How to Make Snakeskin Fabric

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Mimic the look of snake skin on fabric with fabric paint.
Mimic the look of snake skin on fabric with fabric paint. (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Make your own snake skin print fabric for clothing or other things such as throw pillows or bags. Natural colors for snake skin are suggested, such as brown, green and gold, but you can use any colors you want. Use a specific technique, along with liquid fabric paint and other materials, to mimic the diamond-shaped scale texture of a snake's skin. Find the materials you need in the fabric section of your local craft store.

Things You'll Need

  • Clothing iron
  • Black fabric
  • Plastic sheet
  • Netting
  • Masking tape
  • Fabric paint
  • Bowl
  • Sponge
  • Plate

Iron the creases or wrinkles out of the black piece of fabric to which you will add the snake skin pattern. Any high or low spots in the fabric will interfere with how the paint applies to it.

Spread a sheet of plastic across a flat work area and lay the fabric across the plastic. Place a piece of netting across the fabric and tape down the edges with blue painter's tape or masking tape. The piece of netting needs to be at least 1/2 inch larger than the sheet of fabric on all sides, so the tape does not touch the fabric itself. The netting should sit tightly against the fabric.

Pour some brown or green liquid fabric paint into a bowl and dip a clean, dry sponge into the paint. Press the sponge against a clean dry paint to remove the excess paint and dab the fabric gently with the sponge to apply the paint. Dab straight down and do not press any harder than necessary so the paint doesn't bleed under the netting. Wait 5 hours for the fabric paint to dry.

Dab another clean, dry sponge into some gold, liquid fabric paint and dab it lightly in various spots on the fabric. Do not apply the gold all over, as you still need to see the green or brown underneath. Wait 5 hours for the paint to dry.

Remove the tape and the netting to reveal the painted snake skin pattern on the fabric.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wash and dry your painted snake skin fabric on the gentle or cool cycle to make the fabric paint last longer.

References

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