Creating With Kids: Painted Fabric

My kids are little. Savannah and Matilda are still in preschool and Caspian is 16 months. But despite their young ages, I like to try to involve them in creativity as much as possible. Would I love to plunk them down in front of a sewing machine and get them sewing? Yes. But I just don’t feel like they are old enough yet. You betcha, that when the time is right, Miss Savannah will be getting her first sewing machine, but until then, I’ve been trying to come up with other ways to involve the kids in creative projects.

For Christmas the girls wanted to make some handmade gifts. I thought about some different things they could make or that we could make together. So I decided that I would have the girls paint some different designs onto a large piece of fabric and I would use that fabric and create some sewn gifts for our family and friends. A little creative collaboration, if you will.

The project was a big success! The girls had a great time painting on the fabric and I had a lot of fun turning their fabric into sewn gifts.

Do you want to do some fabric painting with your kids? Here are some tips that worked for us……..

Gather up a bunch of acrylic paints in different fun colors. I had quite a few Martha Stewart craft paints on hand, so we used those. My favorite was probably the glitter paint because it gave the fabric some pretty sparkle. Use whatever paint you would like and make sure to get out your paint brushes as well.

To make it easier for the girls to paint, I taped the fabric onto a large piece of cardboard. This way the fabric didn’t slip and slide around their table.

I just cut up a plate we had, poured the paints on and let them go to town. There were no rules, except that they could not paint on the walls. And I made sure they were wearing clothes that it didn’t matter if they ended up with paint on them (because they did……they definitely ended up with paint on them).

Guess who this is in the picture above? Notice the orange paint, the orange shirt……..remember her orange birthday party? Yes, that’s Miss Savannah. She still loves orange.

And Miss Matilda still loves blue.

I had the girls paint on Osnaburg fabric. It’s one of my very favorite natural fabrics. It’s really inexpensive and I just love the look and feel of it.

After the girls were done painting, we let the fabric dry for 24 hours on the board. Then I peeled the tape off of the fabric and cut it into some sewn gifts.

Here is what we made………

I used the Rick Rack Tissue Paper Holder Tutorial to make these gifts. I added in a cotton fabric for the lining and used pink rick rack as an accent.

We also made some rustic heart shaped ornaments. For these I just cut two hearts and sewed around them with a 1/4″ seam allowance. I stopped before I reached the beginning of the first part of the stitching, stuffed them with fiberfill, inserted the twine and finished sewing around the heart.

The girls were really excited to see their hand painted fabric turned into sewn creations. I love giving handmade gifts during the holidays and it’s especially fun when we can create together!

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  1. That is awesome! I have thought for years now I would paint some fabric for a project or two but I never get to it!

  2. That’s wonderful, I will have to give this a try, both of my kids want to get on my sewing machine so maybe this will help alleviate the whining. I had to pin.

  3. How adorable!

  4. What a wonderful idea I have filed it away to try with my granddaughters. They love crafting and the youngest who is 3 loves to paint. Thankyou. Anne x

  5. Very inspirational! We might have to try this in our house.

  6. What a great project I am going to let my girl do this. Thanks for sharing.


  7. Such a cute idea! My daughter would love to do this…She is so into art right now. The ornament idea is so great! Can you get that fabric at like a Hancock’s or Joann’s or do you need to order it? Thanks, Lindsey!

    • You can just get it at your local big box fabric store. Most people don’t notice this fabric because it’s usually stored with the muslin and other more inexpensive fabrics. Have fun……she will love it!

  8. great idea 🙂

  9. such a fun way to include the kids! Great idea!!

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