Fancy Painted Owls a Tutorial

Painting fabric can be a challenge, but it is really rewarding to make a custom design.  Today I will share the technique that I use and some helpful tips, for this project you will need:

Fabric (I used a t-shirt for this project)

  • acrylic paint
  • textile medium
  • dimensional fabric paint
  • brushes
  • freezer paper
  • Exacto knife
  • iron
  • cosmetic sponge (I buy packs of these at the Dollar Tree, they come in handy for a lot of projects)
  • a design (use free clip art, coloring book images, or you own designs)

For this project I used a purple shirt, to make sure that my colors showed up well and that I didn’t have to paint layers and layers of paint I started off with a stencil of the outline of my design.  I traced it onto freezer paper and cut it out with an exacto knife.  I fused the freezer paper to the shirt using an iron.  I also fused another piece of freezer paper to the back of my shirt to keep the paint from bleeding through.  Using a cosmetic sponge  I applied white acrylic paint mixed with textile medium to my design shapes.  I did two layers, will make a nice base so that my paint colors show up well, if you use a white or other light colored shirt this step isn’t necessary.  At this point I removed my freezer paper, but I recommend that you leave yours on.  If you smudge or splatter paint the freezer paper will protect the rest of your shirt.Painted owlies tute 1A note about paint: I like to use regular acrylic craft paint because I have a lot of different colors on hand, if you prefer you can use fabric paint instead of mixing in a textile medium.  Mixing textile medium with the paint makes it permanent on fabric, follow the directions on your textile medium to get the proportions correct (mine was 2 parts paint to 1 part medium).

After the white base coat was dry I used a pencil to lightly trace my design onto the shapes.  I mix up one color at a time and paint my fabric like a paint by number, doing all of one color before starting on the next.  I still needed two coats of paint on some colors (the pink, yellow, and white), but the darker colors only needed one coat.  Apply the paint in thin even coats, if you glob it on it will make the fabric super stiff and it may crack and peel with wear.Painted owlies 1For this design I painted flat areas of color because I’m going to add texture and interest with dimensional paint.  After the acrylic paint has dried, I waited about an hour, I started adding the details with dimensional paint.  I like the tone on tone effect, so using different textures I layered on the dimensional paint.  Dimensional paint is really fun and inexpensive and a great way to add some interest and bling, you’ll notice that some of mine has glitter or pearlescent additives.  I also like to use it to add embellishments like rhinestones and wiggle eyes, although I didn’t add any of those to this project.

I add two colors at a time and allow to dry thoroughly before starting the next colors.  I don’t want the lines to bleed together and I don’t want to risk smearing the colors.Painted owlies tute 2Tip: test the paint on scrap paper or your hand (like me) to keep it from globbing out on your fabric.  The tips on these paints are easily clogged, especially the glitter ones, and nothing is more upsetting than a big glob of paint in the middle of your project.  If you do accidently get a blob of paint try to carefully remove it or reshape it with a brush, if you are doing tone on tone it will be almost invisible.Painted owlies tute 3Allow everything to dry and heat set according to package directions, usually iron on the back using a press cloth.  I also like to wash my fabric once before wearing or gifting, but that is more of a personal thing.  I have to wait a week before I can wash this fabric (yeah, that what my textile medium says).  Now you all finished, you can wear this shirt or, like me, cut it up and make something new!Painted owlies tute 4As you know, I have been working on these painted owls almost all week and it seems as if this project just didn’t want to get done!  I think it’s almost ready to be cut up and sewn, but I would love some feedback, should I leave it as is or should I outline the owls in black or maybe turquoise?

Have a super crafty weekend and I’ll see you next week!

1 comment:

Ashley said...

I like them as is. Adding outlines might detract from the details you worked so hard on.

The owls are adorable! I love your colors too.