How to Watercolor Fabric

Girl in watercolor painted dress

I have seen where people have used watercolors to paint fabric and thought this is such a great idea!

I mean, your imagination is the only limit.

I decided to use this Delta Creative textile medium that I got from Hobby Lobby along with this watercolor set from Michaels.  I did end up needing four sets of the watercolors because I chose to use only three colors for my dress and also because the dress is a size 12.

I actually had to redo the bodice pieces because my first time, I painted too big of areas with one color and it just looked off.

See? Too big, right? 😉

The key to watercolor is that your fabric should be wet when you start.

I used a large spray bottle and sprayed one piece while working on it before moving on to the next.

Start with your first piece.

Spray with water.

Now, dip your paintbrush in water, then into the watercolor.  Paint small splotches all over that piece.

Rinse brush thoroughly and paint with the second color.

Continue this process for all the colors.

Smaller splotches…much better.

Once you finish with the painting, mix equal parts textile medium and water in a dish.

Paint this mixture over entire surface of fabric you painted.

See how it mutes your colors and blends them a little?

Let dry.

Heat set with iron.

Assemble dress as you normally would.  

Pattern is Donna dress by Petite Kids Boutique.

*I used a circle skirt for this dress and found that it was drying too quickly to be able to paint the whole thing at once.  I ended up painting half before moving on the second half.  Although it worked ok, if I had to do it again, I wouldn’t sew the two halves of the skirt together before painting.  I had some bleeding of the paint from one half to the other with how I had done it.

I did wash the dress just to test if the paint would bleed or rinse out and I’m happy to report that it looked exactly the same after being washed!

That’s really it!  

Girl in watercolor painted dress

Girl in watercolor painted dress

Girl in watercolor painted dress

Girl in watercolor painted dress

Watercolor painted dress

Isn’t this a fun way to create a one of a kind fabric?  Have you ever painted fabric before?  What was your process?  Leave a comment below and let me know. 🙂

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