Hand Painted Designs on Fabric, Chair Cushions, Pillows, Christmas Stockings, Hand Painted Fabrics and How to Paint On Fabric

I love to paint on fabric, I think it adds just one more
custom element to your painted furniture.

I recently posted on my Facebook page about this Crab Chair with Painted Cushion
and I got quite a few comments and emails asking about painting on fabric
so I thought I would share how I do it, not that it is the only way,
but it's how I do it!

This is a couch I painted for a local surf shop.
I painted the rattan frame with tomato red spray paint then painted the dark blue cushions
with waves and swirls.

I've always used regular acrylic craft paints and even latex paint when painting fabric.

There are specific fabric paints and textile mediums you can add to acrylics 
to make the dried paint feel softer. They also have different directions on "setting" the paints by 
putting it in the dryer, air dry, or with a warm iron.
If I were painting on an article of clothing, I would definitely use textile medium. 

For furniture fabric, I've always used straight paint, I already have the colors I 
want and can custom mix colors and find that the more the item is used, the softer it becomes.

If you paint on fabric it doesn't flake off, peel off, come off in the wash or wear off
Just like when you get paint on your clothes, it doesn't come off...
and a good portion of my clothes are proof of that!

Like I mentioned, this couch is in a surf shop where it gets a lot of use and 
has been sat on with wet, sandy swimsuits and has held up beautifully.

I also painted these canvas beach/tote bags for the same surf shop.
I started with plain canvas bags.

When painting on canvas like this, I always lightly mist the fabric with water before painting. 
I find it helps the paint go on more smoothly and to sink into the fibers of the fabric.
You can also thin the paint with just a bit of water but not too much or it will bleed. 

 Although bleeding paint is fine if that is the look you are going for...I did a little of that in the pics above

When painting on fabric, be sure to put a plastic bag inside so the 
paint doesn't seep through to the other side.

I painted the handles too and had so much fun painting all the fun patterns.

This is a set of chairs I painted a long time ago...way before digital cameras.
I recovered the seats with canvas and painted with sea life and lemons.

And again, way before digital cameras so it's kind of hard 
to see, these but these decorative pillows were so cute!

I made the pillows out of canvas, painted them with blue sky and clouds 
with the words "Sleep" and "Dream" .
On the backs I painted pink and gold swirls, then 
finished by hot gluing feather boas to the edges for "fringe"

This is a cushion I made from fabric that I painted with poppy flowers

I used it in this Dog Bed I made from an end table.

On an intricate design like this, it's much easier to paint the fabric THEN make your cushion,
ahem...not that I've ever done that ha!

I painted a big paw print on this dog bed cushion...

And I made another paw print cushion on this dog bed from an end table.

Here's a cut seashell design I painted on this pillow.

These are my little family's Christmas Stockings that I painted.
I purchased pre-made canvas stockings and 
painted designs on them for each family member..

A little zebra action...

A Rubik's cube design..

I actually used a bottle of fabric paint with the squirt top to paint these red squiggles..

And of course some diamond and animal print.
Bet you can't guess which one is mine ;)

I've since painted lots more Christmas stockings with sea life patterns that I sell in my Etsy shop. 
Click the Christmas stockings category on this page if you would like to check them out.

I didn't realize until I started putting this post together how often I actually have painted my own fabric!

If you need special fabric for a project, why not paint your own?
It's easy, durable and will definitely be one of a kind.

Come join me on Facebook and Pinterest too
and thanks for stopping by.


  1. So glad you shared at my paltry little party. I absolutely jump when I see something from Lucy. :)
    This is such a great post. Damn. I'm going to grab my paints and paint up the first piece of fabric that crosses my path. The bags are very cool. I am going to show them to one of the artisans in my group that has done bags in the past but seems to be in a bit of a funk. These would have to jump start those creative neurons.
    The stockings? Delightful. I never would have thought to paint them. That same artisan also has done Christmas stockings and I don't want to step on her toes but I would love to give that a whirl. Maybe just for the fam.
    Then the piece de resistance - the sofa. OMG. Want it! I love how you painted NAVY cushions. Inspired and then to have it look like Starry Night. I am on my way to negotiate a sale. :)

    I will be featuring you this next week. I'd love to feature you every damn time but then everyone would know you are my fave. :)
    Have a great week.

  2. Wow! these are simply gorgeous and I love the fact that you used acrylic paint in lieu of fabric paint and textile medium. Everything looks so gorgeous and colorful... loved the canvas totes and the chair cushions with sea creatures... gorgeous! My favorite is the flower cushion on the dog bed... beautiful work! Amazing talent!Thanks for sharing with us. Dropping in from Motivated Monday. Have a lovely week!~Poppy



Hi, thanks for reading! Leave a comment, I love to hear what you think. You can also reach me by email at Lucy@LucyDesignsOnline.com. Thank you!

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