Fabric Paints and Pens That Won't Wash Away!

Updated on September 01, 2009
J.K. asks from Avon, OH
11 answers

I am looking to find some quality paint and/or pens/markers for decorating t-shirts that won't wash away in the laundry. This is for a craft activity for kids ranging in ages 9 months - 4 years ....so I know the 9 month old only be able to use a "finger paint" kind of medium. I don't know that this exists, I have only ever used tempra paints for kids projects, but I know that will wash away!

I also am going to be using the printable iron-ons (I will be doing this part , not the kids ha ha) and I am worried that this too will peel away over time?

Anyone have experience with this? Welcoming all suggestions for making some fun t-shirts with a bunch of kids. Thanks!

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So What Happened?

great ideas everyone ! thanks so much for all the advice . I ended up finding some nice fabric markers at Michael's and I also bought some puffy paint. The iron ons at first were not good but once I got the hang of getting those edges down, it worked great. Now I just hope all the kids are as excited about coloring on t-shirts as I am ! The big event is this weekend. thanks again!

Featured Answers



answers from Indianapolis on

Jo Ann's Fabrics and Michaels have fabric paints for projects like this that won't wash away. Any of the store representatives will be happy to assist you in getting what you need.
Have fun, I love those kinds of projects!

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answers from Muncie on

Crayola makes fabric CRAYONS that work well - you color(hard) on a sheet of white paper (regular copy paper), then the adult irons it on. You just have to realize that the finished product will be a mirror image - so if there are going to be names, write them backwords in pencil then color this.

My daughters made t-shirts with these about three years ago, and they wash just fine. The coloring just can't be faint for the pattern to show well.



answers from Toledo on

how about puffy paint? it stays on your clothes and you can still use it as finger painting?



answers from Cincinnati on

At JoAnn's Fabrics, I found quilt kits that contained fabric crayons. Once you press the design made with these, they are permanent and cold washable (by hand). Ask there if you can get just the crayons, without the kit. The quilts I've made turned out wonderful! Good luck.



answers from Mansfield on

There are fabric pens in the craft section at Wal-mart that are designed for this. My daughter used them for her "mock slumber party" to decorate pillow cases and they turned out great. Just remember to put cardboard in between the front/back so they don't leak through. Good luck:)



answers from Indianapolis on

Hi J..
I have seen these fabric paint pens at walmart specifically meant for what you're talking about. It's in the school supply/craft section. I assume if Walmart carries them you can probably get them at any craft store. Good Luck!



answers from Cincinnati on

You can find fabric paints at Michaels, Jo-Anne Fabrics and Hobby Lobby. They come in pens like markers or small paint bottles. Yes, over time the printable will probably peel off. To help keep this from happening turn the shirt inside out when drying.



answers from Indianapolis on

They sell fabric markers that are fat and chunky, perfect for the little hands. I used them to write on t-shirts for a family reunion, and you can still read the writing very well. Sometimes, with repeated washings, thing will fade and peel over time. It is important to not dry in the dryer, also, wash the shirts before designing on them, and don't use any fabric softener. The package directions on the products should tell you this.
Have fun!
These markers are available at JoAnn's, Michaels, or Hobby Lobby. I think even some Walmarts have them.



answers from Indianapolis on

At JoAnn's and Michael's you can find fabric spray paint. You can use a stencil to either fill in or trace around it with the spray paint. I have used different shaped sponges or chunky stamps for smaller children to stamp with. I also like to use regular acrylic paint to stamp my boys' hands and/or feet. My 3yr old likes how the paint brush tickles him when I cover his hands with paint. Have you thought about tye dying?
Make sure when you buy iron-on paper that you read how to print on it & whether it is for light or dark fabric. If you are worried about lifting, use some "puffy" paint to cover the edges after you have ironed the pic onto your t-shirt (it acts like glue). They have glow-in-the-dark paint that is clear during the day but is fun in the dark! I want to make a T-shirt painting project now! Have Fun!!!



answers from Cleveland on

Hi J.,

How about just buying the permanent markers, you know, the ones they always find and draw on the walls with, that you have to scrub like heck to get out? Seems like regular ballpoint ink would work too, I can never get that out, LOL!

If you have a Joann Fabrics store nearby I would ask them.

Remember to put cardboard inside the t-shirt while the little darlings are drawing on it, otherwise the artwork may bleed to the other side. Then when front side is dry they can do the back or vice versa.

Do a trial run with whatever permanent stuff you have at home.

Good luck and let us know how it comes out!

K. Z.



answers from Indianapolis on

You can actually buy fabric or laundry markers that won't fade easily. We just did a pillow case w/ both paint and fabric markers.

When you use the iron ons, make ABSOLUTELY SURE the edges are COMPLETELY secure. When you use the paint around the edges, drag the tip of the paint bottle INTO the fabric and edge of the iron on. They DON'T come off if you make the effort to secure it well. You can buy fabric paints at Wal-Mart.

Make SURE you wash the shirt, sweatshirt or whatever FIRST WITHOUT fabric softner.

I wash them WRONG SIDE OUT and in cold water. I do NOT put them in the dryer for more than 5-10 minutes. I then take them out and hang dry. Have had some for YEARS that still look GREAT.

If you don't want to use iron ons and get the iron out, use masking tape and let them make their own design. Make sure the edges of the tape are securly on the shirt. Paint on BOTH sides of the masking tape with a brush or spray bottle (watered down paint). THEN, take the masking tape off. I've got some REALLY cool stuff using this method. Kids love it and you DON'T have to get the iron out!