Crossing My ‘T’s and Dotting My Shirts

Tan looks awful on me.  It’s a smidge darker than my skin tone and a smidge lighter than my hair and when you put those three shades together on little ‘ole me, it’s a whole lot of blah.  With that said, I really have no clue what I was thinking when I plucked this shirt from my sister’s Goodwill pile several years ago:
dotted 001 
I mean, it’s cute but the color is all wrong.  Of course I could always dye it but that actually never crossed my mind until three seconds before I typed this sentence.  All’s well though because it became the perfect medium for a project I’ve been itching to try.  Here’s what went down:

First, I laid a couple of sheets of wax paper inside my shirt like so:
dotted 003dotted 004 

Then, I threw fabric medium (70 some cents at Michaels) and leftover paint together (1 part medium to 2 parts paint) in a little medicine cup I use especially for painting,
dotted 005

pulled out a cotton swab and dipped,
dotted 008

randomly dotted,
dotted 010

and let dry, repeating the same process on the back of the shirt.  The directions on the fabric medium say to heat set it with an iron when you’re done but I took the lazy road and threw the top in the dryer for a few minutes, calling it a done deal.


A new shirt for a few cents…just the way I like it.  Even though it’s still a lot of tan, I feel like the polka dots break up all that brown…or maybe it’s just all in my head.  Either way, I love how it turned out and how easy it was to create.  I’ve used latex paint minus the fabric medium to stencil pillows before and they’ve held up really well, even after repeated washings, so I’m not sure what the benefit of adding the medium is (can somebody enlighten me?), but apparently it’s the proper way to paint fabric.  I’m envisioning some more potential paint-meets-fabric-medium victims in my closet as I type – maybe an aztec design?  Stripes?  Words?  Whatever it is, you’ll be the first to know about it as usual.  :)

Anyone else painted with fabric medium?  Do tell.  I’m on a roll with this stuff and need some more ideas.  Nothing in my house is safe, nothing.   


  1. I once used it to paint a monogram on a plain fabric shower curtain. It worked out really well and was a quick fix for an ugly, but cheap curtain. (I only bought it because it was the only one that matched our bathroom and I knew I could jazz it up somehow!) It held up well and only was tossed when we repainted.

  2. super cute shirt! Such a great idea!!