on Pinterest.


April 25, 20150 found this helpful

One strip of a contrasting or interesting trim or ribbon sewn either straight down the front or a little offset to the side might help! Interesting tights might too!

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April 27, 20150 found this helpful

I would leave the skirt alone and use minimal decoration on the top. You will then be able to wear it for other occasions. It is possible to bling up a skirt too much.

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February 28, 20150 found this helpful

I am looking for ideas for decorating ladies' vests.

By Vivian from Hondo, TX


September 10, 20170 found this helpful

Depending on the style of the vest and the taste of the wearer, you can make it elegant with silky ribbons, jewels, or lace. For a more casual vest, try braided trim, fringe, or a patterned material. Of course, Christmas vests are always fun to make with lots of holiday designs.

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February 20, 20010 found this helpful

I am taking a "special cousin" on a cruise soon and want to make a memorable sweatshirt for her. I have no idea on how to do this. I am not crafty and not an artist. I cannot find an instruction book. Can someone please give me some instructions on how to proceed. I need to do it soon. Thanks!

By Lori


March 13, 20020 found this helpful

Dear Lori

I have a book here that is a great one for helping sew step by step. Singer has a few books ( sewing reference libary) out now the one you are looking for would be is sewing active wear. on pages 75-77 takes you through step by step instructions on rugby shirts, pg 47 - instructions on bike shirts and any of the chapters on making sweatshirts will do just adjust the length of the sleeve. If you don't even have the pattern you can get the quik-sew matter patern books with a master pattern in the back and there are step by step instruction on how to make them and even mix and match pattern peices to come up with different style of shirt. For t-shirts, crew necks, tunics and so on.

All else false you can take a t shirt from you own dresser and take a pattern from it just remember to add a half inch to the pattern all the way around for a seem allowance.

Good luck and I hope this helps.

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