How to Paint on Fabric and Create a One of a Kind Jacket!

7 Materials
1 Hour

Your clothes reflect your personal style. Why look like everyone when you can create your own customized jacket, pants, or tops? I was inspired by the DIY Designer's recent DIY watercolor fabric technique and wanted to try it out for myself.

If you’re a creative person who enjoys style and sustainability, painting on fabric with dye is for you. I’ll show you how to paint on jeans and paint on a jacket, using simple flower doodles. Let’s get started using doodle black pen art with fabric dye so you can turn heads with your creative, artistic style.

This post was transcribed by a member of the Upstyle editorial team from the original UpstyleTV episode.

Tools and materials:

  • Jacket 
  • Pants
  • Paint marker
  • Rit dye in several colors
  • Paint brushes
  • Water
  • Pen and paper
Sketching out a floral design

Sketch your design

Before you draw on your clothes, sketch out your design on paper. This will help you define your look as you practice before doing it on fabric.

Drawing the floral design on a white jacket with black paint marker


1. Draw your design

Use the paint marker on the back of the jacket first. I like to start with the larger flowers and then add the smaller ones. You’re not going for perfection. I’m doing an abstract design that looks like scribbled or doodled flowers.

Simple flower doodles

Flip the jacket over to the front. You should feel more confident with your drawing. Make a giant flower on one side. Make a cluster of smaller flowers on the other side on a diagonal.

Folding sleeve to find center point

I fold the sleeve to find the center point. This way I draw my designs on the sides so people can see the flowers on the sleeves.

Doodle black pen art

Check the jacket to look for empty spaces and fill them where appropriate.

Painting on fabric with dye

2. Paint

Place some water in a small container. Line up your dyes. You’ll paint with water first. Dip your larger brush into the water and then apply the wet brush to the design on the fabric. You really want the brush to be wet so you can layer the different colors. 

Dipping a damp paintbrush into the dye

The easiest way to apply the dye is to pour some of the dye into the flat cap. Dip your damp paintbrush into the dye and then apply it to your clothes.

Layering colors

Keep layering and adding colors to get your desired look. I didn’t worry about the colors bleeding too much. If you are concerned, you can insert your hand in between the front and back of the fabric.

Paint on jacket

Sometimes the color you paint when wet is not the same when it dries. I used emerald green for the stems but they looked blue when they were wet. It turned green as it dried.

Flowers painted by layering colors

You can change up the color by painting the next flower with what’s left on your brush.

Adding more blank flowers with fabric marker

You can then go back in with a different color and highlight the flowers. I added some more blank flowers. 

Customized jacket

You can leave some blank or color all of them. Your choice!

How to paint on jeans


1. Draw the design

I drew a small cluster of flowers on one side of the back of the pants.

Painting on pants

2. Paint

I added one large flower on the opposite leg on the front. Then I started filling in the flowers with dye.

Layering dye on flowers with a paintbrush

Use the same technique for painting as you did on the jacket. Wait for the paint to dry before wearing it.

How to paint on a jacket and pants

You’re done making a customized jacket.

Matching white jacket and pants suit with floral design

How to paint on fabric and create a one-of-a-kind jacket tutorial!

I hope I managed to show you how easy it is to paint on a jacket and jeans with a few of your own doodles and clothes dye.

Customized jacket

Please comment below if you have ever tried painting on fabric with dye and even better, show us your beautiful creations.

Suggested materials:
  • Jacket
  • Pants
  • Paint marker
See all materials

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Join the conversation
2 of 3 comments
  • Ellie Ellie on Sep 20, 2022

    I use acrylic paint mixed with a fabric medium (Hobby Lobby). It softens the paint and makes it washable.

  • Roberta Roberta on Sep 20, 2022

    I have a question that is not about the project but I am so hoping someone can help. I love the project and intend to give it a go! However, each time I save something, I go back and can't find it! I even went to Pinterest and looked, but maybe I am not in the right place? I have looked at my files and nothing there either. I should find it under my projects, I think? After I hit the clapping hands icon, and the confetti goes up, I then hit the save icon and it tells me saved under 'your projects 'What am I doing wrong? ' Please help if you can. I have saved recipes and crafting I am dying to try, and now can't find them. Very disappointing.... Thank you for sharing! 💜😊🕊️🌈✌️🌻