With the Kids

Painted T-Shirt Stamping – a craft and activity

We’re stamping up t-shirts to make a super cool designer-style tee! Pick your favorite stamp, get a plain light-colored t-shirt and start decorating! Kids love to see how their new creation comes out and they’ll want to wear their painted t-shirt everyday.

Painted T-shirt Stamping Craft

Oh look, another post where Heather paints something random with acrylic paint! What can I say, acrylic paint is one of the cheapest and most versatile art/craft supplies around! This time, we’re painting t-shirts and onesies. You don’t need anything special to paint clothing – don’t bother checking out the fabric paint section at your craft store. You can use that regular old acrylic craft paint, and it will stay permanent and vibrant!

My three year-old son and I had fun decorating t-shirts with this vintage stamp set we have. We even decorated a onesie for his new brother. I like the effect of the imperfect stamping en masse. Pattern is such a great element of design – repetition makes things intentional! This shirt reminds me of some of the surf-inspired t-shirts kids were wearing in the late 80s, early 90s when I was in grade school and junior high.


You can use this technique on new clothes, or use it to spruce up stained clothes (disguise the stains under paint!) — great for kids’ clothes that have seen better days!


Acrylic paint will stay permanent on clothing. Once it dries and is heat set with a dryer or iron, it’s there forever. Make sure you DON’T use washable acrylic paint! It won’t work for this project.


  • T-shirt, on hand or $1
  • Acrylic craft paint, about $.50 per bottle or on hand
  • Stamps, on hand
  • Iron or clothes dryer, on hand

Painted T-shirt Stamping


Stamp or otherwise make a print on a t-shirt using acrylic craft paint.

When paint is dry, throw it into the clothes dryer until dry to heat set, or if you prefer to iron, put a thin dishtowel over garment and iron (no steam) until dry.


The paint should be fixed on the garment now! They’re ready to wear their favorite new painted t-shirt everyday!

DIY Painted T-Shirt Stamping


  1. I’m just wondering how this holds up in the wash?? It’s fixing to be my daughters Valentine’s Day party and she wants a stenciled t shirt. We have always used puffy paint but with the stencils they are not goi g to work, so I’m gonna try your idea. I just wonder if it’s just gonna be a one time wear, or if she will get to enjoy it many more times. Thank you.

  2. I’m a full grown man and want to make a Hello Kitty t-shirt, Strawberry Shortcake and maybe My Little Pony because I think it would be funny. Thanks, I didn’t know you could simply use acrylic paint, iron or dryer it and that’s it. So simple! : )

  3. I want to paint my favorite musicision on a shirt. I work with acrylic paint often but I have never used it on a shirt. Some people say it will flake off or fade on a t-shirt? Is this true?

  4. Is the acrylic paint safe for the onesies? Because I’m planning a shower and decided to make that the activity.

  5. @Susan, I got the stamps at the thrift store, so I’m not sure how old they are! :) I’m older than you, so we can be vintage together! :)

    @Shana, I just used the regular high heat setting on my dryer.

  6. I’m not sure how I feel about you calling the stamp set vintage. I realized that it was a stamp set that I had growing up and I don’t feel old enough for it to be considered “vintage”. I guess I need to accept the fact that I am thirty and only going to get older! ;) This project is a great idea – thanks for sharing!

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