How to Make Your Own Fabric Paint and Design a Girls Rule the Galaxy T-Shirt

If you think camp is just for girls, try being in a group of leaders who have been paired through heat waves, wolf spiders and torrential downpours for years.

This year, our group of four decided to go with Star Wars themed camp names. (Then of course, we turned to Amazon for silly T-shirts and giggles through the remainder of the camp planning meeting.)

Personally, I fell in love with this Rey-inspired T-shirt. Girls Rule the Galaxy - Rey T-shirt from Star Wars the Force AwakensI loved it more for the idea behind it than the characters themselves. (Though I won’t tell my husband, but I do like the latest Star Wars movie!) I loved the idea of girls ruling the galaxy so much that I wished we could make them for our girls in our unit.

And after a bit of brainstorming, we found a way to do it pretty cost-effectively.

It helps that I still had a small stash of donated T-shirts, but a little creativity helped us overcome the need for stencils and for fabric paint.

Making a “Girls Rule the Galaxy” Stencil

With stencils, you could do one of two things:

  1. 2 inch letter stencil - papyrusBuy multiple packages of 2-inch letter stencils and cut and adhere the words together (for sanity purposes).For “Girls Rule the Galaxy,” you’d technically need three sets of letters, unless you are confident in your ability to adapt a “T” into an “L.”

    I liked these “Papyrus” letter stencils I initially found at Joann’s but they are also available at Amazon.

  2. Alternately, if you have access to a Cricut machine, by cutting out letters, you can achieve a similar look. I used the George cartridge and set them to 2″ letters. You will need to print multiple sets on cardstock, depending on the size of your group, but it is a far simpler process if you have access to a Cricut or other letter-cutting machine.

DIY Star Wars Themed "Girls Rule the Galaxy" T-shirt Design. Make your own stencil using a Cricut cartridge.Making Your Own Fabric Paint

My other challenge was getting enough fabric paint. Guessing how much paint is needed is tricky enough but fabric paint can add up in costs quickly.

Instead, we decided to use resources wisely and use up some of our leftover acrylic paint.

There are two downsides to using acrylic paint on fabric.

First, as you can tell in the picture above, the paint is very thick and doesn’t seem as smooth as it could be. (Though for a sample demonstration for the girls, it works just fine!)

The other downside to using acrylic paint on fabric is that acrylic paint does stiffen the fabric. But instead of setting this idea aside, I invested in a bottle of textile medium. This is a paint additive that you can add to acrylic paint to make it easier to paint on fabric and to make the fabric more flexible once the paint is dried.

You will need to use 2 parts textile medium to 1 part acrylic paint to achieve the desired effect.

We’re excited to try this project out with our Cadettes at camp this summer! 

How to make your own fabric paint. use textile medium, about the cost of a bottle of acrylic paint, to add to your acrylic paint you have to create fabric paint. use 2 parts textile medium to 1 part paint
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