Friday, August 3, 2012

Designing Your Own Fabric {Painting a Pattern on Fabric}

So I have a confession; I'm a bit of a cheapskate.  

I blame it (lovingly) on my mother who required me to purchase my school clothes with my own money after I refused to touch the wardrobe of clothes she had purchased for me. (The clothes I picked were not much better, I assure you. : )

To this day I won't buy clothing that's not on sale. It's ingrained in me.  

When my little lady was growing out of her clothes the cheapskate in me came out.   I had a very specific idea for a dress that I wanted to make her but none of my fabric on hand fit the bill.  So I went to work. 

A white sheet, fabric paint, freezer paper and hole punch later I had the perfect fabric, designed by yours truly.  Oh happy day!


Want to design your own fabric pattern? 
Here's how..

First up, gather your supplies. You will need:
  • Fabric
  • Fabric paint (I used acrylic with a fabric medium)
  • Paint brush
  • Freezer Paper (Enough to cover your fabric)
  • Ruler
  • Decorative Hole punch (I used a regular hole punch which made the process a bit more labor intensive.  Martha Stewart makes holes punches that work all over the page.  This would have saved me some major time.)
  • Iron

Here's what you do:
1. Plan out your pattern.  (I wanted my fleurs de lis to be two inches apart horizontally and 1 inch apart vertically.)  Using a ruler, mark on your freezer paper where you want the design to be.  If you don't have a hole punch that can punch all over the page (like me), cut your freezer paper into long even strips. Your strips should be as wide as you want your vertical pattern to be.  For example, I did 1 inch strips because I wanted my pattern to be 1 inch apart vertically.  After your strips are cut out, mark where you want your pattern to be horizontally (I did 2 inches apart). 

2.  Using your hole punch, punch out your design.  

3. Iron your freezer paper onto your fabric using the wool setting.  Because I had strips, I staggered my pattern so the fleurs de lis lined up diagonally, horizontally and vertically (See the  the photo below). 

4.  Using your fabric paint, paint your pattern. Be careful not to get fabric paint where you don't want it! 

5. Let dry then peel off the freezer paper.  You're all done!

I can't wait to show you what I made with my custom made fabric.  Here's a sneak peek:



  1. I hve done this for quilts before! Great design, I love it.

  2. great idea! :-) im your newest follower.. i'd love if you would check out my blog and perhaps even follow along too.

  3. thanks for sharing.

  4. Thanks for the tutorial. This is so simple. I would have never guessed. I keep looking at spoonflower and then crying because its so expensive. I'm pinning this for later!


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