Sunday, August 8, 2010

Painting on Denim by Peggy Gatto

Welcome to Peggy's Painting on Denim Tutorial! You will need the following supplies:

You will need the following supplies:
  • Any type of craft paint (Decoart, Americana or Plaid) works for this project. You do not have to buy fabric paint!
  • Markers
  • Brushes in a variety of sizes - make sure they are fairly stiff.
  • Pieces of cardboard to put under areas to be painted.
  • A white sewing pencil is helpful to mark designs.
  • Masking tape for graphic designs.
  • Foam stamps, pattern and nature books.

Pick a denim article of your choice - old worn denim works very well. If you choose to use new denim, you must pre wash it!!! Some suggestions for items you could use are the back of a jacket, the bottom of jean legs (makes an interesting border), pockets, jacket cuffs, denim purse or tote, workshirts, childrens Oshkosh overalls, skirts, baseball caps etc.

When starting out, it's a good idea to experiment on and old pair of jeans to get the feel of brushing on the paint. Pretend that denim is like a stretched canvas. You have to push the paint into the fabric and sometimes layers of paint are best.

When choosing a design, paint what you know, such as animals, flowers, abstract or holiday themes. You can use foam rubber stamps to get started or even iron on a pattern from the craft books made just to transfer designs. Inspiration can also be found in nature books or magazines.

I created this Sunflower with a foam stamp with white acrylic paint as a base, then added more paint and used a black fabric marker to do some outlines.

This design was created with a white sewing pencil:

Here's a similar one:

Once you've finished your design, allow to dry for 24 hours before washing. Cold water is best and I lay item flat to dry. I have dried in dryer, but they wrinkle more. You may use an iron, but be sure and put a press cloth (any old towels) to lay over the painted areas. Cardboard also helps under the area you are ironing.

For more examples of painted denim visit Peggy's Mixed-Up Art!


  1. Ali, I had no idea you would have to go to all that extra work to post my "muse"! Thank you so much. I thought it would be easy for me to do and then kept getting it wrong. Rather than mess up this blog ,I was so glad I could ask you to do it for me.
    Have a beautiful day!!!

  2. Wow, this is so cool! What great effects you've achieved. I didn't know you could use regular paint (and not just fabric paint) - these look amazing!

  3. Wow this is fabulous, Annette x

  4. Fantastic Peggy! You are FABulous!

  5. Wow! This is totally AWESOME! Thanks for the tutorial! I have been under the impression that if you used acrylics to paint on fabric that you had to use some kind of additive to the paint!

  6. I used to add acrylic medium to my non-fabric paints. Then after painting many items, found that craft paints work fine. Just be sure and let them dry for 24 hrs before washing. As I said, I cold water wash in machine and then lay them out to dry! The coveralls have been washed at least 15 times and no fading!

  7. Peggy, Thanks for the additional info! I'm going to try it on something for my grand daughter!

  8. Very pretty, love the sunflower. Jaqui x


Thanks for your wonderful words!

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