How to Make a Flour Resist Shirt

How to Make a Flour Paste Resist T-Shirt

How to Make a Flour Paste Resist Shirt
By Jeanette Nyberg

This is a weird and wonderful technique for painting on t-shirts as a sort of ‘contained’ version of tie dye. This will get kids thinking about negative and positive space—as well as design—in one project. Then, BONUS, they can wear their project.

How to Make a Flour Paste Resist T-Shirt

This post contains affiliate links.Anyway. Here’s what you need ::

  • T-shirt (wash it first)
  • Fabric paint (or really watered down acrylic paint) in whatever colors you want, plus black or a dark grey
  • Paint brushes
  • Flour (all purpose flour)


How to Make a Flour Paste Resist Shirt
Insert the cardboard inside the shirt so the paint doesn’t bleed through.

Paint your initial background colors onto your shirt. You can free-hand brush some colors on, or paint them into a shape. We free-hand painted a loose dot, using a blue, a turquoise, and some white fabric paint.

Let this dry completely.

I like to eat chocolate while I’m waiting, as a way to compensate for having to be patient. My fabric paint was heat set, so after it dried, I ironed it on the reverse side of the shirt.

Flour Paste for Resist Batik

Next, mix your flour with water until it is thick but still brushable.
How to Make a Flour Paste Resist Shirt
Paint the flour mixture over the background colors in any design you want. Remember, where you paint the flour on is where the color will show up later; the rest will be black.

Design ideas :: random swirls, dots, stripes, stars, initials, cube drawing, cute puppy, robot, self portrait. You can use a stencil with this part if you so desire.

The flour mixture is a little awkward to paint with, but not as hard as I had anticipated.

Let it dry.

How to Make a Flour Paste Resist Shirt

Paint black paint over the entire design. We ended up using watered down Payne’s Gray acrylic paint. If you use acrylic paint too thickly on fabric, it will stiffen up a lot when it dries.

Let it dry. (Sing “Let it dry” to the tune of “Let it Go”.)

Heat fix the paint again if you used this type of fabric paint.

This is the fun part! Soak the shirt in cold water for a few minutes, then gently work off the paste with your fingers. Cool, huh? It will crackle and rub off, and it’s fun to pick at.

You can always go back in with more paint later to fix any details you’d like to.

How to Make a Flour Paste Resist Shirt

About the Author

Jeanette Nyberg of Tiny Rotten PeanutsJeanette Nyberg writes about art projects, cool finds, and tales of her life on her blog Tiny Rotten Peanuts. She graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design, after which she dove into the roles of professional artist and photo stylist. She’s always been fascinated by kids’ natural creativity and thinks adults should strive to be much more like kids.

How to Make a Flour Resist Shirt

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  • Reply
    Crystal Foth
    February 15, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    Love this technique! I never would have thought of that. Hi Jeanette!!! Glad to see your guest post here and thank you Jean for featuring her great stuff. I think Maisie would love this – gonna have to try it. Fun summer idea!

    • Reply
      Jeanette Nyberg
      February 15, 2015 at 2:51 pm

      Hey, Crystal! Nice to see you over here in this neck of the woods. :)

  • Reply
    Jeanette Nyberg
    February 15, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    Yay! Thanks for having me over for a guest post, Jean. We had fun with this technique, so I hope others enjoy it, too!

  • Reply
    February 21, 2015 at 9:48 am

    This looks like fun! I am a little nervous about getting the flour to work well. I was going to buy resist paste,but I think i will try this first. And I love that your daughter has colored hair. It is very cool.

  • Reply
    February 21, 2015 at 9:53 am

    I am so glad to find your blog! I am a pre-k teacher and think that art is the most important part of my day!!!!! I have many creative art projects that we do and the kids just love it. We do all sorts of painting techniques and work with cold porcelain, we even sew! Thanks for sharing your idea about flour resist, that is something that would be what we can do in our classroom. I am already planning a field trip to our local art museum and would love for my children to make some tee shirts to wear with their own abstract art on the front…..wouldn’t the flour resist be an excellent way for them to create their shirts!!!! Will send you a photo when we do tis, we are going in April. Again, thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    March 30, 2015 at 1:41 pm

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