Getting Started

Use prewashed ironed fabric. Don't use fabric softener or dryer sheets as they make it more difficult for the paint to adhere properly. Cover your work surface with scrap paper or plastic to make cleanup a breeze.

Stabilize the fabric with freezer paper. The paper adheres to the fabric in a temporary bonding process that helps hold the fabric steady and wrinkle-free while you paint. Cut a piece of freezer paper slightly larger than the area you intend to paint. Place the plastic coated side against the fabric wrong side. Use a dry iron at a cotton setting against the paper to temporarily adhere it to the fabric. The plastic won't hurt the fabric and the paper peels off easily when you're finished.


Use a stencil for the design or freehand draw a design or monogram.

Purchase premade stencils at any quilt, fabric or craft store. Or make a stencil from freezer paper, masking tape or contact paper.

To make a stencil, draw a design and cut it out with a craft knife. You can cut out a shape and apply paint outside the edges, or discard the cutout and paint the inside part of the design. Use decorative scissors for a fancy edge. Iron a freezer paper stencil (shiny side down) directly to the fabric right side and it will stay in place. Use contact paper for a stiffer stencil. Cut out the design, peel and stick it to the fabric. Masking tape is great for painting straight lines.

Use masking tape or post-it notes on a premade stencil to hold the stencil in place and mask off any parts of the design you don't want to include.


Remove the self-healing protective coating from the Paintstik with a craft knife or paper towel (a).

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A Remove Protective Coating.

To freehand draw a design, use the Paintstiks as you would a crayon (b).

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B Use Paintstiks like a crayon.

To use Paintstiks with a stencil, rub the Paintstik with a stencil brush and work the brush on a paper towel to remove any excess paint. You can always add more paint to the design but you can't take it away, so don’t load too much paint on the brush. Using firm, short strokes, apply paint in one direction (c). Start at the outer edges and work your way inward. When satisfied, remove the stencil.

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C Apply paint in one direction.


To clean up, discard any freezer paper and masking tape. Wipe plastic stencils with baby wipes (if more than two hours has passed, use odorless mineral spirits). Clean your hands with soap and water.

To heat-set the work, allow it to cure for at least 24 hours. Remove any unwanted bits of paint with a lint roller or masking tape. Set the iron to the wool setting (300° F). Use a firm ironing surface. Place a press cloth or scrap of paper over the paint to prevent the iron from coming in direct contact with the color and to absorb any excess. Iron smoothly for 10 seconds using light pressure, making sure that all areas of the design come in contact with the heat.

To care for the painted work, turn any garments inside out. Hand or gentle machine wash using a mild detergent—no bleach—and avoid putting detergent directly onto a painted area. Either hang the item to dry or dry it flat. Do not dry-clean.

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Source | Cedar Canyon Textiles, (877) 296-9278,, carries Shiva Artist’s Paintstiks.

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