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DIY Polka Dot Leggings (with fabric paint)

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

With St. Patrick’s day right around the corner, I wanted to make a little something for my missy so she would be “pinch-proof.”  Since she already had this cute little green top, I thought green polka dot leggings would complete the outfit.  (Plus it gave me another chance to use the free legging pattern I released a while back.)

(Looking for more free patterns? Be sure to check out my free patterns and tutorials page here.)

I searched and searched online for the perfect green polka dot print stretch knit fabric, but was just not finding anything that I liked.  I did, however, have this white spandex lycra knit in my stash and a bucketful of fabric paint!  I figured, why not just paint them myself?  I’m glad I did because the finished result was super cute!

Painting the polka dots on the fabric was really very quick and easy.  I have a couple more yards of this fabric left over and can’t wait to make a few more items.

The pattern I used for the leggings is free and in sizes 3 to 12.  (Get it here.)  Want to try painting fabric yourself?   I have just a couple of tips/reminders to share.

How to paint on fabric:


Materials you will need: (I linked to what I used so you can see it)


1.  To keep my polka dots from looking messy, I used my ruler and fabric marker to draw lines in a grid pattern.  It took a few extra minutes to draw the lines, but it was worth it based on how nicely lined up the polka dots turned out.

2.  When you’re cutting the pattern (shorts/leggings/pants) out of the fabric, make sure you remember to flip the pattern over/upside down otherwise after you cut the front pieces or the front/back pieces won’t match up.  (Yes, I forgot to do this and had to paint another piece of fabric…)

3.  Follow the fabric paint directions on drying time and sew the pattern up as normal!

Oops, mom just took one picture too many!  

No close-ups pictures of the pants today, they are very happily traveling to Grandma’s for Spring Break!  Whoo hoo!


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  1. Chelsea @ Making Home Base says:

    Cute! I've been wanting to do this with tights!!

  2. Kathy Moody says:

    These are adorable, and such a great idea! I love it. Thank you so much for sharing at A Bouquet of Talent last week. So sorry I am just now visiting. Have a great weekend. 🙂

  3. So cute!! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!

  4. Shaffer Sisters says:

    I was just stopping by and loved your post on the girls pocka dot leggings!! They look so easy to make. I have some nieces that would love something like this!!

  5. Becca Acker says:

    Those are so cute! What a cool idea. 🙂

  6. Andrea Pannell says:

    CUTE!!! I think my girls would love this!

  7. Desiree @ The 36th AVENUE says:

    ADORABLE! Featuring it tomorrow on my blog…♥

  8. Kim @ Two Ten Designs says:

    My daughter is in love with polka dots, and these are just so cute! I am loving these pants! And the high ponytail 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!

  9. How adorable! I'm a big polka dot fan, too! Love the photos of your little model, too. I'd be thrilled if you'd link up at this week's Off the Hook!

  10. Sherry of Pondered Primed Perfected says:

    Adorable! Love polka dots 🙂

  11. Cassi Brightforest says:

    I love them, how did they wash up? Is the paint areas stiff?

    1. Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom says:

      It's a little stiff, but soft. (If that makes sense…) It doesn't feel any different than any other heavily screen printed t-shirt…

  12. Rachel- R & R Workshop says:

    These are soo cute!! What a great idea!!

    Rachel(R&R Workshop)

  13. Jessica Anderson says:

    These pants are adorable! I would have never thought to use fabric paint to do something like this on PANTS! 🙂 I'll be signing up to get your emails. Jessica (cutesycrafts.com)