Hand Painted Skirt

final image

Here’s a great tutorial to get your children involved in designing their own clothing.  My daughter loves Project Runway.  We don’t actually watch much t.v., but that is one show we do watch.  I usually DVR the show and fast forward through some of the drama moments that are not necessary for her.  Anyhow, she loves to see the whole design process from start to finish.  We talk about which outfit is the best and why and if it met the requirements of the challenge.  Then we usually pick out our favorites.  So, I came up with this idea for Emma to design her own skirt.

Here’s what you will need:

  • Denim Skirt
  • Bleach
  • Bucket
  •  Paint
  • Acrylic Fabric Painting Medium
  • Cups
  • Paint Brushes
  • Newspaper/Paper

denim skirt before

I found this skirt a couple months back at Walmart.  It was marked down to $5.00.  I figured for $5.00 Emma and I could experiment with painting the skirt and if it didn’t turn out it wouldn’t be that big of a loss.  The first thing I did was take the skirt and place it in a bucket with water and bleach.  I let this sit for probably a half an hour.  The entire bleaching process went a whole lot faster than I had anticipated. I used a dowel rod that we had to stir the skirt around to ensure all the areas of the skirt were being bleached.   I rinsed the skirt out thoroughly.  I also ran it through the washing machine too just to make sure the bleach was entirely out.

bleached skirt


mixed paint

Take the acrylic paint and the fabric painting medium (Martha Stewart) and mix them together according to the directions.  Next, Emma and I discussed the type of look she was trying to achieve with her painting.  We also talked about what was in style.  She really liked the color block look, but wanted to use lots of colors.  I just made sure that she new which colors blended really well together.

emma painting1


emma paintin2emma paintin3

While Emma was painting, I also encouraged her to not over saturated the skirt.  I told her to use a dry brush technique which consisted of really using all the paint that is in the brush and making it go as far as it could before reapplying the paint.  We did one side of the skirt and then just flipped it over to do the other side.  We didn’t let it dry and it was perfectly fine.

emma with skirt

Here’s Emma with her skirt.  She loves it!

back side of emma

Here is the back side of the skirt.

Emma wouldn’t let me wash it for the first time she wore it.  So, anyone who has painted with fabric paint or the acrylic paint mixed with the fabric medium, you know the fabric gets really stiff.  Just iron the fabric to set the paint and then wash.  The colors faded just a bit.  But, this skirt is really soft and most of all…she LOVES it.!


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  1. says

    What a fun project! I love wearable art! I would also LOVE to link to some of your projects if you didn’t mind. I’ve been enjoying your blog ever since I came across it via a link to your feather bracelet.

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