Need a new wardrobe but can’t afford one? Now you take those old clothes and dress them up, change their color or make wacky designs on them! You don’t need any experience and it’s really quite inexpensive. This quick and easy project is bound to put a smile on your face when you see what you can do to spice up plain clothes. So go gather up a few pieces and let’s get started.

Things You'll Need

Spray Painting Your Clothes

Cover your work area in a paper that doesn’t have any dye in it. Newspaper has dye and is unusable, but mover’s wrapping paper or craft paper works well. Put on a painter’s mask so you don’t inhale the paint or adhesive. You may even want to wear latex gloves so you don’t end up with colored hands. Pick the article of clothing you want to work with and gather all of your materials. If you are using new pieces of clothing they should be washed and dried first.

Stencil some clothes. Stenciling works great down the side of jeans, across an entire belt, or over the tip of sneakers. Use your spray adhesive and spray the back of the stencil. You can buy a spray adhesive that is used to hold things in place, rather than to glue them permanently, in your local craft store. Place your stencil where you want your new design to be. Use some paper or some rags to cover and protect the area outside the stencil. Spray the fabric spray inside the stencil. Let the paint dry for about a half hour and remove your stencil. To make a cute set, do the same thing to a matching shirt, either down one side or down one sleeve. Then do the same to a belt to match.

Make a design on your clothes by using shapes. Take some nice shaped maple leaves, spray the adhesive on the back of them and lay them on a blouse. Press them down so that none of the leaf points are sticking up. Spray the entire blouse and let it dry for about an hour. Pull off your leaves and you have a perfect design. This looks great with hearts too. If you like lighthouses or animals you can use this method by putting a lighthouse figure or a dog or cat silhouette toward the top and in the center of a sweatshirt. Then paint the whole shirt or make a splash around the figure. Using the dog example, stencil FIDO under the silhouette.

Tie-dye or twist your t-shirt for funky designs. Pull up sections and put rubber bands around each, or pull the whole t-shirt and put the rubber bands one after another leaving about 1 or 2 inches between them until the whole shirt is a long roll. Use different colors as you get to each rubber band. Let it dry for an hour or so and remove the rubber bands. Another way-out design is to give your shirt a quick twist here and there and spray the twists. Wait about 15 minutes and pull out straight. Now twist in other places and use a different color this time. Keep going until you have the design you like.


  • Let the paint dry for at least 3 days before you wash it.