Design Your Own Fabric : Another Easy Technique

Dear Chicago House,

Who knew this little post on custom fabric creation would get so much interest. I shared only one technique for creating your own stunning fabric but I am here today for another lesson.


Design your own fabric with Sharpies

You will need

  • Sharpies
  • Fine paint brush
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton fabric
  • Color fixer (optional)

Lay your fabric out on some cardboard and create a design based on pairs of lines. you can use solid or dotted lines like my example below.

Take your paint brush and apply a liberal amount of alcohol between each set of lines as illustrated by the red below.

The liquid will spread outwards leaving a clear strip between the line pairs

What fun!

And here are some examples.

This one I used different colored dots on some of the lines

And this one I created with solid lines

A reader shared a tip for getting the color to stay put. After the alcohol has dried, iron the fabric then treat it with a color fixer – she recommended a product called retayne – you can buy it on amazon here .


Love from

Creative in Chicago



P.S. Are you following me on Facebook or Pinterest?

6 thoughts on “Design Your Own Fabric : Another Easy Technique

    1. I have done this as a craft with my grandkiddos on tee shirts. I heat set with an iron as soon as the alcohol was dry and then treated it with a product called retayne(bought this at amazon). Then if you always wash in cold water it holds pretty good. I experimented with several different techniques and this one seems to work the best.

  1. This is my favourite example of Sharpie fabric art. I’m looking to paint a man’s cotton shirt to use as a casual jacket.

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