How to Use Colored Pencils on Fabric

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Things You'll Need

  • Colored pencils

  • Canvas or other material

  • Carbon paper

  • Tracing paper

  • Drawing paper

  • Drawing pencils

  • Textile medium

  • Small bowl

  • Paintbrush

  • Architect’s tape

  • Masking tape

  • Wax paper

  • Large piece of plywood or large table

  • Iron

Colored pencils are an excellent medium to consider when creating doll faces or other designs on canvas or other material. They are bright, inexpensive, portable and easy to use.

Step 1

Iron the material to be colored.


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Step 2

Create a drawing that you can transfer onto your fabric. If you choose to copy a drawing from a magazine or book, trace it using tracing paper.

Step 3

Affix the ironed material to a large table or piece of smooth plywood. Make sure the canvas is tight with no wrinkles.

Step 4

Tape carbon paper to the canvas using the architect's tape.

Step 5

Tape the drawing over the carbon paper.

Step 6

Retrace over the lines of the drawing. Press hard so the carbon paper marks the canvas. Do this until the whole drawing is copied onto the material.


Step 7

Remove the drawing and the carbon paper.

Step 8

Using colored pencils, color in the drawing.

Step 9

Remove the drawing from the table or board.


Step 10

Place wax paper on the work surface under your drawing. Tape down the wax paper with masking tape.

Step 11

Re-tape the drawing to the work surface, making sure the wax paper is directly under the drawing.


Step 12

Pour the textile medium into a small bowl. Using a paintbrush, apply the textile medium to the places on the canvas that have been colored. Apply two coats and let dry.

Step 13

Cover the drawing with muslin or cotton cloth. Press with a hot iron for 20 seconds.


Many crafters recommend waiting for a week before trying to wash the material once the drawing has been done and set in place with the textile medium.

Canvas, 100 percent cotton and some polyester/cotton blends take colored pencils well. Whatever material you use, make sure it’s wrinkle-free.

Filling in holes in the material with the colored pencil ensures vibrant color that remains strong when it’s washed.


Drawings not treated with a textile medium run the risk of the colors running or fading with washing. Despite being treated with the textile medium, it's a good idea to wash the piece separately so fibers from other fabrics do not end up on the drawing.


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