How to Handpaint a T-shirt

Whether you want to make a statement for yourself, a personalized gift for a friend or you simply think that the T-shirt at the super market was a little too expensive, grab the paints and start working! Hand painting a T-shirt is easier than you think and the result leaves you in love with your painting skills. Came up a unique design you want on your shirt but cant find it in the shops? Why not design it yourself and be its proud owner with all the copy rights. So let the brush dance upon the canvas of a cotton shirt creating marvels you will cherish for a life time.

Things you need:

– Plain white (or any other color)  T-shirt ( 100% cotton will be best)
– Fabric paints
– Lead pencil
– Hair dryer
– Cardboard piece
– Fabric pens
– Iron
– Cotton cloth for iron


  • 1

    Put the cardboard piece inside the shirt. This will give you a smooth and flat surface that will not have any creases, preventing any bleeding to the other side and also making it easier for you to paint.

  • 2

    Use the lead pencil to lightly draw your design. Keep a copy of the design near you with the colors. Draw lightly. Do not fret over this part very much because after all you have to paint over it. Use a ruler if you need straight lines and symmetry.

  • 3

    Pour your paints into the palette and thin them up with water. Use light strokes and then build up on them slowly if you want heavier tones.

  • 4

    Use the paper towels to clean up any spills and mistakes. The cardboard also absorbs excess paint and water and saves you from a mess. Dry the shirt with a hair dryer. When dry, use the fabric pen to make any amendments and refining.

  • 5

    Iron the shirt by placing a cotton cloth over it. Hand wash it the next day to get vibrant colors and get rid of any unwanted light stains.

  • 6

    This will obviously be your favorite shirt because you designed it yourself. You will feel a sense of belonging and achievement whenever you wear it. Remember, art should always be an enjoyable and relaxing activity. Let the nerves loose and colors flow freely.

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