CLOTHING TUTORIAL: Faux Spiked Cardigan Refashion

I love wearing cardigans, but didn't want something boring and plain anymore. I bought this old cardigan from a thrift store, with the intention of altering it somehow. I chose to add faux spikes using dimensional paint, to give it an instant update. You can use this technique for t-shirts, fabric accessories, jackets, jeans, and skirts. You can change the placement...perhaps the placket, the cuffs, the hem, elbow, or a back section. It takes some patience, time, and careful planning, but it's worth the time for an unexpected shoulder detail. Ok onto the tutorial!

  • 1 Plain cardigan - I got this from a thrift store. You can use a new one, thrifted, or one you already own. It's best for it to be a flat knit
  • 1 Bottle of Tulip Slick Dimensional Fabric Paint in Black - I chose black, but you could choose another color of the slick formula
  • Wax paper - To prevent the paint from sticking on the surface the cardigan is laid on, while the paint is wet
  • Straight pins - For marking out your design lines
  • Paper towels - For the, checking bottle flow, practicing dots
  • Scissors - For cutting the bottle tip
  • Dress form or large flat surface - I used a dress form, but if you don't have one, a large flat surface will work ok. This is for your cardigan to lay on while making out your design lines and applying the paint

Wash the finished cardigan in cold water, and hang to dry. Do not iron over the dots, or the paint will melt.


1) If you are using a dress form, like I did, you will need to protect the shoulders and upper back with wax paper.

2) Put the cardigan on the dress form. If you aren't using a dress form, lay the cardigan open on a flat surface, so the shoulders are flat and ready for paint.

3) Use the straight pens to mark where you want the paint dots to end. Make sure the end lines are even. I chose to end the front a few inches down from the shoulder seam. I made the back curved, just for an added design element. I did the shoulder caps later on, which I'll explain in after a few steps. You can make the style lines how ever you desire...points, reverse curves, scalloped, straight vs angled. Make sure the pins go through the wax paper, so it stays against the cardigan fabric.

4) With the cap on, tap the paint bottle end down, against your hand or a table. This is to shift the paint towards and remove air from the tip.

5) Open the bottle, and squeeze some paint onto a sheet of paper towel, to check the flow of the paint. I had to put the top on and shake the bottle a bit, until the paint was mixed enough to have the right consistency when squeezing from the bottle. Make a few practice dots on the paper towel, so you know how to do them on the cardigan. There is a certain amount of paint and pressure needed to make spikes or studs. The practice helps figure that out.

6) If you find you're having trouble squeezing paint out, you can either cut the tip with scissors to widen the tip. Or, you can stick a straight pin into the bottle tip, to make sure any dry paint isn't stopping up the tip. Make sure to hold onto the pin tightly, so it doesn't accidentally end up inside the bottle.

7) Starting at the shoulder seam, squeeze small dots of paint in a row. Try to space them out evenly. Make a 2nd row staggered from the 1st row, heading toward the front of the cardigan. When you get close to your pin lines, remove them, and finish off the last row or two. Let the paint dry for an hour or two before moving on to the sleep caps.

8) Starting back at the shoulder line, make staggered rows of dots. I stopped making straight rows when my guide line was about 2-3 rows away, and the next row needed to curve along the back collar. I made a small straight row of dots along the collar edge. Each full row after that arched from one shoulder up towards the center collar and to the other shoulder. I made my design curved in the back, but you could shape this how ever you want.

9) For the sleeve caps, I carefully pinned the top of the sleeve flat against the dress form. I used pins to mark out a curve for the bottom of the sleeve cap. You can make this shape how ever you like. I made a few straight rows of dots, before curving the rows and altering the amount, the form a curved cap of dots. This doesn't need to be precise, just visually fill in the space with even spacing. Let the paint dry fully for a few hours before wearing the cardigan.

That's all for this tutorial. If you follow my tutorial to make something, make sure you email me photos, and I'll share them here. Send those to: Happy Makery!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...