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Painted Graffiti Shirt

Turn a boring white top into a piece of art for this t-shirt transformation. Use stencils and fabric paint to create a fun and unexpected design on your Painted Graffiti Shirt from Savannah Starr. This is a great way to upcycle an old shirt that's too big and boxy. Cut it up, add some color and wear it with pride.

Painted Graffiti Shirt


  • T-shirt – style of your choice
  • Scissors
  • Freezer paper (to insert inside t-shirt) or Tulip Fashion Form
  • Tulip Soft Fabric paint – colors of your choice
  • Small paint roller and tray
  • Tulip Fabric markers – black (or colors of your choice)
  • Alphabet stencils – re-positionable
  • Cardboard shapes or stencil designs of your choice


  1. To transform a plain t-shirt into a tank top, cut off sleeves.

    Painted Graffiti Shirt
  2. To cut the same size on each side, place cut sleeve over un-cut sleeve to use as pattern guide for cutting.

    Painted Graffiti Shirt
  3. Cut away neckline.

    Painted Graffiti Shirt
  4. Insert freezer paper inside t-shirt to keep paint from bleeding through to back side.

    Painted Graffiti Shirt
  5. Pour paint into paint tray and pick up paint with roller.

    Painted Graffit Shirt
  6. Roll paint onto t-shirt. Reapplying paint to roller as desired. (I like to start with my lightest color first.)

    Painted Graffiti Shirt
  7. Pour next color of paint into tray, pick up paint with roller and roll onto t-shirt.

    Painted Graffiti Shirt
  8. Continue to apply each color. Don’t over-roll or your colors will start to blend together and lose their vividness. Be sure to paint right up to the sides and top of shoulders.

    Painted Graffiti Shirt
  9. Place re-positionable alphabet letters on t-shirt.

    Painted Graffiti Shirt
  10. You can also cut and place other cardboard and paper stencils onto t-shirt.

    Painted Graffiti Shirt
  11. Apply next color of paint over stencils carefully so that the letters do not shift. Repeat process by rolling paint over other designs.

    Painted Graffiti Shirt
  12. While paint is still wet, remove lettering and designs. Let paint dry completely.

    Painted Graffiti Shirt
  13. Outline the alphabet letters with fabric marker.

    Painted Graffiti Shirt
  14. Create the look of dimension by broadening the lines along the side and top of each letter.

    Painted Graffiti Shirt
  15. When you are finished, you will have designs that look very dimensional. Let dry completely.

    Painted Graffiti Shirt


For a comprehensive video tutorial, check out Painted Graffiti Shirt.

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