Tools and Equipment Required for Fabric Painting

Fabric paint bottles
Fabric paint bottles

Fabric painting is the art of applying washable acrylic or dimensional paint to clothing or accessories. Plain T-shirts, sweatshirts and canvas tote bags are sold in craft stores for use with fabric paints.

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Fabric Paint

Paint specifically designed for use on fabric flows from a narrow-tipped bottle that makes writing, edging and detailing easier. The paint has a thick consistency that gives it a three-dimensional effect when dry.

Fabric paint bottles
Fabric paint bottles


To prevent wet paint seeping through the front of the project onto the back when painting clothing, insert a sheet of cardboard inside the garment. This also gives the artist a flat surface on which to work.

Straight Pins

Insert straight pins from front to back on the outside of the project around the edge of the cardboard to keep it in place. The pins also keep the material taut so the surface is smooth.

Stamps, Palettes and Brushes

Rubber stamps, sponges cut into shapes or any object with a flat surface can be coated with paint from a brush, then pressed onto the fabric to create a design. Palettes are used to mix fabric paints together or as dipping trays for stamps.


Buttons, rhinestones and other decorative items with flat backs can be attached to a fabric paint design by pressing them into a pool of fabric paint that is deep enough to cover their edges. Sprinkle glitter on the paint while it is still wet and leave to dry.

Sweatshirt featuring buttons attached with fabric paint
Sweatshirt featuring buttons attached with fabric paint
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