Easy DIY: Pentel Fabric Fun Pastels/ Black and White to Technicolour

I first read about Pentel Fabric Fun Pastels on A Beautiful Mess, and was really intrigued- so I decided to buy a set. I picked up the 100% cotton striped shirt at Old Navy (in the post-Christmas sales!), and thought that the existing black stripes would help give a bit of structure to my very simple, very easy triangles. It was a great way to ease into using these pastels, and I love the final effect:
Having little hits of colour on this shirt take it from very basic to something fun and different, and you really can do anything with them- these super simple triangles were just the small detail I wanted, but I’m already imagining other things I could do with them- the problem now is to resist drawing on all my cotton shirts!

Some Tips on using the Pastels:

  • The pastels are set with heat from a clothes iron, so whatever you are drawing on, it needs to be able to withstand the hottest setting on an iron. This means that fabric most suited for the pastels will be natural fibers like cotton, linen, etc (stuff that won’t melt!)
  • You need to use a sheet of blank paper (any kind, really) between the iron and the fabric- I suspect this is mostly about protecting your iron, because you will get some transfer of colour from the pastels to your paper. And better it end up on the paper than on your iron.
  • These set really easily, and really fast- technically you can wash out the design before ironing, but I tested this out and can tell you that the dark colours in the set do not wash out easily. It’s worth planning your design carefully before you begin.
  • They are just like the artist pastels you would use on paper, in terms of consistency and effect- they are blendable, and have a ‘crayon’ sort of appearance on fabric.

I already have another project in the works for these, they are very addictive! You’ll be seeing these pastels on the blog again very soon….


  1. melody (mandarines)   •  

    This is such a smart idea Julie! I would love to give it a try this summer on a white shirt or cotton dress!

  2. thatcanadiangirl   •  

    This looks like SO much fun! I’ve just ordered a pack of the pastels and a few natural cotton bags to draw onto. Might be a weekend project with friends 😀

  3. eliza   •  

    i love the way this shirt turned out! what a fun and creative modification!

  4. Laura Nelkin   •  

    Oh my…. I LOVE THIS! We have fabric markers galore, and I’m so tempted to go find some striped shirts…. great idea!

  5. Kelly Ramstack   •  

    This looks dangerously addicting…

    I went to the Russian Far East in 2004 and taught kids how to tie-dye. (I brought over my own dyes.) Once they untied their dyed bandanas, the kids all took off running to their cabins to get more clothes to dye. LOL. What a neat experience.

  6. Tanis   •  

    The pastels are a great touch, but I really think that the genius here is in your choice of base shirt, the black stripes add a whole other element that a plain white tee wouldn’t. So inspiring! Can’t wait to see what else you’re working on.

  7. Angeleena   •  

    Soooo lovely! I went ahead and just bought a 15 pack. You enabler, you….;)

  8. Loulou   •  

    This is so neat! It really made your striped shirt look great. And I bet it was fun to do too.

  9. Nicole   •  

    How cool! I never really thought of it before…but I love it!

  10. Teresa   •  

    This is amazing! So many ideas! Need now! Thanks fir posting!

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  12. Karen   •  

    I just bought these and was looking for some ideas! This iss great and gets me A goin’ ! the points remind me of Crayola crayons! You know it would be cute to do this and on another line/lines you could write a saying or something using the child-like font! I’m thinking you could draw actual crayons on it standing on end on a child or teacher’s shirt or bag for gift.. and personalize them of course. I have a new white dress, tank, tee, and culottes, i’m thinking some nice flowers, i wonder if you can use the water to dilute the colors done once they are on the fabric with like a Q-tip and make it look like watercolors? Anyways, thanks for posting and thanks for the idea, off to use mine, now!!

  13. Urielh7   •  

    That’s such a cool idea! And I know I just said it in another comment, but wow! You’re so gorgeous! And I love your lipstick! ^^

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