Painting Sunflowers on Fabric

Margaret Riley freebie projects

By Pamela Groppe
Paint bright, happy sunflowers on jeans or anything you like! Easy strokes make up this simple design and so great for a beginner. Pam has given you instructions how easy this project can be! And shares with you her love of colors and sunflowers.

Pamela has been painting since 1997. She is self-taught using books and videos from various artists. Using cedar shingles destined for the dumpster at her father’s roofing business, she started to paint decorative signs for sale on eBay. Not only did this help her sharpen her skills, but the sales helped pay for more paint and lessons. After a couple years, she opened her own webstore and was No. 1 on Google for several years for hand painted signs. Presently, she focuses on providing online painting lessons from her website as well as continuing to learn new painting methods and mediums.

Surface will be your choice (blue jeans, jean purse shirt, etc.)

Plaid FolkArt Multi-Surface acrylic paint

Wicker White
Burnt Umber
Daffodil Yellow
Licorice Black
Moon Yellow

FolkArt Donna Dewberry One Stroke Set that includes the following brushes:
Flat No. 12
Flat 3/4"

Paper towels
Palette or foam plate
Water basin
Tracing paper and pencil (to trace pattern)
Graphite and stylus (to apply pattern to fabric, if needed) black for light colors and white for dark colors
Cardboard that will fit into your fabric item
Optional: Textile Medium (it may assist in allowing the paint to be applied easier)


  • Multi-Surface paint works fine for fabric but for a softer finish use Plaid FolkArt brush-on fabric paint or DecoArt SoSoft fabric paint in like colors.
  • Undercoating with white helps make the colors brighter than if painted directly on the denim or dark fabrics.
  • Refer to photos for step-by-step instructions.
  • Use a blow dryer to speed up drying time between steps unless instructed otherwise.

Note: You may refer to Pam’s video at:

Whether you use a fabric item you already own or purchase a new fabric item, you will need to launder it with no fabric softener. Fabric softener may hinder the paint from adhering properly to the fabric. If you have an old pair of jeans to practice on, it could aide you in the feel of the paint on fabric. You may trace your pattern and transfer it to the area you will be painting by using the graphite paper and the stylus. (Click for Pattern)

1. Choose placement area to paint on your jeans or fabric of choice.

2. Insert a piece of cardboard directly under area to be painted in case paint bleeds through.  

3. Using the No.12 flat brush, outline the center in Wicker White.

4. Using Wicker White and the No.12 flat brush, paint on petal shapes using a petal leaf stroke.

5. Using the No. 12 flat with Yellow Ochre to create the back petals, use the petal leaf stroke covering over the white. (Don’t worry about being perfect, the Wicker White will get covered.)

6. Between the back strokes/petals (the Yellow Ochre ones) under paint the front strokes/petals with Wicker White using the No.12 flat brush. This is the same petal/leaf stroke used on the previous petals.
7. Double load same brush with Daffodil Yellow and Moon Yellow for the front petals.  In the photo you can see the two different colors on the brush.

8. Stroke over the Wicker White under painted petals.  The two colors work well together and having the brush double loaded like this will make the petals have depth and character. (This is optional as you can use a single color of yellow keeping it a lighter brighter yellow than the Yellow Ochre.)
9. The center will be a dark brown center. In my video, I show you how to do a green and yellow center with a different technique.  As in the photo here, use Burnt Umber and fill in the circle with the 3/4″ brush.

10. Dip a corner of the same brush into one of the yellow colors. Stroke in some highlights, a C-shape in the center, and a few loose strokes around the edges.

11. To darken the center, dip a corner of the brush into some Licorice Black. Dab it while the Burnt Umber is still wet so the Licorice Black will blend easier.

Heat Setting your Design:
It is recommended that you allow 24 hours for your decorated fabric project to air dry; then heat set. Two heat setting methods are recommended below.

Dryer Method: Turn garment inside out; place item in dryer for 30 minutes on highest setting allowed for the type of fabric used.

Iron Method: Place item right side up on ironing board; cover with dry pressing cloth. Set iron to highest setting allowed for fabric used. Place dry iron (no steam) on area pressing for 30 seconds, lift iron moving to another area until all sections are heat set. Keep the iron moving in a small circular motion when heat setting.

You may view Pamela’s website at:
www.pamelagroppe.comAnd if you have any questions, please email her at:

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