D.I.Y. Painted Tee

Today I made a painted t-shirt for my youngest sister, and I thought I’d share a tutorial with you!

Step 1: Gather Materials


You’ll need: a T-Shirt, acrylic paint in desired colors, paintbrushes, pencil, paper, a piece of cardboard, and  toothpicks.

I also used a container to wash brushes in, and paper towels to dry them.

Step 2: Design

Paper sketch

Draw out your design on paper, and lay it on top of your shirt. Don’t be afraid to play around with the size and placement to get it exactly the way you want it.

I was inspired by this shirt and the zillions of cat pins I’ve seen on Pinterest lately. I call it a catsicle!

Step 3: Transfer


I drew my design freehand, looking at my sketch as reference, but you can also cut out your design and trace around it if you like. I  used a pencil to draw, which sort of works, but stretches the shirt material a bit. I went over some of the lines with a felt tip pen, and it worked better.

Step 4: Mix Paint

Pretty Paint

Decide on the colors you want to use, and then mix colors together with a toothpick until you reach the desired shade. (Tip: Mix more paint than you think you’ll need. I had to double the amount of pink and teal paint shown in the picture.) Add white for pastels, black for darks.

Step 5: Paint!

First slide the cardboard under the front of the shirt to prevent the paint from bleeding through. Separate your design into individual shapes, then paint color by color. Each time you use a new color: Use a wide brush first, filling in your design. Next, use a small, stiff brush to define the edges of the shape.

A really cheap plastic brush (like the kind that come in kid’s watercolor pallets) also works really well for filling in and edges because it’s so stiff.

Step 6: Add Detail


Wait for the image to dry, then use a toothpick to apply details with paint.


Step 7: Enjoy!

Let your shirt fully dry, and then try it on!

If you try this, I’d love to see the results! Just leave a link in the comments!

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