12 Clothes Painting Ideas

Adding new life to your old pants and shirts is easy. There is no reason to throw them out. Instead, liven them up with paint. Clothes painting is easy and fun. And it is something anyone can do.


There are so many different techniques for clothes painting. If you are looking for ideas, you can scroll for hours. If you are new to painting onto fabric, you can copy the designs you find. Or you can use the designs to spark your own creativity.

Common Materials Used for Clothes Painting

clothes painting ideas

How to Paint Clothes

clothes painting

There are so many techniques for clothes painting. But there are a few basic steps that most techniques use.

1.    Determine what your design will be. We would recommend sketching it out on a piece of paper first.

2.    Wash and dry the article of clothing.

3.    Transfer your design to the fabric. You can freehand the design or use transfer paper. You can also use a stencil instead of transferring a design to the cloth.

4.    Use the tape to cover the areas you do not want to be painted. If you are using a stencil, you can use the tape to hold the stencil down.

5.    Insert a barrier between the layers of fabric, so the paint does not bleed through. You can use a sheet of plastic or a thick piece of cardboard.

6.    Paint the design onto the fabric using the best fabric paint for your project.

7.    Allow the paint to dry thoroughly.

8.    Apply a second coat if needed.

9.    Once the paint is completely dry, gently remove the masking tape and barrier.

10.  Read the direction on the paint to determine how you can wash the garment. We usually recommend handwashing and air drying any clothes that have been painted.

12 Clothes Painting Ideas  

painting onto fabric

1.  Use a stencil

You can hand cut a stencil, use a die cutting machine, or purchase a pre-cut stencil. There are so many designs you can make; the possibilities are endless. You can create geometric patterns, words, characters, animals, and more.

See our review on the Best Stencil maker Machines here.

2.  Add glitter

Glitter is always a great way to add sparkle and fun to an outfit. Simply grab some painter’s tape, a paintbrush, and your favourite colours of glitter fabric paint.

3. Eco Printing

Create nature inspired clothing with this simple clothes painting technique. All you need is a piece of clothing, some plastic, leaves, some vinegar, and a hammer.

4. Comic Book Inspired

Transfer your plain and boring clothing into pieces of fan art. You can free hand your design or use tracing paper.

5. Use an Airbrush

Airbrush clothes painting was huge in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and it is making a comeback. If you have an airbrush, why not give it a try?

6. Spray Paint It

Believe it or not; you can spray paint your clothes. You can freehand your design or lay down a stencil.

7. Paint and Abstract Design

Customise your clothes with an abstract design. This is a great technique for painting clothes that will show off your artsy side.

8. Add flames

Do you like cars with flames? You can paint flames on your clothes too.

9. Paint Flowers

Add a feminine touch to your clothing by painting flowers. You can paint large flowers to make a statement or add small flower details.

10. Splatter Paint

Anyone can use the splatter technique for clothes painting. It is so easy and fun to do. You can use just a couple colours or a rainbow of colours.

11. Hippie Designs

Are you a hippie at heart? Does tie dye make you happy? Hippie designs do not have to be swirls of colours. You can create a vast array of happy clothing using this clothes painting technique.

12. Use a Sharpie

Sharpies have so many uses, and they come in a wide variety of colours. Instead of using paint and a paintbrush, use a sharpie.

Are you ready to paint your clothes? Clothes painting is a lot of fun, and it is something the whole family can do together.

What are you waiting for? Go dig through your closet and dresser and find a piece of clothing that needs a new life. We are certain we have listed a technique for clothes painting you will want to try. 

Check out some of our painting related projects: Mandala Rock PaintingPainting Stones Ideas, and Faux Stained Glass Effect Painting, Painted Phone Cases, Best Face Paint and Shoe Painting Ideas.