How To Make A Color-Block Tee

Sunday, March 25, 2012

As you know (if you've stepped out into the stores at all) color blocking and neon are everywhere this spring...dresses, shirts, skirts and even ballet flats are featuring the trends. For this week's tutorial, I asked Merrick from Merrick's Art to share her DIY color-block tee, which conveniently features a combination of both trends.

A few weeks ago, I saw Molly, from Urban Nester, wear a neon color-block top from Gap and I instantly loved it. I've been itching to pull out my fabric paints for a while, so this was a good opportunity.

I used a long sleeved plain white t-shirt that I almost never wore, and altered the sleeves (using this tutorial) to 3/4 length. Then here's what I did:

  • light plain colored t-shirt
  • fabric paint
  • tape
  • sponge brush

Step 1: mark the location where your fabric paint will end (mine was about 8 inches from the shoulder seam), and tape it off. I made the mistake of not taping on both the inside and outside of my shirt, so my paint bled a little bit, so make sure you tape off the front and the back, on the inside and outside.

**if it was summer and I was able to hang dry my shirt outside, I would have used RIT dye and dip dyed the shirt. I think this would have worked a little bit better. I'll definitely be trying this again when it warms up a bit more...

Step 2: Lay your shirt out on a board (or something that can get stained), and using watered down fabric paint, sponge your paint lightly on to the lower half of your shirt.

Sponge the entire front of the shirt, then flip the shirt and sponge the back.

Step 3: Hang dry for several hours.

Step 4: (optional) because mine bled a little bit, I painted a white stripe across the top to camouflage the mistake, and I love how it turned out. 

Wait at least three days to wash, and then wash inside out. 

the green is much more vibrant and neon than it appears in this photo. The actual color is much more similar to the hang-dry photo above.

Next time I think I'm going to style it with my new leopard belt, just like Molly did.

Happy painting!


  1. It's really a great idea and T-shirt is looking more beautiful after color blocking. Loved this idea and thanks for sharing!

  2. That's a great idea and the shirt looks great.... Gonna try it... Thanks for sharing :)

  3. This is really cute! I know color blocking is huge for spring so it's fun to be able to make something super trendy and unique!

  4. Yours turned out darling! I'm glad that you were inspired by my Gap sweater... They always come out with the best stuff :] I love neon for spring!


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