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Washable Home-Made Fabric Paint

In this tutorial we experimented with making our own DIY fabric paints from acrylic paint by adding a couple of household ingredients, and came out with fabric paints that not only look fabulous, but are also washable - and we didn't even need to set them with heat!

Over the weekend, the kids and I visited a country fair. Poking around the craft tent, I was delighted to come across some very reasonably priced, hand carved, printing blocks. I knew exactly what I wanted us to use them for - to stamp on some little muslin bags we have for another project - but we need the stamped bags to be washable!

 

In this tutorial we experimented making our own diy fabric paints from acrylic paint by adding a couple of household ingredients, and came out with fabric paints that not only look fabulous, but are also washable - and we didn't even need to set them with heat!

A quick google suggested that you can turn acrylic paints into fabric paint, just by adding an acrylic paint medium - which would be perfect if we had some, but we don't, so I had to delve a little deeper. A couple of artist sites suggested using glycerine with acrylic paints, to make them act more like oil paints, or combined with water to make them more like a fabric paint.

 

In this tutorial we experimented making our own diy fabric paints from acrylic paint by adding a couple of household ingredients, and came out with fabric paints that not only look fabulous, but are also washable - and we didn't even need to set them with heat!

We decided to try adding vinegar to the mix, to encourage the colour to 'fix' to the fabric, hoping it would work in the same way as it would with traditional dyeing, which we tried in our Turning Stains into Dyes tutorial. Now we had our 'paint medium' recipe. We mixed 10mls white vinegar, 10mls glycerine and 20mls water in a jar and gave it a shake. We then used a small amount of this to thin down the acrylic paints (which came from the Pound Shop). We mixed 3 slightly different shades of green, and then applied them to a sponge with a brush, to use as an ink pad.

 

In this tutorial we experimented making our own diy fabric paints from acrylic paint by adding a couple of household ingredients, and came out with fabric paints that not only look fabulous, but are also washable - and we didn't even need to set them with heat!

We used one of the kid's old T-shirts to try out the stamping and it looked fab. I know that with traditional fabric paints they need to be fixed with heat, so once the paint was dry I decided to Iron the bottom half of the T-shirt (the bottom 3 leaves in the picture), keeping well away from the top - to see how much difference it would make. I then threw the T-shirt in the washing machine with a detergent capsule and put it through a 40C wash (with my fingers tightly crossed!).

 

In this tutorial we experimented making our own diy fabric paints from acrylic paint by adding a couple of household ingredients, and came out with fabric paints that not only look fabulous, but are also washable - and we didn't even need to set them with heat!

We were delighted to see all the leaves intact when I removed the top from the washing machine - the non ironed stamped images are just as bright as the heat set ones, so the vinegar definitely did it's job!

 

In this tutorial we experimented making our own diy fabric paints from acrylic paint by adding a couple of household ingredients, and came out with fabric paints that not only look fabulous, but are also washable - and we didn't even need to set them with heat!

We managed to stamp lots of muslin and cotton bags during this session, and cant wait to show you what we will be using them for later in the week.

 

In this tutorial we experimented making our own diy fabric paints from acrylic paint by adding a couple of household ingredients, and came out with fabric paints that not only look fabulous, but are also washable - and we didn't even need to set them with heat!

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39 Comments

  • Reply liz

    Looks great. I’ve washed acrylic paint before & it holds up anyway but it is hard, I’m assuming watered down it would be more pliable but not as washable, would also bleed. I take it you had none of those problems doing it this way. I’ll give it a go. thanks

    November 14, 2016 at 6:27 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      No we had no problems with it bleeding, and by watering it down the paint is able to soak into the textile a little rather than just sitting on top. Next time we do it I try some paint thinned using plain old water too and see how it compares to our mixture :)

      November 15, 2016 at 1:57 pm
  • Reply Manny (The Greenwich Mummy)

    This looks wonderful! That leaf printing block is gorgeous!

    Definitely something to do with my son during the summer hols. :) #BeInspired

    July 29, 2016 at 8:09 am
  • Reply Rebecca Powell

    My daughter would love this

    July 14, 2016 at 7:51 pm
  • Reply Darlene

    Thank you for sharing this new creative idea. I plan to use this creative crafting making my own fabrics for future products!

    July 13, 2016 at 4:31 am
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