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Textured Hearts Stenciled T-shirt (with puff paint!)

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Make an adorable puffy heart t-shirt to coordinate with all the skirts, leggings and shorts you have sewn. All you need is a blank t-shirt and puff paint!

Textured Heart T-shirt with puffy paint and a freezer paper stencil.

Occasionally, when I make skirts or leggings, it’s difficult to find tops to coordinate.  I try to keep a few solid t-shirts on hand for this exact reason and have become a pro at embellishing them with stencils, fabric paint and fabric scraps.  (You can see a few examples here, here, here and here.)

Today, I am sharing how I made this adorable textured hearts t-shirt with puffy paint and a freezer paper stencil.

As I’ve been moving my craft room upstairs, I’m coming across all sorts of little projects that had been cast aside or just on my “to-do later” list.  

In this particular case, I have an entire shelf dedicated to projects that just need a quick fix.  

So… I’ve been doing all sorts of boring stuff, taking in/letting out waistbands, hemming, fixing buttons, patching holes….  Most of them too boring to blog about.

One of the quick fix project were these knit pants from target, they were always a favorite and had held up well.  (I’m guessing they are about 4 yrs old.)  Look familiar to any other moms out there? (Because I think practically every little girl I know had a pair, lol!)

The colors are just so bright and pretty she wanted to keep wearing them.  Unfortunately the pants were a boot cut/bell bottom style, so as she grew taller, the style didn’t work.  (She can wear her skinny leggings for a couple years as capris, but boot cut just doesn’t work without alterations….)

First, I got to work turning these into skinny leggings…  

All I did to fix the pants was to line up a pair of leggings that fit on top of the old pants along the outer edge.  I marked the new inner seam line and basted along that line:

I had her try the pants on and after I was sure they were not to tight, I serged the seam.  (I could probably tighten them up a bit more, but I’m satisfied for now…)

After finishing up the pants, she needed a new top that coordinated!

I had a package of Tulip puffy fabric paint and the colors were a perfect match to these pants. I normally use the soft fabric paint and a foam brush to paint on fabric, but I didn’t think that technique would work as well with puff paint.

I figured dotting the paint on the fabric would be a great way to show off the texture.  And it was…  My daughter loved it, she could not keep her hand off the dots when she first tried on the shirt!

This technique would work with so many designs: flowers, letters and many other simple shapes…

Are you ready to make one for yourself?  

Textured Heart T-shirt with puffy paint and a freezer paper stencil.

Here is how I did it.

Textured Hearts T-shirt Tutorial:

Materials needed:


1.  Make a stencil.

My drawing skills are not the best, so I like to use freezer paper to create my stenciled images.

The process is pretty simple.  Print out your image and place it under a piece of freezer paper.  Then (preferably on a self healing mat) use an exacto knife to cut out the image.

2.  Iron the freezer paper to the t-shirt. (shiny side down on the shirt.) and begin dotting the paint on the shirt.  (I do recommend making a few test images on scrap paper.)

3. Keep going until you have filled the design with dots.  Carefully remove freezer paper while the fabric paint is still wet.  If you allow it to dry, it will adhere to the paper in any spots the paint touches the paper.

4.  Follow the instructions for your brand of paint on applying steam and how long to wait before laundering.

Cute right?

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  1. Julia Nyanyo says:

    Very cute! I not surprised your daughter loves it. the simple heart shape works so well with all those dots and colours.

  2. stitchesoflightandmore says:

    Awesome! Great tutorial!

  3. Elizabeth Dovey says:

    Adorable! I saw some puffy paint in Hobby Craft on Tuesday, I wish I had bought it now!

    1. It's even cuter in person, the shirt didn't really photograph well.

  4. anastasia anezinis says:

    So cute and fresh t-shirt inovation!
    Thanks for the tutorial!