How to Use Fabric Paint on Tights

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Painted tights are a fun project that you can complete in a weekend, allowing you to wear your creation the following week. There are many kinds of fabric paints, and the effects that can be achieved vary from a thick plastic look to washed-out tones that look like watercolors. In between, there are all kinds of glitter and frosting paints to add some sparkle to your wardrobe.

Things You'll Need

  • Tights
  • Fabric pencil
  • 4-inch PVC pipe
  • Painter's tape
  • Design
  • Fabric paints
  • Paint brushes

Pull on the tights, and mark the location where the design will go. When possible, use a fabric pencil to draw the design in place. Once your tights are off, it is often difficult to determine exactly where you should position the designs.

Pull the tights onto a section of PVC pipe. This will allow you to stretch the design to the approximate size of the tights when worn. Tape the tights to the PVC pipe using painter's tape with the design area lightly stretched.

Draw a fine line around your design in a color similar to the color you will be painting. Use fabric paint at full strength, which will make the bead more solid. This will help hold in the fabric paint for wider areas if you need to thin the paint down for more of a watercolor effect. Fabric paints are flexible, so what you see as you paint is likely how the fabric will look when you wear it.

Dry the fabric paint for 24 hours. You can add additional coats within 4 to 6 hours if necessary, but your final layer should dry fully before you wear the tights.

Launder by hand using very gentle laundry solution so that your fabric paints will retain their color and shape.

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