Fabric painting can not only be a real source of fun but also an ideal opportunity to create something truly unique. Most fabrics are suitable for fabric painting, cotton fabrics work best. It is also best to avoid really stretchy fabrics like Lycra. fabric paint will work on these but may “crack” when stretched. Items such as t-shirts and cotton bags are probably the best to start with.

First you need to choose the item you wish to paint. Whilst not too important better quality items will give better results and after all if you are spending your time creating your unique piece you want the finished item to be good.

There are 3 options when painting fabric, fabric pens, fabric paints and 3D fabric pens.

Pens are easier to use but generally can only be used on light coloured fabrics. They are also not really suitable for filling areas. Fabric pens are available individually or in sets. Dylon and Pebeo both make good quality pens.

Paints, whilst a little harder to use, are great for block colour and if you choose opaque fabric paints these are suitable for both light and dark coloured fabrics.

3D fabric pens are harder to use but can create some great textures and effects on your item.

Sometimes the best method is to use pens to outline and put detail on, then use the paints to fill in and then further embellish using 3D pens.

When you have chosen an item to paint and have your paints or pens to hand, it is time to start. If your item is new I would recommend you wash it first. Place a piece of card in between the fabric, eg inside a t-shirt or pencil-case so the colours do not run through to the back and let your imagination run wild.

When the paint has dried (with the exception of the 3D pens) most items will require ironing to fix to make it washable. Do this as recommended by the manufacturer (usually a cool setting) on the reverse or with a piece of fabric in between so you do not iron directly onto the fabric paint. When fixed items painted with fabric paint can be washed on a cool cycle wash (40c). It is usually best to turn them inside out first.

These are the basics to begin with so now it is up to you and your imagination to create your own unique design. Make your own unique gifts for friends and family.

So what is stopping you, it also makes a great party/children’s activity for craft parties and sleepovers etc.