Updated on July 25, 2022 by Sarina Tariq
Wearable Art! sounds so lofty but what if I tell you, you can easily do it yourself – through Tshirt painting. A Tshirt is your blank canvas and with some fabric paint, brushes and a plain Tshirt you can go berserk and be the artist and then wear it yourself.
When it comes to Tshirt painting it might seem as if there is nothing new you can do – the designers seem to have invented all the designs in the world in all the different permutations and combinations. But still the creative energy and experiences in each individual are different and this can still be converted into more innovative designs. Anyway, inspirations are all around you. Find your design and get started.
If you are new to fabric painting check out this post on “How to paint on fabric” for more details like what paint to use, how to prepare the fabric for painting, how to treat the fabric after the painting is done etc. And the one which explains the 10 fabric painting techniques you can do easily.
1.Painting on colored Tshirts
When you are painting on a colored fabric, the one thing you need is a base for the paint for it to look vivid. For that, we will first paint a base layer of white color fabric paint on the design and then after it is dry, paint the design with other color layers and details and then do the outline
Why is the cat looking at me instead of the cupcake?
2. Floral painting
On white Tshirts also I make the white base layer but it is not absolutely necessary. Check out the post on how to draw and paint a rose if you are interested in learning how to do this easily. This is a very interesting finger-painting, finished with an outline in glitter outliner
3. Marker painting on tshirts
The permanent markers that we use on paper can be used to draw outlines and even make drawings such as these. They are very easy to draw with and do not go off when washed. But experienced people say that the drawings fade after a number of washes. I suppose, for that, you stop washing Tshirts.
Add rhinestones, beads, sequins, glitter glue etc on your drawing to enhance it
4 Negative Painting.
This is a kind of stenciling – just on the reverse. To do this you will be making a design on a paper, draw the outline of it on the fabric and the paint outside. Here I have simply dipped the back of a brush with paint and applied it. You can brush it on in a box for a more solid look.
5 Writing letters on Tshirts
You can use simple stencils to write the letters on your t-shirts or write freehand like I did. You will have to measure the width and length of each of the letter for it to look uniform.
I do not think this Tshirt will be used much – my daughter asked: “Who wears Tshirts with Beauty printed on it?” True. I should have written, “You can’t sit with us ” or something equally rude.
Basic Tenets of Tshirt painting
There are some must-dos in Tshirt painting. If you get all these right you will be on your way to super Tshirtdom.
Do read the label in your paint before proceeding. There are glitter paints, metallic paints, puffy paint and many different ways to apply them.
Do cover the area of painting with paper or plastic.
Do insert a thick cardboard or plastic sheet inside the t-shirt to prevent paint from seeping into the back of the t-shirt
Do test the paint before applying – especially the outliner because the first air pressure may cause the paint to come out faulty, ruining the whole t-shirt. Also you have to know if the paint you have mixed will bleed. Smudged paint does not look good
Do prewash the t-shirt and completely dry it before painting on it. The sizing in new fabric will prevent paint from covering the fabric fully.
Do Iron all the wrinkles out for a smooth painting
Do paint on a flat surface.
Do leave the painted T-shirt undisturbed for atleast 24 hours. And wash it only after a week.
And finally Do not lose heart if you make a mistake. You can always paint over it
Everyone must have one or two cheap plain t-shirt in their wardrobe which needs a little paint on it for some pizzazz. If you do not go and get some. There is nothing more fun than turning around a plain t-shirt