Painted Fabric Dolls

I finally tried painting fabric and made some simple little dolls. Last night I laid out a few scraps of muslin and the non-toxic acrylic paints I always use for kids stuff. (See my favorite tools page if you’d like.) I kept the paint pretty watered down so it soaked into the fabric. It was fun experimenting with different designs. At the end, I decided to make a tiny worm shape, because baby E likes small things. (You can barely see it gripped in her little hand in the photo.) Then this morning I cut some fabric for the backs of the dolls and sewed them together and stuffed them. It was super fast.

It might be cool to make a big sofa pillow this way. Or even paint a t-shirt. I’ll have to see how it washes over time. I remember some of you having good tips on fabric painting. Feel free to comment if you have ideas!

You can buy supplies for this project below! (Made by Joel Shop is powered by The Saturday Market Project)


  1. July 22, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    Cute! I've been meaning to make some similar dolls for my girls but just never seem to have the time. I'm going to get my five year to paint/draw the dolls onto fabric (calico or something similar) and then I'll stitch them up. The cushion idea is also on my (very long!) list of this to make one day :) I like using Pentel Fabric Fun Pastel Dye Sticks as my daughter can draw with them easily on fabric and the colour stays really well after many washes. We made t-shirts with my daughter's drawings over a year ago and the colour still looks just as bright as the day we made them. You can see her t-shirts here:

    1. July 24, 2012 at 9:40 am

      Very cool project Sally! Awesome!

  2. Pete
    July 23, 2012 at 6:04 am

    These guys are super rad. I love the one in the middle with the rothkoesque ( is that a word) belly. My wife has done some cool fabric painting using stencils we made out of freezer paper. Will have to dig out some photos and post back. Very cool man. Thanks

    1. July 24, 2012 at 9:46 am

      Thanks Pete! Yeah, I've always wanted to try out the freezer paper thing. Seems like an awesome trick!

    2. July 25, 2012 at 3:46 pm

      Hey Joel, Here's the pic I mentioned. There's a little bit of bleed with the fabric paint but I really like the effect. Cheers Pete

    3. July 25, 2012 at 9:06 pm

      Ooh yeah, that's awesome!

  3. July 23, 2012 at 12:13 pm

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  4. July 23, 2012 at 1:00 pm

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  5. July 23, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    These are so precious! And perfect for tiny ones. Thanks for sharing! -Tara

  6. July 23, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Adorable... the art, the babe... everything!!!

  7. July 25, 2012 at 7:35 am

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  9. Tanja
    July 30, 2012 at 4:42 am

    Great dolls! My aunt made me a gorgeous doll when I was little - she mixed paint with a little bit of clay to paint the face and the hands and feet.

    1. July 30, 2012 at 10:02 am

      Wow, sounds great! Do you still have it? I'd love to see a photo. Anyway, so cool to have gifts of handmade toys!

    2. sharon
      February 19, 2013 at 4:37 am

      What a terrific aunt to have! <3

  10. August 1, 2012 at 5:40 pm

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  11. September 6, 2012 at 5:00 am

    Cute! great idea!

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