DIY Painted Cat T-Shirt Tutorial

My daughter is obsessed with cats. She will only wear cat clothes. As a result, she asks to wear a cat shirt or cat dress and cat leggings every single day. The only alternative she deems acceptable is leopard print. Leopard print is her new neutral. Who knew Leopard print would be such a big deal with the preschool crowd? Three year old girls are fashion gurus. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

The problem is we only have a few items of clothing with cats on them. We didn’t know the cat-clothing-catastrophe would descend upon us so quickly. I can’t keep up with her daily demand because laundry doesn’t happen by fairies. I do the laundry. It’s me! Only me. Why can’t there be laundry fairies? Why? I needed a solution that allowed me to completely embrace my laundry procrastinating ways! I had to find an inexpensive way to expand our cat clothing collection. My budget conscious wheels were turning.

I bought a pack of Hanes boys t-shirts, some acrylic craft paint, and got to work (I am an Amazon Affiliate. Clicking theses links will take you to Amazon where you can quickly purchase the items you need to start painting). You can watch my DIY Painted Cat T-Shirt tutorial below.

DIY Painted Cat T-Shirt Instructions

Step 1: Put a piece of cardboard inside the shirt so your design stays on the front. You can paint the back after the front has dried.

Step 2: Water the acrylic paint down until it is a thin liquid. This helps the fabric fibers absorb the color. If the paint goes on too thickly it may come off in the wash.

Step 3: Paint a simple cat outline. Or any other animal your child is currently obsessed with. Then let the outline dry.

Step 4: Fill in your cat with paint. Choose colors wisely because they do tend to bleed into each other a little. So think blue and yellow so if the colors mix you have some green. Red and yellow gives you orange. Colors on the opposite sides of a color wheel will give you a brown or gray.

Step 5: After your cat is mostly dry begin painting the background. Once the front is dry, flip it over and paint the back of your shirt. Let it dry completely.

Step 6: Wash it in cold water and tumble dry on low. You may see some fading similar to tie-dye over time.

Step 7: This step is for the kids. Grownups should close their eyes so they don’t become alarmed. Kids, wear your cat shirt daily so your parent has to do laundry every single day…or they break down and makes you many more shirts. The more the merrier, right?

Or just go full on leopard print because you only live once!

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