How to Turn Acrylic Paint into Fabric Paint

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This is Part 2 of the Stars and Stripes Craft Box by Pop Shop America. Remember that you will want to finish Part 1: Red, White, and Blue Wooden Serving Spoons before turning your acrylic paint into fabric paint. Once it’s turned to fabric paint, it doesn’t turn back!

Let me tell you a little secret. Acrylic paint works as fabric paint. It’s permanent. The color is rich and vibrant. It’s washer and dryer safe. The only issue is that acrylic paint can be a little too thick for wood block fabric printing. It can be too thick for screen printing. It’s best for hand painting on fabric only.

But there’s a quick and easy way you can turn any acrylic paint into fabric paint. Here’s how.

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Why turn Acrylic Paint into Fabric Paint?

Let’s take a moment to consider the big picture. Why in the world would we even want to turn acrylic paint into fabric paint?!

1. To Save Money and Space in Storing Your Craft Supplies

First, I’m always looking for ways to space save since I am filled to the brim with craft supplies. Why double up on storing similar items? Why spend twice as much money to have more items to store? Instead, this will help you streamline.

2. To Match Items that Need Different Types of Paint

If you need to match items with different materials, this is a great way to do it. For example we’re matching this set of Red, White, and Blue Kitchen Utensils to these Tea Towels here.

3. Fabric Paint comes in Large Containers and is Pricey

Fabric paint starts at around $20 per container, which can add up if you are using multiple colors. And the containers are fairly large which is a lot to store. Plus you may not need the volume of fabric paint that comes in the container.

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How to Turn Acrylic Paint into Fabric Paint

To turn acrylic paint into fabric paint, all you need is one simple supply: Fabric Medium. My favorite is this Liquitex Fabric Medium that’s also shown below. It’s a tried and true brand, and is my go to for any medium: pouring medium, matte medium, and more.

To make fabric paint, get a painter’s palette or bowl ready. Just add the fabric medium to the paint in about a 2 part fabric medium to 1 part paint ratio. It doesn’t have to be measured perfectly, instead look for a specific consistency of paint that we describe below.

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How Thick Should Fabric Paint Be?

Fabric paint should be the consistency of thick syrup. It should be able to move a bit when you turn the palette on it’s side. The consistency is what’s important.

Remember that acrylic paint without fabric medium works just fine on fabric – so you could even use gel medium, matte medium, or pouring medium to get nearly the same result. The only reason that fabric medium is best is that it’s especially designed to be used with fabric!

What to Make with Fabric Paint

So what are you going to make with your new fabric paint? We are using ours to make these DIY Star Stamped Tea Towels. This fabric paint could also work for simple wood block printing like these Rainbow Polka Dot Bandanas here. And it would be great for screen printing too.

Time to get creative!

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2 thoughts on “How to Turn Acrylic Paint into Fabric Paint

  1. Carole Kussow says:

    Making fabric paint sounds like something I would love to do. I am now trying to purchase a fabric paint color that appears to be no longer available. What a wonderful idea…make my own fabric paint color…wow!

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