Awhile back, I stamped shirts with stamps and acrylic paints, noting that you can set the acrylic paint with vinegar and make it permanent (no fabric paint medium needed!). Since then, I’ve learned you can even skip the vinegar step. Have you ever gotten acrylic paint on your clothes while you were painting? I bet the paint’s still there! Acrylic doesn’t go anywhere once it dries! One of my favorite blogs, Filth Wizardry posted a great idea this week: decorate dollar store flour sack towels with permanent markers and acrylic paint and sew the towels up to make a colorful one-of-a-kind skirt (or shorts). [how to make painted tea towel skirts]

You can find flour sack towels and permanent markers at the dollar store. Sometimes they have tiny pots of acrylic paint, too, but I recommend investing in a few bottles of regular craft acrylic paint at the craft store. It comes in handy often!

Eden at eden ART took this concept and switched it up by rescuing a princess dress that had been stained. She just painted over the dress, stains and all, and turned her daughter’s ruined dress into a work of rainbowy art! I love this idea for two reasons: one, you don’t have to be able to sew to take part in this great project. Two, you can rescue stained clothing and give it a second life (especially awesome for special garments such as this princess dress). [how to make a painted princess dress]

Tips for working with kiddos plus permanent markers and acrylic paint:

  1. Cover your work area with newspapers, or work outside where spills aren’t as big of a deal
  2. Clean up any spills immediately (even watered-down paint)
  3. Permanent marker comes off skin with a little squirt of hand sanitizer (thanks for that tip, Eden!)
  4. I distinguish between these supplies and washable ones with my kids by calling them “big boy” markers and paints and tell them the rules for using them (no painting on self, or on anything other than the designated canvas)
  5. Don’t use washable paint or markers for this project

Project Estimate:

  • Flour sack towels, $1 each (optional)
  • or, a stained piece of clothing, on hand
  • Acrylic craft paints, on hand or $.50 each and up
  • Permanent markers, on hand or $1
  • Paint brushes, on hand

Total: FREE and up