Spend Some Family Time Making Art

snowman3If you are looking for a creative project this summer that you and your children can enjoy together for an afternoon, look no further than DIY fabric-painting fun. There are tons of designs you can make on canvas, blank T-shirts or plain baby bodysuits using simple items found in your home. Then you can wear your own creations or give them as personalized gifts. Here are some supplies you should gather first, along with some ideas to get you started.


There are lots of variations possible here, or you might want to use whatever you have stowed in your craft closet. Either way, here are some of the basics that can get you started, depending on what project you choose:

  • Blank fabric or clothing in any solid color
  • Scissors
  • Precision cutting tool
  • Freezer paper
  • Permanent fabric dyes, paint, or markers
  • Acrylic Paint and fabric medium

snowman1Tie-dye T-Shirts

One of the most basic and classic fabric dying projects, dying T-shirts is a great starter project to build confidence. You simply take a blank white shirt and gather it up in to ball, binding it in various places with rubber bands. Then you soak the shirt in a bucket of prepared fabric dye for the amount of time listed on the box. If you want multiple colors on the shirt, you can use squirt bottles to apply specific colors to different parts of the fabric ball. Children love this art project because the end result always is a surprise of their own making.

Baby Bodysuit

There are tons of great designs that can be made on a baby bodysuit, and personalization is a cute approach. Here are some fun ways to decorate this clothing item:

  • Make a stencil with the baby’s name using freezer paper and the precision knife. Use fabric paint to paint the design, then remove the stencil.
  • Use household objects such as empty toilet paper rolls or crumpled aluminum foil to stamp interesting freeform designs onto the front.
  • Make a small stamp out of craft foam and use it to make an overall pattern on the bodysuit using acrylic paint mixed with a fabric medium for softness.

Perfect Pillows

If you have some basic sewing skills, you can turn your finished fabric into a throw pillow for your home or your children. First, create your design on the entire front side of a white T-shirt. You can use a comb to make a striped design, or you can get a little fancier stripes using fabric tape. Try making a stencil or use fabric markers to write a funny or sentimental word or sentence on the fabric. After your design is complete, you can easily turn the decorated fabric into a pillow with just a few easy steps. Get your kids in on the act by having them draw on or design their own shirt before you sew it into the pillow shape. Make sure they sign and put their age on the design so the pillow can become a cherished reminder of their early years.


These fun and simple projects can make for a nice bit of creative family time while making useful and thoughtful items.

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  1. That t-shirt turned out great! Fun project!

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