With the Kids

Painted T-Shirt Stamping – a craft and activity

We’re stamping up t-shirts to make a super cool designer-style tee! Pick your favorite stamp, get a plain light-colored t-shirt and start decorating! Kids love to see how their new creation comes out and they’ll want to wear their painted t-shirt everyday.

Painted T-shirt Stamping Craft

Oh look, another post where Heather paints something random with acrylic paint! What can I say, acrylic paint is one of the cheapest and most versatile art/craft supplies around! This time, we’re painting t-shirts and onesies. You don’t need anything special to paint clothing – don’t bother checking out the fabric paint section at your craft store. You can use that regular old acrylic craft paint, and it will stay permanent and vibrant!

My three year-old son and I had fun decorating t-shirts with this vintage stamp set we have. We even decorated a onesie for his new brother. I like the effect of the imperfect stamping en masse. Pattern is such a great element of design – repetition makes things intentional! This shirt reminds me of some of the surf-inspired t-shirts kids were wearing in the late 80s, early 90s when I was in grade school and junior high.


You can use this technique on new clothes, or use it to spruce up stained clothes (disguise the stains under paint!) — great for kids’ clothes that have seen better days!


Acrylic paint will stay permanent on clothing. Once it dries and is heat set with a dryer or iron, it’s there forever. Make sure you DON’T use washable acrylic paint! It won’t work for this project.


  • T-shirt, on hand or $1
  • Acrylic craft paint, about $.50 per bottle or on hand
  • Stamps, on hand
  • Iron or clothes dryer, on hand

Painted T-shirt Stamping


Stamp or otherwise make a print on a t-shirt using acrylic craft paint.

When paint is dry, throw it into the clothes dryer until dry to heat set, or if you prefer to iron, put a thin dishtowel over garment and iron (no steam) until dry.


The paint should be fixed on the garment now! They’re ready to wear their favorite new painted t-shirt everyday!

DIY Painted T-Shirt Stamping


  1. After u paint it for a dryer what setting do u put it on? Does it matter? Should it be put inside a pillow case to prevent splattering? And can u re wear it multiple times? What about washer settings? + temperature?

  2. Never thought of this. Thank you for this article. My daughter bought my grandson an expensive white shirt, he is in foster care at the moment. The foster mom let him wear the shirt while he and his brother tried spin art for the first time, with no adult supervision I should her the article…you saved the day. Thank YOU.

  3. once I dry this, is it washing machine safe? can I wear it more than once?
    won’t the paint splatter on the inside of the drier?

  4. What do you mean “until dry”?
    I don’t think you mean that we should put wet paint in the dryer, are we supposed to wet the fabric after we paint?
    Thank you, looking forward to trying this!

  5. Does this still work even if i paint the whole shirt a colour? And if i paint the while thing can i put it in the dryer with other clothes

  6. I’m just wondering how this holds up in the wash?? It’s fixing to be my daughters Valentine’s Day party and she wants a stenciled t shirt. We have always used puffy paint but with the stencils they are not goi g to work, so I’m gonna try your idea. I just wonder if it’s just gonna be a one time wear, or if she will get to enjoy it many more times. Thank you.

  7. I’m a full grown man and want to make a Hello Kitty t-shirt, Strawberry Shortcake and maybe My Little Pony because I think it would be funny. Thanks, I didn’t know you could simply use acrylic paint, iron or dryer it and that’s it. So simple! : )

  8. I want to paint my favorite musicision on a shirt. I work with acrylic paint often but I have never used it on a shirt. Some people say it will flake off or fade on a t-shirt? Is this true?

  9. Is the acrylic paint safe for the onesies? Because I’m planning a shower and decided to make that the activity.

  10. @Susan, I got the stamps at the thrift store, so I’m not sure how old they are! :) I’m older than you, so we can be vintage together! :)

    @Shana, I just used the regular high heat setting on my dryer.

  11. I’m not sure how I feel about you calling the stamp set vintage. I realized that it was a stamp set that I had growing up and I don’t feel old enough for it to be considered “vintage”. I guess I need to accept the fact that I am thirty and only going to get older! ;) This project is a great idea – thanks for sharing!

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