A fabric painting design will work well when implementing color schemes because it's good to have all your shades, hues and tones flow together in a room.

In some cases, having colors flow together can be a difficult task.

Especially if you're wanting to use a specific item to pull colors from for your décor or a color you like can’t be found in an item you wish to use.

As an example, say you have a burgundy colored couch, forest green chair and cobalt blue throw rug.

All the colors I just mentioned will work together but how do you tie them into a color scheme.


One of the easiest ways of creating a color scheme, is to match the colors of your couch, chair and rug, to the colors of fabric paints or dyes.

Once you've selected your paints or dyes, apply them to fabric that will be used for drapes, a valance, place mats, throws, pillows etc. Below you will find how to advice for painting fabric items to use in your home.


By going to almost any craft supply store, you will find an assortment of paints and dyes that can easily be used to paint fabric.

When your at the craft store, select a couple of different types of paints, thinners or dyes to practice with.

For your practicing process, use a piece of fabric that’s made from the same material as your intended project.

Be sure to ask your craft store sales representative, for help regarding application advice and assistance choosing paints, dyes and tools etc.


The tools you require will depend on the type of fabric painting design or dyeing project that you will be doing. Here's a list of the possible tools you might need for the project at hand.

  • Paint brushes made for fabric
  • Sponges for fabric
  • Paint holder (cup) and/or tray
  • Paint pallet or disposable foam plate
  • Stencils
  • Transfers
  • Fabric pen
  • Masking tape
  • Pins and/or clips
  • Paper towel
  • Scissors
  • Iron & board.
  • Pencil
  • Fabric chalk
  • Non pours backer board

Check with your local craft store regarding advice, materials and tools you'll need for your specific fabric painting design idea.


Wash all fabrics before applying your chosen colors. Keep in mind that wrinkle free and Scotch Guarded fabrics do not accept coloring very well. Dark fabric colors can also be difficult to mark or transfer a design onto.

While doing your fabric painting design or dyeing project, place it on a non pours backer board to start. You can use a table if you wish but be sure that the surface underneath the fabric is protected by some type of plastic.

Insure both the plastic and fabric are secure to the table with tape, or use clips, the ones you would see holding a table cloth onto a picnic table should work well.

Also, unless otherwise stated, your brushes and sponges should be damp and any excess water needs to be removed from them, if you don't remove the water, you may not be happy with the results.

So as not to make unwanted mistakes, practice all of your fabric painting design and dyeing projects on a piece of material that's the same as you will be using for the job your doing.

Another thing to keep in mind is, by practicing with the exact paint/dye, fabric, baseboard, plastic covering etc. your doing your project with, you will be able to tell if certain products or tools are not compatible with each other.


Cotton works well for fabric dying. Use the instructions on the back of the dye to help you do a tie dye, (tying the fabric in knots then dipping it in dye).

You could also place dye in a plant mister and spray your fabric. This is a very nice looking design effect especially when using different colors of dyes in different areas of the fabric.


For this effect, fabrics can be dampened with water, then the fabric is painted using a dilution of two parts of water to one of paint.

Apply the paint water mixture with a brush to give you a water color fabric painting design look, this type of material coloring is more difficult though and will require some practice.

You will also have to experiment with how damp your fabric may be and what dilution works best with the water and fabric paint your using.


Using rubber stamps or damp sponges and fabric paint, can make your fabric coloring projects have a professional look and feel.

To start stamping, pour fabric paint into a small tray, onto a paint palate, or disposable foam plate. If you don't wish to use a tray, the fabric paint can be applied to the stamp using a brush that’s the width of the stamp.

Apply your fabric paint to the stamp (sponge or rubber) by brushing the stamp, or dipping it in your fabric paint tray. After the stamp is wet with paint, press it onto a paper towel, then from the towel you can start stamping your fabric.

You may need to adjust your stamping pressure, paint amount, or stamping tools to get the desired effect your looking for. Practicing on a piece of throw away fabric is the only way to find out what will work with your fabric painting design.


One of the easiest ways to do a fabric painting design is to work with a stencil. Stenciling involves the use of a brush, or sponge to apply paint inside the cut out of a stencil.

Use masking tape to attach the stencil to your fabric, then dip your sponge or brush into the fabric paint. Remove excess paint with paper towel from your application tool, then begin filing in the cut outs of the stencil.

To get the best effect, bob your paint tool up and down onto the fabric inside the cut out design, as if you where poking holes into styrofoam with a dart.

Trial and error is the only way to see how well this style of fabric painting will work for you. Be sure to practice on some throw away fabric.


Fabric transfers can be used to add designs to the fabric your using. Follow the instructions on your transfer package to transfer your design, then use fabric paint and fabric brushes to outline or color in the fabric. Practice on some throwaway fabric first.


After your fabric coloring is dry, you may need to heat set it. Be sure to follow all of the instructions found on the box of the coloring your using, pay special attention to the cleaning and drying instructions.

To add a little more spice to your fabric painting design or dyed fabric, attach a few extras such as buttons, beads and lace, etc.

From fabric painting design help to the ideas and techniques page

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