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Completed scrap frabic painted cloth

Step-by-step on how to use old fabric and create your own design.

Old clothes and fabrics are perfect for making patchwork items and accessories for the home. If you're looking for a way to bring in some extra cash each month, here's a way to make use of what normally gets thrown away. If you're sewing skills are not quite up the advanced level, you could still make colourful piece of fabric.

The fashion industry is one of the most polluting and socially challenged industries”, says Wendy Schultz, Textiles and Fashion lecturer. According to global research cotton production alone is the second most polluting crop after corn, and the industry has long outsourced production to low wage countries, exploiting low levels of regulation. There is an untold amount of textile waste created in the production of fashion, and this Upcycle project is aimed to create a difference by showing how these small off-cuts can be transformed into something of much greater value than its parts: up-cycling at its best.

For any questions contact: Winnie

What you need:

  • Old, used pieces of already painted fabric
  • Paintbrushes
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Paint, choose a colour which is not already been used on the scrap cloth

Read through all the instructions first before starting this craft. It is recommended that you read through the Fabric Painting Basics before starting this project.

Step 1

Take any one of your chosen pieces of colourful fabric which has been painted on and place it onto plastic sheeting with the painted side facing upwards.
Using a medium sized paintbrush, paint over the entire cloth with your chosen colour paint, preferably using a different colour to any colour already been used on the fabric.

fabric painted cloth

Step 2

When painting over the fabric, use thick, even strokes, but make sure it is not so thick that it becomes too shiny, otherwise you won't be able to see the design properly.

Step 3

After the fabric has been painted over, use the back tip of the paintbrush to gently scrape a design of your choice, let your imagination go wild!
test pattern designdraw pattern designsexpanded pattern on fabric

desting the scratch design in the fabric paintstarting the pattern in the wet fabric paintealmost compelted fabric painted project

Step 4

If you don't like your design you can easily paint over it again, and again! The end result will be a beautiful crafted design made from old fabric which would have been left lying around or thrown out in the trash!

fabric paint painted cloth

Step 5

Remember that you need to heat set any fabric painted items. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions of your paint.

finished fabric painted cloth