How to Make Fabric Paint: DIY Homemade Fabric Paint

As a team of designers and decorators, we are all into painting fabrics. And each week, we go through tons of fabric paint tubes. It has come to a point where we purchased all the affordable options in bulk and still can not keep them available in our painting storage area.

How to Make Fabric Paint

That is when the thought of making fabric paint got into the back of our heads. So, we wanted to learn how to make fabric paint. But a lot of the painters discouraged us by saying it is not worth it.

However, we found a couple of ways to make the whole thing hassle-free and easy to follow. And we are going to discuss them here.

How to Make Fabric Paint at Home: Different DIY Methods

Method 1: Make Fabric Paint with Household Items

Did you know that it is possible to make fabric paint using household items only? Yes, it is certainly possible, and according to us, it is the easiest way to make fabric paint.

How to Make Fabric Paint With Household Items

So, let us not waste any more of your time and get straight into describing the process, shall we?

Step 1: Get the Required Supplies

First thing first! You need to get the required supplies. And as we have mentioned, this process involves the materials that you already have in our home. But the real question is, what are you going to need, right? Well, the list goes something like this:

  • Tap Water
  • White Vinegar
  • Glycerin
  • A jar

See? There are no intricate materials, nor are there anything you will have to head out to purchase.

Step 2: Prepare the Mixture

Now that you have gathered all the required materials, it will be time to prepare the mixture. However, we would not recommend preparing a large amount of the solution. In our testing process, we have mixed 10ml of glycerin and white vinegar. Then, we added 20mls of water into the jar.

Once all of the things were added, the solution needed a good mix. So, we closed the lid and gave it a good shake. We would also recommend following these quantities for testing purposes. See how the paint becomes with this small quantity and then prepare a bulk amount of it.

Step 3: Mix in the Color

The final step would be to add color to the solution. We would recommend using acrylic paint for this. However, it is certainly possible to use watercolor, but the acrylic paint will offer more depth to the solution and make the whole thing look great on top of the fabric.

Read Next: Guide on removing fabric paint from fabric

Method 2: Making DIY Fabric Paint with Acrylic Paint

The fabric paint prepared with household items will not offer much complexity or depth to the mixture.

how to make fabric paint with acrylic paint

So, if you want to get both of that on your project, we recommend using acrylic paint with a medium. And the steps that you would need to follow for this process are as follows:

Step 1: Gather the Things You Will Need

As we have already mentioned, you will need acrylic paint. The color will depend on your preference, but we used emerald gray for our project. To thin the primary color, we needed a gloss medium. Now, you might be asking why is there a need for the medium?

Well, it will ensure that the light-colored fabrics are not ruined. It will basically thin the primary paint out. However, if you are working with dark-toned fabric, we would recommend opting for opaque gloss or matte gloss medium.

In a nutshell, you will need two things. One is acrylic paint, and the other is the medium of your choice. Also, you will need a container to prepare the whole mixture.

Step 2: Prepare the Mixture

Once you have got the right supplies, it will be time to mix them up. First, determine the amount of fabric you will need. Divide it in half. That is the amount of acrylic paint and medium you need to mix.

For example, if you are planning to prepare 400ml of fabric paint, you would need to mix 200ml of medium with 200ml of acrylic paint. Give the whole mixture a good shake.

Alternatively, you can mix the whole thing with a stick. But this stick mixture procedure will take a good amount of time. So, if possible, we recommend putting the medium and paint inside a jar. Then close the lid and give the jar a good shake.

Step 3: Test Out The Paint

After mixing the whole thing, it would be time to try out the whole thing. Use a piece of clothing that is lying around. Try out the fabric paint and see if it requires thinning or not. If the mixture has gone too light, then we would recommend adding more acrylic paint to the solution.

On the other hand, if it requires thinning, add more acrylic paint medium into the solution. Remember, when you are adding something to the solution, give it a good mix. Without mixing the solution, the additional elements will not have that much effect.

Read Next: How to use mod podge on fabric

Method 3: How to Turn Acrylic Paint into Fabric Paint Without Medium

How to Turn Acrylic Paint into Fabric Paint Without Medium

You might already have acrylic paint in your arsenal and do not really want to go through the hassle of getting the medium from the shop. Well, in that case, follow these steps:

Step 1: Gather The Essential Things

Like the two methods we have explained above, you would need to first gather the essential supplies. And for this process, you will need these:

  • Shaving cream
  • White glue
  • Spoon or stick
  • Acrylic paint
  • A container with a lid

When it comes to the container, we recommend using something that has a lid, or else the mixing process will not be that effective. However, you can make do with a jar that does not have a sealing lid. That is why the spoon or stick is there.

Step 2: Mix The Paint

The second step of this procedure is to make the mixture. As the regular paint is comparatively thicker than the fabric paint, we are going to use the other materials to thin it up a little bit.

First, drop in the shaving cream into the container. You would need about three tablespoons of the cream. And then add the white glue inside the container. For that glue, one tablespoon will be more than good enough.

After dropping both the shaving cream and glue inside the container, mix the whole thing up. If you are using a jar with a lid, close the lid and give it a good shake. However, if it does not have any cover, use a spoon or stick.

Once the mixture looks good, add the acrylic paint. We can not specifically state the amount you will need for the paint. It will depend on your preference. However, do not add more than five tablespoons if the color is deep.

Give the jar container a good shake or mix the whole thing with the stick. Make sure that the whole thing is mixed properly, or else the paint will not look that good on the fabric.

On that note, if you are planning to prepare a bulk amount of this paint, follow the same ratio. And that is to mix three parts of shaving cream and one part of glue. The rest of the quantity will be filled with acrylic paint.

Step 3: Try Out The Paint

We highly recommend testing the paint out with a testing piece of fabric. That will give you a proper idea of whether you need to mix additional things or not. If everything looks good on the testing cloth, move on to using the mixture on your project.

Final Words

To conclude, we know that we have provided three different guides regarding how to make DIY fabric paint that involves three different sets of supplies. But each of the methods is in its simplest form. So, choose the method that suits your needs and the materials you have, and get into mixing!

Hello there! I’m Jessica, I'm a textile engineer and mom of two little boys. When I’m not playing with my kids, you’ll find me researching and writing for Fabrichow.

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