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I was recently invited to a stork party and wanted to take a special gift for the soon-to-be-born baby boy, without breaking the bank in the process. I came across a lovely white tee shirt and decided to do some fabric painting to turn the tee shirt into something special. I chose an African design, but any other design will work just as well.
Approximate Time: 1 hour
By Benetta from Pretoria, Gauteng
I enjoy painting with acrylics on shirts. They are only gifts for family and friends, but are well received and used. I think it would be interesting to make a larger linoleum carving and put it on the back of a shirt! You could change colors too. When I paint on shirts, I usually use white shirts, they show off color best, but for me and men, I choose grey, sometimes black! Today, glow-in-the-dark acrylics can be used as well, fun for Halloween!
The T-shirts can be cheaply acquired at Wal-Mart, etc. and end up being cheaper than a canvas, and more people get to see my work! A good tip is that usually on the shirts for women I do the prints on the front, for men the back.
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Are there any tricks to painting on a T-shirt? How do you get the paint to set and will it be permanent if you let it dry? Does it work to use a grocery bag between the layers?
You definitely need fabric paint, available at craft stores like Michaels. Do put a plastic bag between the layers.
It is best to use fabric paint and fabric brushes and an all-cotton t-shirt.
You would put a piece of cardboard between the layers.
After the paint dries, whenever you wash it, turn the shirt inside out.
Never use bleach on the shirt. In fact, I would hand wash the shirt, to keep it at its best.
My favorite way to paint shirts is to use stencils. There are other ways to paint them also.
Here is a link I found:
I paint elaborate t-shirts for friends using Tulip fabric paints, but the paint starts peeling off after only a few washes. I tell them to use cold water and to air dry, but it stills peels. Is there more durable paint that withstands a lot of washing?
Ash from Canada
My mother used to paint pillow cases as well and she used to mix vinegar and water together and put it into a spray bottle and sprayed it over the dried paint before it was ever washed. This always helped for some reason. She says it works on fabric pens and fabric markers as well.
Do you set the paint before washing? Applying heat over the painted area will set the paint into the garment. You can do this by either pressing the garment using a pressing cloth (iron until the paint gets warm) or putting in a hot dryer for about 5 to 10 minutes or until the item gets warm. Doing this will prevent the paint from peeling off, it actually bonds to the fabric. Good Luck
ok, I know its not politically correct, but we did a flannel shirt camouflaged with duracoat. Lauer custom weaponry. (http://www.lauerweaponry.com).
So far, its been washed 4 times in regular washing machine hot/cold. still perfect. We put it on by making mask with blue 3m tape, then airbrushing.
Its REALLy permanent.
I don't know how many colors there are, but I used 4 to make a vietnam tigerstripe.
Hope it helps.
Hi, Do you wash your t-shrt before painting on it. Do you use textile medium? This is mixed with your paint and I have never had any paint come off. I have been painting for 10 years.
Don't use tulip paints. I had the same problem with tulip paints, so I switched and have had no further problems. Just about anyone elses paint stays better!
My favorite is JonesTones paint - I espeically like the glitter paint. I have a shirt now for two years - I machine wash on cold and even occasionally throw in the dryer and the paint still looks great!
If you can' find JonesTones, get a small bottle of several different brands (different color for each brand). Get an inexepensive shirt (maybe a child's shirt) to use as your test and paint designs using each brand. After it dries, wash it and dry it several time - do your worst. Then go with the brand of paint that holds up the best! Good luck!
PS - you only need fabric medium if you are not using paint made espeically for fabric - ie acryllic paint.
acrilyc paints work nice, and you DO NOT need a fabric medium. But you might try one as the paint dries stiff, so it might dilute it. Also try jacquard paints.
how do you iron the t-shirt, i heard that you need some other type of material on top...
Tulip paint isn't that bad. If you use tulip paint and it starts to peel then it means you are using too much.I did one shirt and i noticed i used too much and it started peeling but the next time i used it and didn't use so much it worked out perfect. I still do shirts using tulip paint and i haven't had any more problems.
Ok im thinking of getting into this painting t shirts thing. I ve got the plain t shirts but now the BIG QUESTION WHAT PAINTS TO USE???? After that i can either make a stenci but then what? HOW DO I PAINT WITH A STENCIL?
If you want to use stencils there is a fabric spray paint called simply spray that dries soft and does not fade out or peal. i got mine at www.fabricspraypaint.com
you can't airbrush with it but you can stencil or spray into a cup and brush it on. you got to work fast becasue it air dries.
I also use Simply Spray paint, but I got mine at Michaels. I liked using the Tulip paint because it was better than dye, but then when I found out there was an aerosol paint rather than a pump paint...I switched to Simply SPray. The pump kind (tulip as you call it) is a bit stiff and it doesn't come out good. Teh bottle has a lot of paint in it, but it dries up inside, so I ended up wasting a lot of it. The Simply Spray stuff is a better value (to me) because it covers evenly and therefore I use less. Plus my finger doesn't hurt! I tried the Stencil Spray, too. I like it because it looks like screen print after. It was more "professional" looking...not homemade liek the other paints....
I saw a lot of instructional videos at www.simplyspray.com
I haven't seen anything for help on how to use the pump spray...
I have painted many t-shirts with fabric paints. It never comes off. Just let it dry for 2 days after painting and then iron on the reverse side of paint. Also, its better to keep newspaper underneath the cloth surface you are painting.. Happy Painting!
I am going to Africa to work in a school and am taking a large quantity of blank t shirts. The idea was for the kids to dip their hands in paint and put their own hand prints on their shirts. I am having difficulty finding what type of paint I can use that I can either by in bulk or make. Do you have any suggestions?
I like DecoArt SoSoft fabric paint. It doesn't require heat setting. You just have to wait 48 hours before washing it. I've used it on kids' shirts and it stays on wash after wash.
hi everyone! its my first time really making a shirt, i have been dreaming to make my own shirts but i just don't know how, so i need your expertise in guiding me how. well, got dozens of questions and i read all of the feedbacks in the site.i just wanna know if i got this right so..first is spraying the paint with the simply spray then coated by acrylic paint right? then let it dry off and that's it right? did i cover everything? I feel like I got everything wrong.
Please tell me if Montana spray paint is good for the t-shirts. I cant find any other brand here in Romania :((
I am doing a computer iron-on transfer and want to paint the transfer when it is on the sweatshirt. In other words, I need instructions on fabric painting sweatshirts. Thanks.
Here is a link that will help give you instructions and let you know which supplies you need for painting on T-shirts.
I've been painting on clothing for years and have tried just about every brand of paint on the market to see what works best and lasts the longest.
I hate 'fabric' paints because they make the fabric stiff and peel off in just a few washings. For clothing items that will be washed frequently use just regular ol' acrylic paints and do NOT add a fabric medium to the paints before applying because that too will make the clothing stiff. Use the regular acrylic paints right out of the bottle. The key to the clothing staying soft and the paint adhering more premanently (nothing lasts forever though) is ironing the clothing item from the back side (after it has air-dried a day or so) with a 'not too hot' iron setting. The heat will make the paint settle down into the fibers of the garment, thus preventing them from washing off so easily. Be sure to put a brown paper bag betwen the front of the garment and the ironing board.
A little bit of the surface paint will come off with the first washing but this is what makes the garment remain soft. Good luck and happy painting!