Fun with Fabric

In this lesson we will experiment with textiles. This form of art is great fun and you can be done at a variety of levels.  You could choose to keep it very simple or make it much more detailed by including embroidery, beads and embellishments.     

  • A range of fabric scraps/pieces.  I have used old sheets, some old clothes and scarves. I also had a free sample catalogue and some interfacing fabric. 
  • Scissors
  • PVA glue
  • Embroidery thread or sewing thread
  • Needles
  • Beads/sequins/buttons
  • Acrylic paint, brusho paint,watercolour paints
  • Coloured paper
  • Thin cardboard
  • Felt tip pens
  • Cotton wool        

1. Preparing your material

You need to start by preparing your fabric.  Cut it into a variety of sizes and shapes.  If you would like to make the finished work into cards make sure you do some small sizes.  

Create a few simple designs for your artwork.  These could be landscapes, flowers, trees, animals, or just a pattern or abstract design. 

Next you should have fun painting your fabric with any type of paint you have available.  You can play around with a background wash with drier paint on top.  Experiment using different brush strokes and colours.  Don’t worry about paints running, this could just lead to a different finished effect.

Leave your work to dry thoroughly.

This is painted interfacing – I think that it looks like water when dry.  

2. Embellishing your fabric

I have embellished this by cutting out fabric water lilies and leaves.  I added a few beads and stitches to both.  I mounted the finished work to make nice cards.  

This picture shows a variety of different stitches that you could use in your embellishments.

You don’t have to use embroidery or sewing to add details.  You could instead add more paint, use felt-tip pens, or even glue things on.  

Patterns can look very effective on dark fabric.

You could try abstract patterns instead.

If you have a heavily patterned fabric you can add details with felt-tip pens or beads.  

You could create a stencil to help you add repeated images.

3. Fabric Gifts

Play around with some simple shapes that you can sew together and stuff with cotton wool.  These make lovely Christmas gifts and decorations.  

Another nice use of a fabric design is a bookmark. 

I hope you enjoy experimenting with lovely fabric.

Julie x