Introduction: Ugly Shorts? Paint Em! Fabric Painting 101

Paint Those Ugly Shorts! Fabric Painting 101

A Tutorial

Got ugly shorts? Or an ugly t-shirt? Pants? Don't toss it? Just give it new life by painting it.

Download this Free Tutorial

Step 1: Supplies:

Jacquard MX Dye in the following colors:

– Lemon Yellow – Golden Yellow – Magenta

Soda Ash

Ugly Shorts (pre-washed) (must be cotton, linen or rayon)

Sponge Brushes

Old Containers* (for mixing dye)

Plastic Spoons*

Dust Mask

2 Sheets of Plastic

Rubber or Latex Gloves



*Containers no longer safe for food prep

Step 2: Pre-Soaking the Fabric:

Mix 1 Gallon Warm Water with 1 Cup of Soda Ash in the Bucket. Add the Shorts and soak for about 30 minutes.

Step 3: Mixing the Dye:

Put on the dust mask! Mix 2 teaspoons of Dye Powder with about 1 tablespoon of warm water in a mixing container. Stir well to dissolve and then add 8 ounces of water.

Step 4: Painting:

Cover the table with plastic. With gloved hands, remove the shorts from the soda ash water. Wring out excess liquid and then place the shorts on the plastic, straightening out any wrinkles.

Note: if you don’t want the paint to bleed through from the front to the back of the shorts, place a piece of cardboard inside. Since I’m doing the same design on both sides, I skipped this part. Using the sponge brushes, paint the colors on in a design of your choice. I did stripes … cause I like stripes

Step 5: Paint the Backside:

Cover the shorts with another sheet of plastic and carefully flip the whole thing over. Remove the plastic and paint the backside. Again, this can be the same design as the front or it can be completely different!

Step 6: Setting the Dye:

Once the shorts are completely painted, cover the top with plastic and let it sit for 24 hours. Rinse with warm and then hot water until the water runs clear and the excess dye has been removed. Hang to dry.

There ya go! Brand new shorts! Wash separately.

Download this Free Tutorial


Pop on by FiberArtsy for my other free Tutorials:

How to Paint Tiger Stripes

Make a Kool-Aid Yarn Dyeing Kit

Step 7: