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DIY Fashion: Painted Galaxy T-Shirt

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DIY Fashion: Painted Galaxy Print Tee Shirt
{image source: Boohoo}

Galaxy print tee shirts are among my favorite trends of the past year: there is something so whimsical and retro-cool about colorful clouds and stars splashed across a tee. You can find a ton of handmade galaxy shirts, shorts, or even jeans on Etsy, but these items are usually pretty out of budget for the average college student.

Want to try the trend for cheap? It’s easy to make a DIY galaxy shirt. This tutorial will show you how to create your own painted galaxy print t-shirt using supplies you probably already have!

What you’ll need:

  • Black t-shirt
  • Fabric Paint
  • Sponge brushes
  • Old toothbrush
  • Plastic plate
  • Cardboard
  • Optional: Glitter

How to:

DIY Galaxy Print Tee Shirt: Step 1

1. Prepare your materials by choosing your paints. I suggest choosing a color scheme based on 3 colors that touch each other on the color wheel. (I chose blue, pink, and purple.) This way, when you’re making your shirt, you can easily mix the colors without creating brown or grey paint from the mix. You will also need white paint to create the stars. I also added white and black glitter so parts of my shirt would sparkle.

To start, squirt your paints onto the plate to make a palette, then place your piece of cardboard inside your shirt to prevent the paint from bleeding through both sides.

DIY Galaxy Print Tee Shirt: Step 2

2. Begin dabbing paint onto your shirt. This part takes time – you have to make sure it looks like clouds, so a mixture of techniques is best. Use less paint to start, then build from there! I suggest dabbing the paint on, smearing a little, then twisting (as shown above). This well give you the best distribution of paint and most natural looking strokes. It takes some time and practice, so start small.

DIY Galaxy Print Tee Shirt: Step 3

3. Continue adding paint until you get the shape and brightness you want. You may have to go over some sections several times to make them opaque enough. The most natural looking shape will be very irregular; I tried making a small circle at first, but I ended up spreading it so it didn’t look overly perfect! Just keep adding paint until you get the look you want. There is not really a “right” way to do it.

DIY Galaxy Print Tee Shirt: Step 4

4. Add stars to your galaxy! Dip your toothbrush into the white paint, then flick the paint onto the shirt. This can be messy, so if you’re worried about the surface you’re working on, you may want to put down newspaper or do this outside. It helps if you fling the toothbrush at the same time you flick it (this will give you bigger splatters). Continue flicking until you get the amount of stars you want.

DIY galaxy print tee: Final step

5. Let your shirt dry. Once it dries, you may find you want to add more paint. I added more color and glitter to mine once it dried. The second coat goes on much thicker since you already have paint on the part you’re painting, so the shirt doesn’t absorb as much. Just repeat the same process. Make sure you let your paint dry the full time that the package asks so you don’t smear any paint.

DIY Galaxy Print Tee: Finished product

Voila! There you have it – your very own galaxy shirt, at a very affordable price. This DIY does take some patience when you’re learning how to apply the paint, but once you get the hang of it, you’re golden. You can apply this technique to shorts, a skirt, or even a scarf – it’s up to you!

What do you think?

Do you like the galaxy print trend? Will you be making your own celestial t-shirt? Have another idea for an amazing DIY? Tell us in the comments!

Posted on on September 14, 2012 / Filed Under: Fashion Tips / Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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19 Responses to “DIY Fashion: Painted Galaxy T-Shirt”

  1. 1
    September 14th, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    If you want more controlled splatter clusters, flick the brush a few times away from the shirt and on something else. I love using this technique to paint tiny star clusters….on canvas.

  2. 2
    September 14th, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    I meant, flick the brush on something else, and then flick the remaining paint on the shirt to make more convincing star clusters, hahaha. Whoops.

  3. 3
    September 14th, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    THANK YOU! I’ve been wanting to do something like this for a very long time. Could you also do a DIY on painting canvas shoes and stuff?

  4. 4
    September 14th, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    this is such an amazing post! thanks!

  5. 5
    September 14th, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Fabric paint can get you good results, but I’ve found that a spray bottle with a mixture of half-bleach, half-water can get you AMAZING galaxy results when you spray them on a black t-shirt. It bleaches the shirt a pretty orangey color that totally looks like a galaxy, and it’s a little easier and very long-lasting.

    I’m in a co-ed fraternity, and put down stencils of my greek letters down on the shirt before I sprayed the bleach so they would stand out against the galaxy. They’re the coolest letters ever and I always get so many compliments on them! I think it would be cool if CF did a DIY article on cool ideas for greek letter shirts!

  6. 6
    September 14th, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    Ooh very cool!

  7. 7
    September 14th, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Taylor- Definitely planning on doing a DIY on canvas shoes in the future so keep on the lookout!

    Ashley- I love using bleach on shirts, but I’ve seen it done a lot for galaxy shirts and wanted to try something new since bleach limits you to one color. One thing that you could try for bleach shirts is using a deep purple or navy shirt, which will give you a different look. Also, if you’re looking for an easy DIY for Greek shirts, you should look at the screen printing DIY I did not too long ago. I did it for my university, but you could easily translate it for a sorority shirt!

  8. 8
    September 15th, 2012 at 3:05 am

    I absolutely love it! Reminds me of my good old university days where our designs were often more hands on without relying on design programs. Much more satisfying.

  9. 9
    September 15th, 2012 at 8:09 am

    oh wow! this is amazing! I’d definitely try this. I also like the idea of using bleach!

  10. 10
    September 15th, 2012 at 9:13 am

    This is such a cool DIY Tori! Loved how your shirt turned out! Thanks for the inspiration. :)

  11. 11
    September 15th, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    This is amazing!!

  12. 12
    October 15th, 2012 at 9:01 am

    i looove this.
    i’ve done this several times. it’s fun to experiment with different color schemes. c:
    i also saw some tutorials on youtube, tumblr, pinterest, etc. on how to use the same technique on shoes.
    i did it to my white Vans and they look awesome.
    although i’d practice on some cheap canvas shoes first.
    <3

  13. 13
    January 3rd, 2013 at 12:48 am

    Would the paint come off or get wrecked in the washing machine? And does it have to be fabric paint or can it be acrylic?

    Great idea by the way, I love it<3

  14. 14
    February 22nd, 2013 at 2:45 am

    So glad to find this post. Gonna try this on my old black jeans skirt. Hope it works well on jeans fabric too. Thanks a million for such a great idea.. :)

  15. 15
    October 6th, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    I’ve always wanted a galaxy shirt! This is the perfect way to do it if you don’t want to buy one! Also, please check out my blog :)

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