Embellish your fabric by changing it up entirely
This group of embellishment ideas is close to my heart as someone who loves to make DIY fabric. It’s another round of no-sew types of things that you can do, and this will exercise your creativity like no other!
60. Dye: a class unto itself. There’s a bagazillion things you can do with dye to make a plain fabric more interesting. You can overdye nearly anything, and there’s very few fabrics that can’t be dyed at all. If you’re intimidated by dye, might I recommend ice dyeing? It’s one of the easiest and highest reward dye techniques out there.
61. Block print: this is another embellishment idea. You don’t always have to print yardage when you block print. I simply added a few impressions with a stamp on this top. Learn to block print your own fabric.
62. Paint: You can paint any fabric! You can use fabric paint, or acrylic paint thinned out with textile medium. I’ve even used latex paint on this coat. Use a brush, splatter paint, sponge paint, or use those squeezy tubes.
63. Airbrush: airbrushing can be a different way to paint on fabric. You can use a stencil + an airbrush for a quick way to create a pattern on a garment.
64. Fabric markers: Color straight onto your fabric with fabric markers. You can even use Sharpie markers to color onto fabric for some interesting effects. Black and white prints can be really interesting with a few added color spots filled in with markers.
65. Leather paint: If you’ve never worked with Angelus leather paint (*affiliate), seriously go get some now. With a soft brush, you can paint straight onto leather and faux leather to create a totally different look. To give you an idea of how durable it is, I painted this entire Rose Tyler cosplay jacket before I sewed it together.
66. Bleach: bleach is the un-dye! Use bleach for embellishing a garment by spraying it through a stencil, or at random. You can use bleach pens like I did on this Blank Slate Marigold dress. You can even dip a hem into bleach for a two-tone effect. Just be sure to neutralize the bleach in a solution of hydrogen peroxide and water before you wash it.
So that’s my big list of embellishment ideas you can add to any of your sewing projects. Which ones have you tried? Are there ones you’ve been curious about trying?
Elizabeth Farr is the writer behind the Elizabeth Made This blog where she shares helpful sewing tips, step by step sewing tutorials and videos to help you explore your creativity through sewing. She has written sewing Eguides and patterns, been a featured teacher at Rebecca Page’s Sewing Summit and Jennifer Maker’s Holiday Maker Fest and her work has appeared in Seamwork and Altered Couture magazines. She also created a line of refashioned garments for SEWN Denver. When her sewing machine isn’t humming, she’s playing and teaching violin, and hanging around a good strategic board game with her husband and 4 kids.